22nd May 2015

EU approves military operation against refugee smugglers

On 18 May, the EU ministers in charge of foreign security approved a CSDP operation – an EU military operation aimed at fighting smuggling of people in the Mediterranean. The operation is one of the steps in EU´s strategy to fight refugee deaths at its Southern shores. The naval operation EUNAVFOR Med will be headquartered in Rome and will be commanded by an Italian Rear Admiral. In its first phase, it will be limited to intelligence sharing and capacity building. Once the requirements of international law are met, the operational military aspect will be deployed and smugglers´ boats and infrastructure will be searched for and destroyed. The international law requirements include either a UN Security Council resolution or an approval by the host states, mainly Libya. The situation there is, however, very problematic, with the internationally-recognized government in control of only a minority of the territory. EU High Representative Mogherini therefore tries to win UN approval of an action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. France and Britain, permanent members of the UN Security Council, already drafted a resolution. Russia, another permanent member, is set to be cautious about such authorization, though. The likely compromise will possibly involve only a naval force with a limited ground component, but without any substantive air support. The EU hopes to have the full operation set up at the June 22 Foreign Affairs Council.

For more, click here, here and here.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic