Skip to main content

Lords launch inquiry into EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling

8 July 2015

The House of Lords EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, chaired by Baroness Prashar, is conducting an inquiry into the European Union's Action Plan against migrant smuggling 2015-2020.

Areas of interest

The inquiry reflects the continuing global migration crisis, in response to which the EU and its Member States are seeking to establish both long and short-term solutions. It also takes place ahead of planned legislative reform, as the European Commission aims to review and reform EU legislation on migrant smuggling in 2016.

The aims of the inquiry are therefore:

  • to assess how the Action Plan against migrant smuggling contributes to the stated objectives of the EU's Agenda on Migration
  • to establish whether or not its four objectives and the actions contained therein are the right ones to achieve the EU's stated goal of rendering migrant smuggling a "high risk, low return" undertaking
  • to identify whether the Action Plan strikes the right balance between
    security considerations and the protection of migrants' human rights
  • to identify gaps and deficiencies in the current EU response to migrant smuggling in order to make recommendations for planned legislative reform.

The crisis in the Mediterranean

Commenting on the inquiry, Baroness Prashar, Chairman of the EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee, said:

"In the first half of 2015 over 1,700 migrants lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Whether people are escaping from war-torn countries, seeking asylum from persecution or simply wanting to build a better life, migrant smuggling is a huge problem. Migrant smugglers exploit desperate and vulnerable people, including pregnant women and children, and put their lives at risk.

"The European Commission has recognised that we must establish both long and short-term solutions to this problem.
"This inquiry, which is being launched ahead of planned legislative reform in 2016, provides an excellent opportunity to feed into the Action Plan against smuggling 2015-2020. I would therefore encourage anyone with knowledge or expertise in this area to submit evidence to the inquiry."


The Committee is keen to receive evidence from a wide range of witnesses and would encourage interested parties to submit their views by Friday 21 August 2015.

The Committee will hold oral evidence sessions for the inquiry throughout July 2015.

Futher information

 Image: iStockphoto