Operation Sophia: a failed mission

Author (Corporate)
Series Details (2017-19) HL5
Publication Date 12/07/2017
Content Type


The EU External Affairs Sub-Committee of the UK House of Lords European Union Select Committee published a report on the 12 July 2017 on the EU's naval mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia. The report concluded that it had failed in its mission to disrupt the business of people smuggling on the central Mediterranean.

Further information:

Peers considered that the European Union's naval mission, Operation Sophia, failed to achieve its objective of 'contributing to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean'. The group argued that a naval mission was the wrong tool to tackle irregular migration which begins onshore, and that the mission faced 'an impossible challenge', as concluded in a previous report.

The Sub-Committee therefore saw little reason to renew the mandate of Operatipn Sophia in its existing form beyond July 2017. However, this should be not seen as an argument for doing nothing - search and rescue are seen as vital humanitarian obligations, which the European Union (EU) should continue to fulfil, using more suitable vessels than the high-end air and naval assets of Operation Sophia.

Source Link https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldeucom/5/5.pdf
Alternative sources
  • https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldeucom/5/502.htm
Related Links
The Guardian, 11/07/2017: EU-UK naval mission on people-smuggling led to more deaths, report says https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/11/eu-naval-tactics-operation-sophia-stop-people-smuggling-cause-more-deaths-report-says
BBC News, 12/07/2017: EU naval mission has failed to end people smuggling - peers http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-40577755
EurActiv, 12/07/2017: UK parliament says ‘Sophia’ saves lives, but has not stopped migrant smuggling http://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/uk-parliament-says-sophia-saves-lives-but-has-not-stopped-migrant-smuggling/

UK Parliament: House of Lords: News, 11/07/2017: Operation Sophia saves lives but has not stopped people smuggling http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/eu-external-affairs-subcommittee/news-parliament-2017/operation-sophia-follow-up-publication/

Subject Categories
Subject Tags
Keywords ,
International Organisations