The EU and traditions of the sea

Member-state navies rescued more than 4,000 people in two days, but it wasn’t really the plan.

European Commission Photo
European Commission officials Dimitris Avramopoulos and Natasha Bertaud announce earlier this year a stepped-up EU mission to help Italy with migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Gwynne Dyer
Published: Wednesday, 06/03/2015 12:00 am EDT

Late last year, the governments of the European Union, having refused to share the cost of a very successful operation called Mare Nostrum in which the Italian Navy rescued tens of thousands of refugees from sinking boats in the Mediterranean, replaced it with a much smaller operation called Operation Triton. Its purpose (though they didn’t put it exactly that way) was not to rescue the refugees, because then they ended up in the European Union.

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