EUNAVFOR MED operation Sophia is but one element of a broader EU comprehensive response to the migration issue, which seeks to address not only its physical component, but also its root causes as well including conflict, poverty, climate change and persecution.
The mission core mandate is to undertake systematic efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels and enabling assets used or suspected of being used by migrant smugglers or traffickers, in order to contribute to wider EU efforts to disrupt the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean and prevent the further loss of life at sea.
Since 7 October 2015, as agreed by the EU Ambassadors within the Security Committee on 28 September, the operation moved to phase 2 International Waters, which entails boarding, search, seizure and diversion, on the high seas, of vessels suspected of being used for human smuggling or trafficking.
Last 20 June 2016, the Council extended until 27 July 2017 Operation Sophia’s mandate reinforcing it by adding two supporting tasks:
Factsheet on EUNAVFOR MED Mission [537 KB] (November 2016)
Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2016/1635 of 30 August 2016 on the commencement of the capacity building and training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy by the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA) (EUNAVFOR MED/3/2016)
Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2016/1637 of 6 September 2016 on the commencement of the European Union military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED operation SOPHIA) contributing to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya (EUNAVFOR MED/4/2016)
Operation Commander - Rear Admiral (UH) Enrico Credendino [132 KB]
Deputy Operation Commander - Rear Admiral (LH) Réné-Jean CRIGNOLA [287 KB]
Video message by High Represenative Federica Mogherini on the occasion of Europe Day