Militarized Seas? #EU Diplomats Propose Using Armed Forces to Curb Refugee Flow

Apostolis Fotiadis

A Frontex ship patrols the maritime border in Greece. Credit: Frontex. A Frontex ship patrols the maritime border in Greece.

ATHENS, Dec 3 2013 (IPS) – A Nov. 19 paper by the European External Action Service (EEAS), the EU diplomatic corps, considers the possibility of the European military getting involved in the south Mediterranean in an effort to curb the influx of irregular migrants and refugees into Europe.

The idea for a military operation initially appeared in an Italian proposal set forth on Oct. 24, suggesting extraordinary measures after the recent tragic events at Lampedusa in Sicily, where a boat that departed from Libya on Oct. 3 sank before reaching the island, killing 360 immigrants.

The incident sent shock waves throughout Europe and triggered a civil society dialog about European migration policy’s human cost. But many of Europe’s leaders have seen the tragedy as a reason for further militarisation of the region.

EEAS deputy spokesman Sebastien Brabant told IPS in an email…

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