A stronger NATO means a stronger Europe. Sea Guardian and Operation Sophia together

After NATO Defence Ministers decisions in February 2016, Allies have swiftly made international efforts in terms of maritime to stem the flow of irregular migration in the Aegean Sea concerning the refugees and migrants crisis. The NATO mission, approved in record time, arises from the agreement between Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Davutoglu, announced during her visit in Ankara, and after the consent of the Greek Alexis Tsipras. NATO is contributing to international efforts to stem illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea, through intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the Aegean Sea. To this end, NATO is cooperating with the European Union’s border management agency Frontex, in full compliance with international law and the law of the sea. Since then the cooperation between the European Union and NATO has increasingly intensified, both in the field of the common security defense and migration. On 8 and 9 July, during the NATO Summit in Warsaw, the Atlantic Council expressed the intention to cooperate with the EU in the Central Mediterranean. After the month of February, the Aegean routes are monitored, and the central axis linking Libya to southern Europe has become the new route for migrants. On 26 and 27 October, following the meeting of NATO Ministers of Defense, NATO intervention in the central Mediterranean in support of the European Operation Sophia was decided. Firstly, this article will provide an explanation of NATO approach and its ability to adapt itself in facing new challenges. Secondly, it will introduce the situation in the central Mediterranean, by underlining the increase of migration flows and consequently, of victims. Finally, it will explain the implications of the EU-NATO joint mission in the fight against the smuggling of migrants, and thus the additional effects of this cooperation that is spreading more and more between South and Middle East. (suite…)

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