26 Mar 2021

EU Council extends the mandate of Operation IRINI until 31 march 2023

The Council extended the mandate of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) military operation in the Mediterranean – EUNAVFOR MED IRINI – until 31 March 2023. The decision was taken in the wake of the Strategic Review of the operation carried out by the Political and Security Committee. In this context, the Council has defined more precisely the practical arrangements for the disposal of items seized by the operation when implementing the UN arms embargo on Libya.

EUNAVFOR MED IRINI (Greek for ‘peace’) was launched on 31 March 2020, shortly after the Berlin Conference on Libya in January 2020, as a concrete contribution on the part of the European Union to the process set up by the international community to support the return to peace and stability in Libya.
Operation IRINI’s core task is to contribute to the implementation of the UN arms embargo on Libya, established by the UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011), through the use of aerial, satellite and maritime assets. In particular the mission is mandated to carry out inspections of vessels on the high seas off the Libyan coast suspected to be carrying arms or related material to and from Libya in violation of the arms embargo on Libya. It does this in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2292 (2016) and subsequent UNSC resolutions. In addition, Operation IRINI monitors violations perpetrated via aerial and land routes. It shares the information collected with the United Nations.

As secondary tasks, EUNAVFOR MED IRINI also:
– monitors and gathers information on illicit exports from Libya of petroleum, crude oil and refined petroleum products;
– contributes to the capacity building and training of the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy;
– contributes to the disruption of the business model of human smuggling and trafficking networks through information gathering and patrolling by planes.
IRINI is led by Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini as EU Operation Commander, and its headquarters are located in Rome, Italy.