World

EU foreign policy chief: anti-trafficking action in Med could be as soon as coming weeks

  • European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini smiles as she arrives for a meeting of EU defense ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini smiles as she arrives for a meeting of EU defense ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini talks with journalists as she arrives for a meeting of EU defense ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini talks with journalists as she arrives for a meeting of EU defense ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

  • NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, talks with European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini during a meeting with EU defense and foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. A European Union naval operation to go after the trafficking networks that send thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe could be launched in the coming weeks and NATO stands ready to help if needed, officials said Monday during a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, left, talks with European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini during a meeting with EU defense and foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels on Monday May 18, 2015. A European Union naval operation to go after the trafficking networks that send thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe could be launched in the coming weeks and NATO stands ready to help if needed, officials said Monday during a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union's foreign policy chief says that a naval operation to disrupt the trafficking networks that send thousands of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe could be launched in the coming weeks.

Federica Mogherini said on Monday she expected that a meeting of EU foreign and defense ministers would agree to establish the EU operation. Once it has done that, it would need to generate sufficient ships and other equipment and a specific military plan before action could be taken.

Under Monday's proposals, some parts of the plan could be enforced independently but a possible destruction of boats would need U.N. approval, officials said.