The EU-Council adopted a positive assessment that the conditions to move to the first step of phase two on the high seas of EUNAVFOR MED have been met, the naval operation having fulfilled all military objectives related to phase 1 focusing upon the collection and analysis of information and intelligence.
This assessment is part of the formal steps required in the process of transitioning the operation to phase 2 on the high seas and will be followed soon by a force generation conference and approval of rules of engagement for phase 2 on the high seas. This includes boarding, search, seizure and diversion of vessels suspected of beeing used for human smuggling or trafficking on the high seas as well as territorial and internal waters of specific coastal states (i.e. Libya).
Once these rules are agreed and the Operation Commander indicates that he has the required assets, the EU Ambassadors within the Political and Security Committee will decide when to launch the first step of phase 2.
The effects of this transitions on the general security situation in the Mediterranean is part of a controversial discussion also within the Syrian Civil War and the outcome seems unclear.
To access the Council Decision 2015/77 please click on the link below.
EU Council Decision 2015/778
Article in Al Arabiya
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