Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Migrants Libya 2018

Migrants in Libya (UN Refugees and Migrants, 2016).

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.

Libya needs a government backed by a broad national consensus, said MEPs on Wednesday, adding that Libyans should decide the future form of their state.

In their recommendation on Libya, passed by 486 votes to 150, with 44 abstentions, MEPs call on the EU Council, Commission and External Action Service to:

  • intensify their diplomatic effort to support the UN Action Plan for Libya – currently the only viable framework for a solution to the crisis,
  • back the holding of elections in Libya by the end of 2018 and only once a new constitution is adopted,
  • reflect on the crisis in Libya in a wider, regional and pan-African context, bearing in mind that Libya is key to the stability of North Africa, the Sahel, and the Mediterranean,
  • support the ongoing process of a National Conference inside Libya aimed at achieving an agreement between the different Libyan parties on the next steps to complete the transition,
  • ensure that Libyans drive the stabilisation process and decide about the future form of their state,
  • encourage the Libyan Coast Guard to put in place a clear and transparent register of all persons disembarked on Libya’s shores and ensure they are properly taken care of in accordance with international humanitarian standards,
  • see that the EU funds are effectively deployed in projects that help the Libyan population and civil society, and
  • focus the EU’s efforts on protecting migrants in Libya.

Disrupt the smugglers’ business model

The protection of migrants and refugees in Libya and their conditions in detention centres should be improved and the Libyan authorities should close facilities that are not in line with international standards as soon as possible, MEPs recommend. They also ask the EU Council, Commission and External Action Service to step up international efforts to dismantle migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks and continue and intensify the work of EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia to disrupt the business model of traffickers and smugglers.

During an official delegation of the European Parliament to Libya on 20-23 May 2018 – the first since 2012 – MEPs confirmed “the European Parliament stands ready to support the national dialogue amongst Libyans”.

Quote

Parliament’s rapporteur Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT) said: “With this report, we did not confine ourselves to providing a realistic picture of the situation in Libya, but we wanted to set out the path that we should be following to try to get out of the current crisis. It is necessary to frame the process of reconstruction of Libya within a broader regional strategy to tackle many problems such as the disarmament of the militia, immigration and violations of human rights”.

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