Germany pulls back its military contribution to the EU-Mediterranean mission “Sophia”. Previously the Federal government had decided internally that the German participation in the project to combat the smuggling in the direction of Europe for the time being, no longer makes sense. Because the EU Nations had not been able to agree on the goal of the Mission.

Therefore, to return the to date in the Mediterranean sea used frigate “Augsburg” in Germany and not, as planned, through the use of group-catering “Berlin” will be replaced. On Tuesday afternoon, inspector General Eberhard Zorn informed the Chairpersons of the competent Bundestag committees on the surprising decision.

the Background is already over the years, a simmering dispute over the admission of refugees, are rescued by the EU vessels at sea to the Mediterranean sea. Italy rejects for months strictly, rescued refugees and is insisting on a European distribution mechanism.

The Mission of the “Sophia,” of the 25 States participate in 2015 due to the dramatic increase in the number of deadly Smuggling of the Mediterranean had been started. In addition to the rescue of the shipwrecked, however, the war should vessels, especially information about the smuggling networks to collect, transport and destroy ships in order to disrupt as a result, the business of the Criminal.

From the point of view of the Federal government has not met this goal in the past few months. Since the participating Nations could not agree on a distribution key, the “Augsburg” and so far away from the Libyan coast, that you will not collect information about the smugglers is still a reasonable location, was able to create the image. Therefore, the Mission had been futile, it was said in Berlin.

the drastic step Berlin wants to increase the pressure, that within the EU there is an agreement to a reasonable timetable for the Mission, “Sophia”. To March further talks to be held in the early summer of the Bundestag mandate must be for a participation of the Bundeswehr extended.

Come to a reasonable compromise, it is said in Berlin that Germany could get out from the Mission of “Sophia”. The use of group-catering “Berlin” takes until then to Nato Exercises. This is currently more important than just meaningless in the Mediterranean sea, it said on Tuesday evening in government circles.


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.