EU is getting ready to fight against migrant smuggling

On 23 March, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and Frontex confirmed their cooperation on maritime safety by signing a tripartite working arrangement, which means the agencies will collaborate on multipurpose maritime operations and strengthen coast guard cooperation. The European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC) chief, Robert Crepinko, also commented on the issue of migrant smuggling the same day, and highlighted the importance of fighting against international smuggling networks together with African law enforcement agencies.

According to Europol data more than 90 % of migrants, who use the route from North Africa and through the Mediterranean sea, come to Europe using smugglers. The EU is already cooperating with Libya on coast guard training and provides both material and financial aid to North African countries. However, according to Crepinko it is equally important to fight against organised crime, considering that about 45 % of smuggling groups are also active in international drug trade or counterfeiting. Crepinko added that some North African countries would welcome such cooperation and the EMSC might soon broaden its capacities into the region.

About author: Nikola Blokešová

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