Mos Maiorum

Downloadable version: Mos Maiorum

Joint Operations Mos Maiorum ‘The Way of the Elders”

Subject: Operation Mos Maiorum implemented from 13th to 26th October 2014

Mos Maiorum is a Joint Police Operation launched by the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU. It’s aim is to “apprehend irregular migrants and gather relevant information for intelligence and investigative purposes”. The coordinating authority is the Italian Ministry of Interior.

Nature: data collection on irregular migrants, “intra-Schengen” and “police cooperation” not within the mandate of Frontex

Document(s) of reference:

Council of the European Union Joint Operations “Mos Maiorum” 

Council of the European Union Guide for Joint Police Operation (JPO) doc. 16825/10 ENFOPOL 343 JAI 995 COSI 76

Scope of Operation: Participating countries are all Member States and Schengen Associated Countries (SAS), 25 MS. Area of focus on main transport hubs; railways stations, motorways, roads and airports

Implicated bodies: Coordinated by the Central Directorate for Immigration and Border Police of the Italian Ministry of Interior with full support from Frontex in the area of risk analysis (statistics and data analysis of migratory flows at the external borders of the EU), EUROPOL,

Future projections: Final report presented to Working Party on Frontiers 11 December 2014 and to Strategic committee on immigration, frontiers and asylum SCIFA on 12 December 2014. Operational results sent to MS before 11 December 2014

Legal Basis:

  • According to Article 9 B (6) of the Treaty of Lisbon the President of the European Council (6) “shall present a report to the European Parliament after each of the meetings of the European Council”.  Did they do this concerning Operation Mos Maiorum?

  • According to Article 71 (ex Article 36 TEU) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. The standing committee set up by the Council “in order to ensure…operation cooperation on internal security” should keep the European Parliament informed of the proceeding.

  • According to Chapter 5 on Police Cooperation, in particular Article 87 of the TFEU (3.) “The Council…may establish measures concerning operational cooperation between [police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services]” but the Council should only act unanimously “after consulting the European Parliament”. Although ***** The specific procedure provided for in the second and third subparagraphs shall not apply to acts which constitute a development of the Schengen acquis.

    • Can this ‘strictly intergovernmental’ operation really be justified without a solid legal basis?

Main events: Similar activities at Community level and conducted by previous presidencies of the Council include Operation AERODROMOS, HERMES, BALDER, MITRAS, DEMETER, APHRODITE, PERKUNAS etc.

Costs: No estimation of costs

Contacts: Italian Ministry of Interior, Contacts for Justice and Home Affairs Council

Questions raised:

  • Regarding the lack of transparency of the Operation, are the general public aware of these types of JOs ?

  • There has been little/no communication with the European Parliament concerning the Joint Operation.

    Clair Rodier 


2014 Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

What is “Mos Maiorum” joint operation? (15.10.2014)


Frontex’s Participation in Mos Maiorum (10.10.2014)

Statewatch: Summary of some of the Web, media (13.10.14) coverage

Statewatch: On Monday 13 October, the EU’s latest migrant hunt begins (06.10.2014)

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