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The EU foreign ministers (Foreign Affairs Council, Foreign Affairs Council) have achieved Irene in their (video) meeting on March 23, 2020 no agreement to surgery.

The EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell presented in the (virtual) press conference soberly, it was not yet solved all ( "not everything has been solved") and held out the prospect that a solution <slow> to more. Although he pointed out that the distribution of rescued migrants is unresolved, let the other hand open, how and to what extent they had approached in the previous discussion points.

The EUNAVFOR operation is Irene, if you will, a result of the Berlin Conference on Libya. In the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 February agreement was reached on an operation to implement the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council arms embargo. Irene should not be limited to monitoring the lake, airspace and satellite observation are included. In January, the foreign ministers had agreed to change the focus of the operation Sophia. Operation Sophia, the (main) objective was trafficking in the Central Mediterranean to stop, ending March 31, 2020. The formation of the Libyan coast guard and navy is one of the support functions of the operation.

Among the sticking points that prevented an agreement at Irene previously belonged next to the scale of distribution of the saved and the so-called 'snapback' retreat or a reshaping of maritime use funds in the event of migrant movements. Notably Austria and Hungary should be heard as if from Brussels circles, have been working on related measures to prevent new incentives for migrants. At this stage of the proceedings it is (among other things) probably also about how political control can be exercised. So, the modalities to an array of Brussels, to withdraw from a field in question increases in the migrant traffic. In this case, plays fast decision on the turn, and unanimity is pending a role. Due to considerations of refugee / migrant routes has moved the operation area to the east (- compared with Sophia).

the behavior towards recognized weapons shipments from friendly and the EU related countries (eg Turkey), also from Russia, as well as the treatment of the applied charges: from previous meetings (Council, as well as the foreign ministers meetings preparatory committee) were identified as other outstanding issues known and finally the time approach the operation.

From Moscow was verlautbar that the Russian government is now occurring for a UN mandate for the EU Operation Irene.

By the end of March will have to be well fought even further to reach an agreement, possibly not only in Brussels. The measure is in any case must be viewed critically. In a study the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik come Markus Kaim and René Schulz to the conclusion that there was to enforce the rules for Libya arms embargo for the EU not simple, only requiring little effort and full promising options. They are associated with some considerable political, financial and military costs.

Hans Uwe Mergener