World

EU set to move on migrant-smuggler operation next week in effort to save lives at sea

  • The German Navy ship Hessen is moored at the Reggio Calabria harbor, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. Two German ships and a British vessel are already pitching in, after Italy appealed for help with the migrants, who arrive daily by the hundreds or by the thousands on overcrowded, unseaworthy fishing boats and dinghies setting sail from Libya, where the smugglers are based. (AP Photo/Adriana Sapone)

    The German Navy ship Hessen is moored at the Reggio Calabria harbor, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. Two German ships and a British vessel are already pitching in, after Italy appealed for help with the migrants, who arrive daily by the hundreds or by the thousands on overcrowded, unseaworthy fishing boats and dinghies setting sail from Libya, where the smugglers are based. (AP Photo/Adriana Sapone)  (The Associated Press)

  • A police officer watches migrants disembarking from the Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

    A police officer watches migrants disembarking from the Offshore Aid Station vessel ' Phoenix ' in the harbor of Augusta, Sicily, Southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)  (The Associated Press)

  • Migrants disembark from the German Navy ship Hessen, at the Reggio Calabria harbor, southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. Two German ships and a British vessel are already pitching in, after Italy appealed for help with the migrants, who arrive daily by the hundreds or by the thousands on overcrowded, unseaworthy fishing boats and dinghies setting sail from Libya, where the smugglers are based. (AP Photo/Adriana Sapone)

    Migrants disembark from the German Navy ship Hessen, at the Reggio Calabria harbor, southern Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2015. Ireland and France are the latest European Union nations answering Italy's pleas for help with the rescue of migrants' who are risking their lives on smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean. Two German ships and a British vessel are already pitching in, after Italy appealed for help with the migrants, who arrive daily by the hundreds or by the thousands on overcrowded, unseaworthy fishing boats and dinghies setting sail from Libya, where the smugglers are based. (AP Photo/Adriana Sapone)  (The Associated Press)

A senior EU official says the bloc is moving forward with plans to hunt down people-smugglers and destroy their boats, and hopes to launch detailed planning of the operation next week.

The EU is canvassing the U.N. Security Council to secure a resolution next week permitting aggressive action against the smugglers responsible for bringing thousands of migrants to Europe's shores.

The official said Tuesday that EU foreign ministers hope to have a resolution by Monday meeting "to ensure that we can have coercive action towards the smugglers and the traffickers."

The official has close knowledge of the operation planning process but is not permitted to speak publicly about it.

He said that Britain, France, Poland and Spain are likely to provide ships or planes, while Slovenia has also expressed interest.