The EU in Libya: A New Migration Policy for Long-term Stability

Hosted by Mr. Dietmar Köster MEP on 21 March 2018 at the European Parliament

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On March 21st 2018, the Brussels International Center organized an interactive dialogue at the European Parliament titled ‘The EU in Libya: A New Migration Policy for Long-term Stability”. The conference focused on the on-going crisis in Libya and the humanitarian costs for both transnational migration flows crossing the country on their way to Europe and the Libyan people as a whole. Additionally, the round table highlighted the ambiguous position of the European Union as it attempts to claim normative behaviour while simultaneously addressing its security concerns through its migration policy.

Keynote Speakers:

  • • Dr. Violetta Moreno-Lax, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Queen Mary University of London

  • • Ms. Bettina Rühl, African Affairs journalist for Germany’s public broadcaster ARD

  • • Mr. Ben Lowings, Political Analyst on North Africa and UN Affairs

  • • Moderated by Ambassador Marc Otte, BIC President and Belgian Special Envoy to Syria

 

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More photos below.

Event Summary and Outcomes:

Ben Lowings of the BIC opened the event while reaffirming the BIC’s recommendations that a resolution in Libya is only possible through negotiation between all relevant parties of Libya’s fragmentized political scene. In his introductory remarks, host of the event Mr. Köster MEP stressed the gravity of the Libyan situation by expressing that: “Humanity is in crisis” and that the EU member states should strive towards solidarity in challenges facing the migration crisis.

Ambassador Marc Otte, who moderated the event, addressed the different EU challenges and lacks of competences that hinder common actions. He also argued that the only real answer with regard to the Libyan Crisis is to reunite in solidarity and strive towards a common EU engagement in order to find a political solution to solve the conflict.

The first special guest, Dr. Violetta Moreno-Lax – Senior Lecturer in Law at the Queen Mary University of London presented her research on the Migration Policy Framework, scrutinizing its political and legal components as well as the shortcoming. Dr. Moreno-Lax also pointed out that there is too much focus on the protection of the European borders by prioritizing temporary measures that should “prevent illegal migration”. She urged the need for alternative, short-term solutions to the humanitarian crisis, as an immediate, life-saving response.

Ms. Bettina Rühl, African Affairs journalist for Germany’s public broadcaster ARD, mentioned that the Libyan internal state of affairs is possibly the main reason for people making their way towards Europe, stressing that for many of them the routes to Europe are inevitable, as there is no way back. The fragmentation of the Libyan political scene and the lack of political or economic institutions should naturally lead to a European response in addressing a political solution for Libya.

The Q&A brought together a variety of experts who engaged in a vivid discussion on the long term migration policy strategies and encouraged to speed up stakeholders incentives towards cooperation. Organizations represented include the IOM (International Organization for Migration), Sea Watch, KU Leuven, ASGI (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull’Immigrazione) and the Libyan Representation to the EU.

 

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