World

EU ships to venture further into the Med in response to migrant exodus from Libya

  • In this photo made available Thursday, April 23, 2015, an Italian Financial Police rescue unit approaches an inflatable dinghy crowded with migrants off the Libyan coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.  European Union leaders gathering for an extraordinary summit are facing calls from all sides to take emergency action to save lives in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of migrants are missing and feared drowned in recent days. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP Photo) ITALY OUT

    In this photo made available Thursday, April 23, 2015, an Italian Financial Police rescue unit approaches an inflatable dinghy crowded with migrants off the Libyan coast, in the Mediterranean Sea, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. European Union leaders gathering for an extraordinary summit are facing calls from all sides to take emergency action to save lives in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of migrants are missing and feared drowned in recent days. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP Photo) ITALY OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after an emergency EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels on Thursday, April 23, 2015. EU leaders on Thursday committed extra ships, planes and helicopters to save lives in the Mediterranean at an emergency summit convened after hundreds of migrants drowned in the space of a few days. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a media conference after an emergency EU summit at the EU Council building in Brussels on Thursday, April 23, 2015. EU leaders on Thursday committed extra ships, planes and helicopters to save lives in the Mediterranean at an emergency summit convened after hundreds of migrants drowned in the space of a few days. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.N. Special Envoy for Refugees and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, right, and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, left, brief the U.N. Security Council on Syria's refugee crisis, Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    U.N. Special Envoy for Refugees and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, right, and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, left, brief the U.N. Security Council on Syria's refugee crisis, Friday, April 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union's border agency Frontex is to send its ships further into the Mediterranean Sea in response to a deadly exodus of migrants leaving Libya.

EU migration spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said Friday that the area of operations "will have to be extended."

She said a new operational plan for Frontex's Triton mission will be agreed with Italian authorities and that this "will be ready in the coming days."

EU leaders on Thursday pledged to double the size of Triton and triple its budget but refused to allow it to do active search and rescue work.

Critics say Triton is ineffective in dealing with the migrant influx because its mandate restricts its tasks to 30 nautical miles from land and does not allow it to approach the Libyan coast.