To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the proposed EU Libya migration deal; his further views on the conditions in Libya and its ability to provide a secure and safe haven for refugees; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
Since mid-2015, the EU has responded to the migration crisis by adopting a range of measures, including engaging with countries of origin and transit to address the root causes of migration. The focus of recent months has been migration on the Central Mediterranean route, with Libya representing the main country of departure.
Most recently, this was the subject of discussions at the informal European Council held in Malta on 3 February 2016 and at the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 February, where comprehensive conclusions were adopted. At the informal European Council meeting a Declaration was issued outlining the EU’s commitment to assist Libya, including through capacity building. The Declaration indicates that priority will be given to supporting the Libyan national coast guard; enhancing operational action on the route; supporting the development of local communities in Libya; ensuring adequate reception capacities and conditions for migrants; supporting IOM in stepping up assisted voluntary return activities; and enhancing information campaigns and outreach addressed at migrants in Libya and other countries of origin and transit. Priority will also be given to reducing pressure on Libya’s land border, including through enhanced border management capacity; monitoring of alternative routes and possible diversion of smugglers’ activities; supporting initiatives by Member States directly engaged with Libya; and deepening dialogue and cooperation with neighbouring countries.
At the Foreign Affairs Council on 6 February the EU committed to doing its utmost to assist the stabilisation process in Libya, we re-affirmed the EU’s commitment to an inclusive political settlement under the framework of the Libyan Political Agreement and we re-affirmed the EU’s support to the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Martin Kobler. The EU is currently implementing a cooperation package worth 120 million euro, focussed on civil society, governance, health, youth and education, migration, security and mediation. The EU has also increased its humanitarian aid worth 10.8 million euro in 2016.