In light of the latest migrant tragedy off Lampedusa, in which more than 300 people reportedly lost their lives, the European Union needs to consider all options including deploying assets within its naval force, EU NAVFOR, to the Mediterranean, said Member of European Parliament Roberta Metsola.
In a debate on migration and asylum at the European Parliament, Dr Metsola said that it was time for EU Governments to think outside the box on this issue and suggested that the EU also look into whether it would be possible for assets used in anti-piracy missions to be deployed to support Frontex joint operations in the Mediterranean. This, she said, would help save lives and boost security in the region.
As the situation in Libya continues to deteriorate, the UNHCR has warned Mediterranean countries to expect an upsurge in people trying to reach Europe as soon as the weather improves and has appealed for search and rescue capabilities to be beefed up, before more lives are lost at sea.
“Using these assets in the Mediterranean would help plug part of the gap left by the conclusion of Italy’s Mare Nostrum Operation. We need to re-think our approach and we need to be prepared. Without a holistic approach to migration and asylum, with every EU State sharing the responsibility, we will continue to see migration tragedies in the Mediterranean.
It is no use waiting for more people to lose their lives crossing to Europe. Something must be done now.