4th October 2015

EU naval mission to start seizing smugglers´ vessels

On 28 September, member states representatives in the Political and Security Committee (PSC) within the Council formally agreed to move the EU naval operation in the Mediterranean aimed at disrupting the smuggling of people from Africa to Europe´s Southern shores from its intelligence gathering phase 1 to the more active phase 2. The Council had already agreed that conditions for such move had been met and the operation´s commander Rear Admiral Credendino expressed his satisfaction with the fact that sufficient resources were provided by the member states navies to make the operation possible. The second phase will officially commence on 7 October and the PSC also approved the corresponding rules of engagement. The representatives also agreed that the operation EUNAVFOR Med should be renamed to Sophia. This is a symbolic move – Sophia is the name given by a refugee mother to her daughter, to whom she gave birth aboard an EU vessel following her rescue. The EU hopes that actively searching for and diverting of smugglers´ vessels in the Mediterranean can help in the overarching objective of tackling the refugee crisis.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic