The European Union’s foreign and interior ministers approved a 10-point plan of the immediate actions to be taken in response to the crisis situation in the Mediterranean, following an unprecedented disaster in which close to 700 migrants died after their boat capsized in Libyan waters on April 18.
EU will reinforce the joint naval operations in the Mediterranean, namely Triton and Poseidon, by increasing the financial resources and the number of assets, as well as extending their operational area.
The ministers also agreed on EUROPOL, FRONTEX, EASO and EUROJUST meeting regularly and working on gathering information on smugglers modus operandi, to trace their funds and to assist in their investigation.
EU will also engage with countries surrounding Libya through a joined effort between the European Commission and the EEAS, as well as deploy Immigration Liaison Officers (ILO) in key third countries, to gather intelligence on migratory flows and strengthen the role of the EU Delegations.
“The dire situation in the Mediterranean is not a new nor a passing reality. That is why the Commission will come forward with a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration in May to address the structural problems,” EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said.
”The 10 actions we have agreed upon today are the direct, substantial measures we will take to make an immediate difference. All of these actions require our common effort, the European institutions and the 28 Member States. We will convey these proposals to the European Council which will meet on Thursday in an extraordinary session to address the situation in the Mediterranean.”