On the 23 April, an Extraordinary European Council took place. The EU leaders:
- have asked the High Representative Federica Mogherini to propose actions in order to capture and destroy the smugglers’ vessels before they can be used;
- agreed to triple the resources available to Triton, and they have already pledged significantly greater support, including many more vessels, aircraft and experts, and money.
- a better co-operation with the countries of origin and transit, especially the countries around Libya.
- the European Union will help front-line Member States under pressure and co-ordinate the resettlement of more people to Europe on a voluntary basis;
Basically, Europe found an agreement to triple resources for the border mission in the Central Mediterranean but no agreement on the resettlement of the refugees.
Full press release here.
For Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi this is an important step forward. (Corriere della Sera)
For the Economist, the European Union’s policy on asylum is a moral and political failure. (The Economist)
The responsible for the Holy See on migration policies archbishop Antonio Maria Vegliò stated that bombing the smugglers’ vessels would mean to go against the international law starting a proper war. (Corriere della Sera)
In the meantime the man accused of captaining a boat that capsized off Libya with the loss of more than 750 lives has appeared in court on the Italian island of Sicily. (BBC)