European Union External Action


EU leaders meet in Brussels to take action in migratory crisis

24/04/2015 - 00:00
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EU heads of state and government met yesterday to respond urgently to the migratory crisis in the Mediterranean following the recent tragic deaths.

Federica Mogherini lors du Conseil européen extraordinaire sur la crise migratoire

President Tusk summarised the position of all EU members at the final press conference saying "Saving the lives of innocent people is the number one priority. But saving lives is not just about rescuing people at sea. It is also about stopping the smugglers and addressing irregular migration".

At the meeting that lasted five and a half hours leaders agreed to strengthen efforts in four areas:

  1. Strengthen EU's presence in the Mediterranean Sea through tripling the financial resources of the two border missions Triton and Poseidon.
  2. Fighting the traffickers and smugglers of people was central in the discussion. Smugglers bear the primary responsibility of all the deaths. To fight traffickers and  their business model, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini was tasked to prepare a possible CSDP operation to identify, capture and destroy the smugglers' vessels before they can be used. Naturally, this will be in line with international law and respect for human rights.
  3. EU leaders agreed to prevent illegal migration flows, most of all through better cooperation with countries of origin and transit. They decided to improve co-operation with the countries of origin and transit, especially the countries around Libya. The European Council also agreed to propose a summit on the topic in Malta together with the African Union and key countries concerned. Reinforcing our political cooperation with African partners at all levels to tackle the cause of illegal immigrations and combat trafficking of human beings is fundamental.
  4. Finally, many EU leaders expressed the need to increase internal solidarity and responsibility. In practise this meant agreeing to organise emergency relocation between all Member States on a voluntary basis.