Ireland seeks to join EU Naval Group Operation Sophia

Wascurito

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RTÉ is reporting that Ireland is considering a change in the status of its naval migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe will bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday seeking approval for the country to join the UN mandated EU Naval Group Operation Sophia and the plan is for a motion to be put to the Dáil on Wednesday.

Such a proposal would be subject to the Triple Lock Mechanism meaning that it needs to be mandated by the UN, the Cabinet and the Oireachtas - hence the need for a Dáil vote.

Currently, Irish navy operations in the Mediterranean are based on a bilateral arrangement with Italy. Since 2015, Irish naval forces have saved about 16,000 migrants in the southern Mediterranean engaged in the hazardous trip across to Europe from Africa.

The aim of Operation Sophia (as described here) is to:
contribute to the "disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean" by "efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used or suspected of being used by smugglers".

So, Operation Sophia focuses on smugglers rather than on the rescue of the migrants themselves, even though saving lives can be a part of the mandate.

This is where it gets interesting: Operation Sophia is currently in what is called Phase 2. Phase 3 would involve a more combative approach to tackling the human traffickers including possible action on Libyan soil.

This isn't going to happen automatically and would require UN and EU approval. However, given the increasing flow of migrants across the Mediterranean this summer, it's easy to see how EU governments could decide that such an option is required.
 


Vega1447

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RTÉ is reporting that Ireland is considering a change in the status of its naval migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

Minister of State for Defence Paul Kehoe will bring proposals to Cabinet on Tuesday seeking approval for the country to join the UN mandated EU Naval Group Operation Sophia and the plan is for a motion to be put to the Dáil on Wednesday.

Such a proposal would be subject to the Triple Lock Mechanism meaning that it needs to be mandated by the UN, the Cabinet and the Oireachtas - hence the need for a Dáil vote.

Currently, Irish navy operations in the Mediterranean are based on a bilateral arrangement with Italy. Since 2015, Irish naval forces have saved about 16,000 migrants in the southern Mediterranean engaged in the hazardous trip across to Europe from Africa.

The aim of Operation Sophia (as described here) is to:
contribute to the "disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks in the Southern Central Mediterranean" by "efforts to identify, capture and dispose of vessels used or suspected of being used by smugglers".

So, Operation Sophia focuses on smugglers rather than on the rescue of the migrants themselves, even though saving lives can be a part of the mandate.

This is where it gets interesting: Operation Sophia is currently in what is called Phase 2. Phase 3 would involve a more combative approach to tackling the human traffickers including possible action on Libyan soil.

This isn't going to happen automatically and would require UN and EU approval. However, given the increasing flow of migrants across the Mediterranean this summer, it's easy to see how EU governments could decide that such an option is required.
Good.

Providing a ferry service from Libya to Italy is self defeating.
 

ger12

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I have no objections, and I don't think it impinges on our neutrality.
 

Northsideman

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This Taxi service should be shut down.

If we were bringing them to Ireland instead of Italy it would be.
 

Wascurito

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Good.

Providing a ferry service from Libya to Italy is self defeating.
How would you feel about Irish military personnel being involved in military action in Libya?
 

razorblade

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We shouldnt be getting involved in this at all, its not our problem, the only thing our naval service should be doing is dropping all the migrants back to the African coast, not ferrying them to Europe.
 

Northsideman

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As I understand it, the rescues by the Irish navy will continue.
Yes but if they were being brought here instead of being dumped on the Italians it wouldn't.
 

ger12

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How would you feel about Irish military personnel being involved in military action in Libya?
You're jumping the gun, and assuming we'd be signing up to phase 3.
 

Wascurito

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You're jumping the gun, and assuming we'd be signing up to phase 3.
I'm just asking the question. There's no harm in seeking opinions now. I wouldn't necessarily oppose the Irish taking part in military action in Libya.
 

jmcc

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I'm just asking the question. There's no harm in seeking opinions now. I wouldn't necessarily oppose the Irish taking part in military action in Libya.
So you are, like most FGers, eager to see people killing and being killed as long as it isn't you or yours?
 

razorblade

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I'm just asking the question. There's no harm in seeking opinions now. I wouldn't necessarily oppose the Irish taking part in military action in Libya.
Why is it any of our business to get militarily involved in Libya, has that country not already been destroyed enough by reckless NATO intervention.
 

former wesleyan

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I'm just asking the question. There's no harm in seeking opinions now. I wouldn't necessarily oppose the Irish taking part in military action in Libya.
They'd better stay ofshore so. The DF are woefully ill equipped with the hardware necessary for battle.
 

Wascurito

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So you are, like most FGers, eager to see people killing and being killed as long as it isn't you or yours?
:roll:

People like you give "inane" a bad reputation.
 

Deadlock

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I'm just asking the question. There's no harm in seeking opinions now. I wouldn't necessarily oppose the Irish taking part in military action in Libya.
Neither would I, contingent on clearly stated mission objective and appropriate training for naval and military personnel.

I think neutrality is a poor sham long past it's date. Get rid of it. Some idiot thought it was a good idea to fetter the Dail with the nonsense 'triple lock' where effectively the five 'winners' of WWII determine what Ireland does or does not do militarily - this too is a policy that needs to be binned.
 
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Wascurito

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Neither would I, contingent on clearly stated mission objective and appropriate training for naval and military personnel.

I think neutrality is a poor sham long past it's date. Get rid of it. Some idiot thought it was a good idea to fetter the Dail with the nonsense 'triple lock' where effectively the five 'winners' of WWII determine what Ireland does or does not do militarily - this's too is a policy that needs to be binned.
Totally agree - but it will be hard to get across such a mildly nuanced point what with the hyperbole from the usual gang here.

Our neutrality never meant much and is even more meaningless now. Who are we neutral between?
 

Northsideman

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They'd better stay ofshore so. The DF are woefully ill equipped with the hardware necessary for battle.
Defence Forces would couldn't defend jack sh!te. We need to either bolster them or fold them.
 


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