Operation EUNAVFORMED Irini and Frontex to expand cooperation

January 20, 2021
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On 15 January, Operation EUNAVFORMED Irini and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, signed a working arrangement via VTC, due to Covid-19 restrictions. The virtual ceremony was held by Admiral Fabio Agostini, Operation Irini Commander, and Mr Fabrice Leggeri, Frontex Executive Director, and attended by Director-General for Migration and Home Affair, Monique Pariat.

Through this arrangement, the two organizations will support each other with a primary focus on cross-border crime and in developing situational awareness in any possible manner, including by a coordinated use of satellite images. The cooperation represents an important tool in particular for the exchange of information regarding merchant vessels suspected to violate the arms embargo on Libya, helping to collect the necessary reasonable grounds required to conduct Maritime Interdiction Operations and inspections on board suspect vessels. Operation IRINI and FRONTEX will also be able to coordinate their mutual capacity building efforts with a view of promoting European integrated border management standards. This aspect could become increasingly important also in the context of the training of the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard.

Operation Irini (named after the Greek goddess for “peace”) was planned in a very short timeframe and launched on 31 March 2020, following a decision by the Council of the European Union. The main task is the implementation of the arms embargo on Libya under the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The Operation also has secondary tasks including monitoring illegal oil trafficking from Libya, contributing to countering human trafficking and smuggling activities (through air monitoring) and contributing to the training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy.


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Press release

EUNAVFOR MED IRINI – website and Facebook page

Countries covered:

  • Egypt
  • Libya
  • Tunisia
Human Rights