EU to support border management in Libya

31.01.2013 - 11:59

The Council of Europe today approved the crisis management concept for a new civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission to promote capacity building for border management in Libya.

As the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-president of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, stated: "A civilian mission to build Libyan capacities in border security and management is not only important for Libya, but for the entire region. The EU's plans have been discussed in detail with the Libyan authorities and their ownership is key for us."

In the beginning, European experts will support Libyan authorities in developing capacity for enhancing border security and later they will also assist in developing a sustainable Integrated Border Management concept and strategy, including necessary structures, according to the priorities agreed with the Libyan authorities. The initial mission is expected to last at least two years.

The implementation of this project will be gradually achieved through advising,

mentoring and training. The mission will take into consideration the different land, sea and air aspects regarding border management and the necessary

coordination required in order for the operation to be effective. The programme will also include additional aspects, such as management of migration flows, human rights and rule of law reform.

Training for all those involved in the mission is planned to start in Tripoli, but it could be extended to other locations, depending on the security situation and regional needs.

Since the popular up-rising in Libya in February 2011 and the attempts by the Gaddafi regime to supress the protests, the EU took a number of steps to respond to the escalation crisis with the purpose of supporting stability in the country in order to allow for the holding of peaceful and credible elections of a Constitutional Council. The EU is currently running a €30 million programme in Libya to address some of the most urgent needs.