Plan to Stop Libya Migrant Influx Agreed with EU Leaders

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.

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