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Naval Force tipped to begin work in Mediterranean as soon as mid-June
16.5.15


As a result of the tragic events unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea over the last few months, with over 1000 lives lost this year alone[1], the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) is said to be preparing for operations in European waters.

According to news website Bruxelles2 [2], the details of a Mediterranean operation have been tentatively planned, with some Member States providing 'means and resources'.

These states include Italy, Malta Spain, Germany, France and the UK, the latter already pledged to send its' largest Royal Navy ship, the HMS Bulwark earlier in the month [3].
The preparations for the naval operation 'EUNAVFOR Med' comes following a ten point action plan on migration [4] as decided upon by the joint Foreign and Home Affairs Council in April.

Not explicitly mentioned in the ten point plan, the first phase of the EUNAVFOR Med operation, according to Bruxelles2, is set to have already commenced, despite no mention of an official date. This first phase is an information gathering exercise concerning the resources available and at hand.

Following High Representative Vice-President Federica Mogherini's remarks at the UN Security Council [5], futher details will be decided upon, ultimately being agreed at European External Action Service Foreign Affairs Council meeting on 18th May [6].

EUNAVFOR [7] has been in operation since 2008, initially to respond to the piracy in the Horn of Africa. Starting from a European Union comprehensive approach to Somalia [8], as well as the UN Security Council Resolution on Piracy[9] EUNAVFOR has since expanded to cover waters 1.5 times the size of the European Union land mass.

Sources

[1] The Guardian: 'Italy rescues 1000 refugees over two days'

[2] Bruxelles 2: 'Une tactique politique remarquable. Le voile se lève sur EUNAVFOR Med (Maj)'

[3] Sky News: PM sends navy ship to tackle migrant crisis

[4] European Commission: Ten point action plan on migration

[5] High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini's remarks at the UN Security Council, New York

[6] Foreign Affairs Committee Meeting

[7] EU Naval Force

[8] Navfor - Somalia

[9] UN Security Councilk Resolutions


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