Saturday, 22/2/2020 | 1:16 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Written question – Operation Sophia – E-005562/2016

On 13 May 2016, the House of Lords European Union Committee published a report entitled ‘Operation Sophia, the EU’s naval mission in the Mediterranean: an impossible challenge’.

The report claims that Operation Sophia has departed from its core mandate of putting an end to human trafficking and has effectively become a search and rescue mission.

The report cites critics who suggested that the mission ‘would act as a magnet for migrants and ease the task of smugglers’ and goes on to state that ‘significant gaps remain in Operation Sophia’s understanding of the smugglers’ networks and the modus operandi of those networks in Libya’.

Furthermore, the number of smugglers arrested has been ‘incredibly small in comparison to the scale of smuggling’ in the Mediterranean and an ‘unintended consequence of Operation Sophia is that […] the mission is assisting the job of smugglers, who now only need their boats to reach the high seas, rather than EU waters’.

1. What conclusions have been reached on Operation Sophia?

2. Have any operations that fall outside the remit for the mission been conducted?

3. Have the attempts to crack down on smugglers met expectations?