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EU: €46 million to support migration management in Libya

J.J. Patrick photo
J.J. PatrickEurope / Africa
EU: €46 million to support migration management in Libya
EU Fund for Africa adopts €46 million programme to integrate border management in Libya

Following up on the Commission's Action Plan to support Italy (4th July 2017), the EU Trust Fund for Africa has adopted a programme worth €46 million to reinforce the integrated migration and border management capacities of the Libyan authorities.

The new actions respond to the measures proposed under the Action plan to address the migratory flows along the Central Mediterranean Route.

The programme is aimed at stepping up activities in support of the Libyan Border- and Coast Guards, to enhance their capacity to effectively manage the country's borders.

The action will be implemented by the Italian Ministry of Interior and is being co-financed by Italy.

¨aimed at stepping up activities in support of the Libyan Border- and Coast Guards, to enhance their capacity to effectively manage the country's borders¨

High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "Security and stability in Libya are key for the Libyans, the region and Europe, and they come also by better managing the borders and strengthening the resilience of the population. While we keep working to a political solution to the political crisis in the country, that brings peace and reconciliation, we also continue to support the communities and the Libyan authorities, also in their capacity to address the migration flows, rescue migrants, making sure that human rights are respected, and fight against the smuggling networks. This new programme is part of our comprehensive approach: increased border management will go hand in hand with the work we are doing on the sustainable socioeconomic development of local communities, as well as protection, assisted voluntary returns and reintegration of migrants."

Support is going towards training, equipment (rubber boats, communication equipment, lifesaving equipment), and repair and maintenance of the existing fleet.

The activities will strengthen the authorities' capacities in maritime surveillance and rescuing at sea; set up of basic facilities in order to provide the Libyan coast guards with initial capacity to better organise their control operations. Equipped with the necessary tools to coordinate maritime operations, the operational rooms of the coast guards will be located in the same premises in order to facilitate the necessary co-operation and monitoring between the different Libyan services involved in border surveillance and control.

Staff will also conduct feasibility studies for two fully-fledged control facilities in Tripoli. This will involve the full design of an Inter-agency National Coordination Centre under the control of the Ministry of Interior and a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre under the control of the Ministry of Defence, and assistance to the authorities in defining and declaring a Libyan Search and Rescue Region with adequate Standard Operation Procedures.

¨The European Commission, through the EU Trust Fund for Africa is undertaking rapid and concrete measures to reduce migratory pressure along the Central Mediterranean Route¨

The project will strengthen the operational capacity of the Libyan border guards along the southern borders most affected by illegal crossings. This activity will focus on the border area around the capital of the Ghat District in the Fezzan region of south-western Libya through enhanced capacity-building. Based on the outcome of a comprehensive assessment, this pilot activity will aim to set up or restore the border area surveillance facilities. The financing of the facilities will be linked to the access of humanitarian actors for protection of migrants in the region and the opening of 'safe spaces'.

According to the EU, utmost attention will be given to monitoring and coordination.

Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: "The European Commission, through the EU Trust Fund for Africa is undertaking rapid and concrete measures to reduce migratory pressure along the Central Mediterranean Route. With this new package we have mobilised already €136 million to better manage migration in Libya and our work continues. The European Union, working hand-in-hand with its Member States will keep on supporting the Libyan authorities for the sake of the people in Libya, for the stabilisation of the country and of the region, which is part of our Neighbourhood."

This programme complements the €90 million package adopted in April 2017 to reinforce the protection and resilience of migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya.

A particular focus is on improving the conditions for migrants and fostering the respect of human rights, improving the conditions in reception centres and working towards alternatives to detention. Overall, €136 million have been committed to Libya under the Trust Fund since January 2017.

¨A particular focus is on improving the conditions for migrants and fostering the respect of human rights, improving the conditions in reception centres and working towards alternatives to detention¨

To address the situation along the Central Mediterranean Route, the European Union has put in place a comprehensive set of measures in line with the Joint Communication on the Central Mediterranean Route, 'Managing flows, Saving Lives' (25th January 2017) and the Malta Declaration (3rd February 2017). €200 million for 2017 were pledged to the North of Africa window of the EU Trust Fund for Africa with a priority to be given to Libya.

The European Council meeting on the 22-23rd of June 2017 called for further action highlighting, among other concerns, that "training and equipping the Libyan Coast Guard is a key component of the EU approach and should be speeded up" and underlining the need to reinforce cooperation in order to stem the migratory pressure on Libya's land borders.

With the Action Plan from 4th July 2017, the Commission followed up on this call, identifying specific actions each involved party and state could and should take to implement these initial commitments.

The adoption of the programme is a concrete step from both Italy and the Commission to take collaborative work with Libya forward.

President Juncker referred to this funding plan in his letter to the Prime Minister of Italy, Gentiloni, on 25th July 2017.

#EU, #Libya, #Migration

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