The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) contributes to finding solutions during a discussion of the EUCommittee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) on 6 May, 2015 (15.00-17.00)

The meeting will be part of the EU’s search for solutions to address the dire situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration.

Brig. Ret’d Xuereb will address the European committee for Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and exchange views along with Zoe Konstantopoulou, Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament, Admiral Filippo Maria Foffi, Commander in chief of the Italian Navy and Professor Philippe De Bruycker, MPC/EUI, coordinator Odysseus network.

Following a EU plenary session last 29 April, Parliament called for a robust and permanent humanitarian European rescue operation, which, like Mare Nostrum, would operate on the high seas and to which all member states would contribute financially and with equipment and assets. MOAS is an apolitical Search and Rescue NGO established in 2014, that works closely with all governments, maritime rescue, political stakeholders and rescue assets to reduce the loss of life in the Mediterranean.

The committee will exchange opinions and expertise on how to put in practice Article 80 TFEU which states ‘solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility, including search and rescue obligations’.

“We are pleased the LIBE committee recognize the value of MOAS as a key actor in mitigating the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean sea” said director Martin Xuereb. “The EP is listening to MOAS because it is aware that saving lives should be on the top of everyone’s agenda”.

LIBE is a standing committee of the European Parliament that is responsible for protecting civil liberties and human rights, including those of minorities, as listed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

MOAS redeployed its own rescue operation on May 2nd after saving some 3,000 lives in 60 days last year. In this year’s operation it has partnered up with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) which will take care of the post-rescue care of migrants taken on board.

On Sunday 3 May, MOAS and MSF carried out their first rescue less than 24 hours after leaving the Maltese harbour, managing to save 369 people and assist to rescue an additional 104 people.

MOAS is a non-governmental organisation which rescued some 3,000 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea during a 60-day mission in 2014. MSF and MOAS are currently operating the M.Y. Phoenix, a search and rescue vessel, with a medical team onboard who provide emergency health care to those in need.

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: MOAS director Brig. Ret’d. Martin Xuereb is available for comment and analysis on the need for a professional search and rescue service in the Mediterranean

The LIBE meeting will be broadcasted live on the European Parliament Committees website at this link

For more information please contact:

Christian Peregin, [email protected] or +356 79 24 11 87
Maria Teresa Sette [email protected] +356 79849591