EU defence chiefs’ approved plan for military intervention against “refugee boats” in Libya and the Mediterranean
In order to enable a rapid response to the migratory crisis in the Southern Central Mediterranean, the EUMC recognises that there is insufficient time to develop and obtain Council approval of Military Strategic Options.
Such an operation can contribute to EU efforts to disrupt the business model of migrant smuggling networks.
The EUMC emphasizes that preservation of human life at sea is a legal obligation in accordance with Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Rescue operations led during this operation should not be publicised in order to avoid providing an incentive to migrants.
The EUMC considers an indicative military End State to be: the flow of migrants and smugglers activities have been significantly reduced. The End State for Phase One should be a sufficient understanding of the migrants’ smuggling and trafficking business models, financing, routes, places of embarkation, capabilities and identities
The EUMC highlights that the operation will be conducted in compliance with international human rights, humanitarian and refugee law and other relevant legislation.
the EUMC identifies a risk to EU reputation linked to any perceived transgressions by the EU force through any public misinterpretation of its tasks and objectives, or the potential negative impact should loss of life be attributed, correctly or incorrectly, to action or inaction by the EU force.
The EUMC notes that the information strategy should avoid suggesting that the focus is to rescue migrants at sea but emphasise that the aim of the operation is to disrupt the migrants smuggling business model. By doing so the operation will indirectly contribute to reduce loss of life at sea.