The Council today extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia by six months, until 31 March 2020.
The deployment of the Operation's naval assets will remain temporarily suspended, as EU member states continue to work in the appropriate fora on a solution on disembarkation as part of the follow-up to the June 2018 European Council conclusions. The EU members states stand ready to revert to this matter whenever necessary to provide the Operation Commander with possible new guidance regarding the deployment of the Operation's naval assets. The Operation will continue to implement its mandate accordingly.
The Operation's core mandate is to contribute to the EU's work to disrupt the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers in the Southern Central Mediterranean. The operation has also supporting tasks. It trains the Libyan Coastguard and Navy, monitors the long-term efficiency of the training and contributes to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya. In addition, the operation also conducts surveillance activities and gathers information on illegal trafficking of oil exports from Libya, in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As such, the operation contributes to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and to maritime security in the Central Mediterranean region.
EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia was launched on 22 June 2015 and it is part of the EU's comprehensive approach to migration. The Operation Commander is Rear Admiral Credendino, from Italy, and the headquarters of the operation are located in Rome.