Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/472 on a European Union military operation in the Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED IRINI)

Author (Corporate)
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Series Details L 101, Pages 4-10
Publication Date 01/04/2020
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Council Decision (CFSP) 202/472 - formally adopted on 31 March 2020 - which establishes and launches an operation named EUNAVFOR MED IRINI.

Further information:

This military crisis management operation aims to contribute to preventing arms trafficking within its agreed Area of Operation and Area of Interest in accordance with UNSCR 1970 (2011) and subsequent Resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya. Furthermore, the operation shall contribute to the implementation of measures set out by the United Nations (UN) to prevent the illicit export of petroleum from Libya in accordance with UNSCR 2146 (2014) and subsequent Resolutions.

In addition, the operation shall assist in the development of the capacities and in the training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy in law enforcement tasks at sea. The operate shall also contribute to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks, in accordance with applicable international law.

The Council of the European Union reached a political agreement on the establishment of a new operation in the Mediterranean Sea in February 2020, following a set of talks among international stakeholders on bringing civil war in Libya to an end. The Council later adopted this Decision on 31 March 2020.

This Operation was given a mandate to last until 31 March 2021 and new Force Commanders were appointed on 28 May 2020.

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Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
CEPS: In Brief, 02/04/2020: Operation IRINI in Libya: Part of the solution, or part of the problem?
ECFR: Commentary, 03/04/2020: The EU’s ‘Irini’ Libya mission: Europe’s Operation Cassandra
CER: Insights, 08/04/2020: The EU's New Libya Operation is Flawed
ECRE: Op-Ed, 10/04/2020: Op-ed: Business as Usual for the EU Causes the Suffering of Migrants and Refugees in Libya
Carnegie Europe: Strategic Europe, 05/05/2020: Libya Needs European Boots on the Ground
IAI: Commentaries (No. 32), 05/05/2020: From Sophia to Irini: EU Mediterranean Policies and the Urgency of "Doing Something"
Euro|topics, May 2020: Libyan government criticises EU mission

EurActiv, 31/03/2020: EU finalises ‘Operation Irini’ to enforce Libya arms embargo
Kathimerini, 31/03/2020: EU launches new naval mission to police Libya arms embargo
Anadolu Agency, 31/03/2020: EU launches Libya military mission
Associated Press, 31/03/2020: EU launches new naval mission to police Libya arms embargo
EurActiv, 29/04/2020: EU’s Libya naval mission to begin work ‘within days’
Anadolu Agency, 07/05/2020: Libya calls for probe of Operation IRINI
Reuters, 08/05/2020: Malta pulls out of new EU Libya sea patrols in migration row
Times of Malta, 08/05/2020: Malta to veto EU funding for naval mission monitoring Libya arms traffic
Times of Malta, 04/06/2020: Bartolo sees possible international political motive for China espionage claims

Website of the EU's Operation IRINI
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 31/03/2020: EU launches Operation IRINI to enforce Libya arms embargo
France: Foreign Ministry, 01/04/2020: Libya – Operation Irini - Q&A from the press briefing (1 April 2020)
EU EEAS: Blog, 01/04/2020: A new EU military operation in the Mediterranean: Irini is born to enforce Libya arms embargo
Estonia: Defence Ministry: News, 03/04/2020: Estonia to contribute troops to EU´s new IRINI mission
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 28/05/2020: Operation IRINI: Council appoints new Force Commanders

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