Answer to Written Question: Expanding the mandate of Operation IRINI

(Source: European Parliament)





Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/472[1] of 31 March 2020 established and launched Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI, setting out the mandate for the EU military operation in the Mediterranean aimed at contributing to preventing arms trafficking in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011) and subsequent resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya, including UNSCR 2292 (2016) and UNSCR 2473 (2019). Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/472 also states that EUNAVFOR MED IRINI should end on 31 March 2021.Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/542[2] of 26 March 2021 extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR MED IRINI until 31 March 2023. Council Decision (CFSP) 2021/542, which amends Council Decision (CFSP) 2020/472, also specifies more precisely the arrangements for disposing of arms and related materiel seized when implementing the UN arms embargo on Libya, including the storage, destruction or transfer of seized items to a Member State or to a third party, in accordance with UNSCR 2292 (2016).

The EU is committed to strengthening cooperation with like-minded organisations, including NATO, within the framework of the relevant UNSC resolutions on the arms embargo on Libya, in order to best pursue the objectives set out in those resolutions.

Irrespective of possible cooperation with NATO, the boarding of any ship by Operation IRINI is performed in accordance with international law and UNCLOS, as stipulated in UNSCR 2292 (2016). This resolution establishes the general rules for boarding ships, including, in very specific situations, without the consent of the captain.

Currently no training is provided by IRINI to the Libyan navy and coast guard, pending the signature of a memorandum of understanding between the Libyan authorities and Operation IRINI.

[1]           OJ L 101, 1.4.2020, p. 4

[2]           OJ L 108, 29.3.2021, p. 57

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