The Council of the EU adopts conclusions on migrant smuggling

The Council conclusions on migrant smuggling were adopted by the Council at its 3455th meeting held on 10-11 March 2016

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Facing an unprecedented crisis, the Council of the European Union adopted today conclusions on migrant smuggling.

The Member States, the European Commission and the relevant EU agencies are encouraged to take steps to counter migrant smuggling. The conclusions stress the need to improve the collection, sharing and analysis of data and knowledge on migrant smuggling in order to develop more effective and coordinated evidence-based policies.

The conclusions invite Member States to enhance cooperation with Europol through the exchange of reliable and updated information on the smuggling of migrants and through active cooperation with the European Migrant Smuggling Center (EMSC).

The Commission is invited to support the Member States in the establishment of a network of single contact points to foster operational cooperation on migrant smuggling in order to ensure a single entry point and to facilitate cross-border cooperation and exchange of complete and accurate information between member States, and ensure that Member States strengthen their inter-service coordination at national level.

Several factors explain the urgent need to adopt this text. The number of migrants who crossed EU borders in 2015 was 1.8 million (an increase of 546% compared to 2014). In 2015, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that over 3770 migrants lost their lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

For further information, please visit the newsrelease on the website of the Council of the European Union.