Plan to Stop Libya Migrant Influx Agreed with EU Leaders
A plan to reduce the influx of thousands of migrants making the perilous journey to Europe, across the Mediterranean from Libya every year, has been agreed at a European Union meeting in Malta.
As part of the agreement, Libya’s UN-backed government will receive €200m ($215m, £171m), including funding to reinforce its coast guard.
The EU hopes that this agreement will assist Libya with the disruption of people-smuggling networks as well as turn back migrant boats although human rights groups have raised concerns over the strategy as a result of the continuing instability currently experienced in Libya.
In declaring the Malta migration agreement, the 28 EU leaders said: “A key element of a sustainable migration policy is to ensure effective control of our external border and stem illegal flows into the EU.”
The plan includes the following:
- Increased training and equipment for the Libyan coastguard
- Stepped up efforts to block smuggling routes
- Better conditions for migrants at Libyan reception centres
- More EU involvement with countries near Libya to slow the influx
- Supporting local communities on migration routes and in coastal areas to improve their socio-economic situation
Following a similar deal with Turkey which came into force in March 2016, it remains to be seen how effective this agreement will be.