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Human smuggling incidents in the Mediterranean 

MEPs will debate the recent smuggling of migrants in cargo ships from Turkey to Italy and other incidents in the Mediterranean with Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos on Tuesday afternoon. The European Parliament called on EU member states to take action against human trafficking and smuggling, both into and across the EU, in a resolution voted on 17 December.

Human smuggling networks "pose a serious risk to the lives of migrants and a challenge for the EU", MEPs said in the resolution, reiterating that EU countries should lay down strong criminal sanctions against smuggling and calling for an analysis of how home affairs funds are spent, including on action to fight it.

MEPs also proposed wide-ranging information campaigns to raise awareness of the kinds of risks faced by those who put their lives into the hands of smugglers and stressed the need to examine the overall strategy on cooperation with third countries.

Council and Commission statements

Debate: Tuesday, 13 January