Member states reluctant to make further Triton commitments

Rescued migrants on an Italian naval vessel. [Noborder Network/Flickr]

EURACTIV has obtained the list of EU countries pledging to strengthen joint naval operations in the Mediterranean, put together during yesterday’s (23 April) extraordinary summit.

According to the list, twelve member states, specifically Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Spain, Slovenia, Romania, Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Malta, Slovakia and the Netherlands made no commitments to contribute to the maritime force.

It appears that some countries desisted from making contributions, because they consider their current efforts to be suffcient, while other member states believe that they should receive aid to deal with illegal migration, rather than providing assistance using their own resources.

Responding to the disparity in participating countries, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte commented yesterday, “The Netherlands is already doing a lot. The question is what other countries are going to do.”

For his part, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said: “Our situation is more difficult than Italy’s. If the others will be complaining, I will complain too.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron added: “Today I’m offering the Royal Navy flagship, three helicopters and two border control ships. But we need the right conditions. This includes that people are taken to the nearest safe country, probably Italy.”

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