The EU naval mission, "Operation Sophia" was launched to reduce people smuggling across the Mediterranean. DW accompanied a crew patrolling waters off Libya.
Rescue operations are "the obligation of all those who are at sea," says the EU's border control boss. In a DW interview, he describes the huge challenges the EU faces in a situation that means life or death every day.
Italy's envoy to the EU has said it is unsustainable for all migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean to land on his country's shores. Over 10,000 asylum-seekers have arrived in Italy over the last few days.
Overwhelmed by refugees, Italy has threatened to bar boats carrying migrants from its ports. EU interior ministers have agreed to develop a code of conduct for rescue ships. They are refusing to show any more solidarity.
Europe is divided over the refugee crisis and there is no unified approach in response, says Sebastian Bruns. According to the security expert, a joint naval aid unit could provide an opportunity.
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