The EU is set to reinforce its naval presence in the Red Sea. The unanimity achieved in principle, following the withdrawal of objections from some countries, especially Spain, gives the green light to relevant authorities, such as the EU Military Committee, to proceed with deployment.

According to the current plan, the deployment of the new forces should take place no later than mid-February. However, there is considerable pressure for this to happen much sooner. Italy, through its diplomatic chief, Antonio Tajani, has indicated that the political decision should be made next Monday, when the EU Foreign Ministers’ council is scheduled to convene.

The objective is to maintain free passage through this vital maritime route, against the backdrop of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war and attacks on commercial ships by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Several European countries, including France, Italy, and Spain, had declined to participate in a multinational force led by the United States.

However, the situation prevailing in the region and the threat to the economic interests of the EU compelled them to take action. According to reports, this is part of the ongoing “Operation Agénor,” led by France and already involving several member states, including Greece.