New EUNAVFOR MED Sophia disembarkation policy under consideration – would end practice of disembarkations in Italy

According to Italian media reports (here, here, and here), the European External Action Service has presented a proposal to the Political and Security Committee to change EUNAVFOR MED’s disembarkation practices.  EUNAVFOR MED’s current mandate expires in December. The proposed change would allow the relevant Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) to decide where rescued migrants are to be disembarked and would require new criteria to be considered, including the circumstances of the rescue, the need for EUNAVFOR MED vessels to resume their mission, and principles of efficiency and speed. As a last resort, the proposal would require the country of the MRCC to make available one of its ports for disembarkation, provided that an immediate screening of migrants is organized and an expeditious redistribution of disembarked asylum seekers to other states occurs.

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