MEPs to debate humanitarian assistance in the Mediterranean 

NGOs’ operations in the Mediterranean and the diverging positions of member states will be up for debate in plenary on Wednesday with the Council and the Commission.

Despite a significant decline in the overall figures, migrants and asylum-seekers continue attempting to enter Europe via the Mediterranean. So far this year, 682 people have died or gone missing, according to the International organisation for Migration (IOM). The latest shipwreck took place on 3 July, when 83 people drowned off the coast of Tunisia, the second deadliest incident of this type in 2019.

Some days before, Carola Rackete, captain of the Sea Watch 3 vessel, was arrested in Italy after docking the ship in Lampedusa without the national authorities’ permission to disembark more than 40 people who had been rescued at sea. The Italian government has repeatedly declared the country’s ports closed to search and rescue boats.

Meanwhile in Libya, thousands of migrants held in detention centres are being exposed to fighting, particularly around the capital. Last week more than 60 people died in an airstrike against the Tajoura centre.

Debate: Wednesday, 17 July

Procedure: Council and Commission statements, without resolution