In late June, the European Union launched a military operation in the Southern Central Mediterranean (EUNAVFOR MED) directed against human traffickers who smuggle migrants from North Africa to Europe.
“We expect the second stage to be launched in October,” the source said.
He added that the issue will be discussed this week at the informal meetings of the EU foreign and defense ministers in Luxembourg.
On Thursday, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said that the operation commander of the EUNAVFOR Med mission had proposed progressing to the second stage of the operation.
The European Union has been struggling to cope with a migration crisis in the Mediterranean, as a record number — 340,000 — of undocumented migrants managed to illegally cross into the bloc in the first seven months of 2015, according to EU external border protection agency, Frontex, estimates.