Friday, 7/8/2020 | 1:11 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Written question – EU proposal for a naval blockade off Libya to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into Italy – E-000799/2017

On 25 January 2017, the Commission and the EU’s High Representative, Federica Mogherini, presented the proposal for a new plan for ‘Migration on the Central Mediterranean route’. The proposal will be on the agenda of the upcoming summit meeting on 3 February in Malta, at which the European Heads of State and of Government are to discuss EU action on the Central Mediterranean migration route, which is commonly known as the ‘Libyan route’.

Under the plan, a naval blockade will be established off the coast of Libya, in the territorial waters of that North-African country, to prevent people smugglers from embarking with boatloads of immigrants on the Libyan route to Italy.

There is a pressing need to find an effective answer to the problem of the daily arrivals of illegal immigrants in Italy, who numbered 181 436 in 2016 and 4 504 up to 31 January 2017.

Can the Commission:

explain why the proposal to establish a naval blockade has not been considered before;
give details of the measures and timescales provided for under this new EU plan?
state whether a prospective naval blockade might not be more successful if it were flanked with a genuine EU policy on refusal of entry and repatriation of illegal immigrants which, if implemented, would drastically reduce migration flows and traffickers’ unlawful activities?