With the situation becoming ever more pressing along the Central Mediterranean migration route, the EU has announced additional measure to support Libya to fight smugglers and enhance border control to reduce the number of people taking hazardous journeys to Europe.
Among other measures, the European Commission will:
- Further enhance the capacity of the Libyan authorities through a €46 million project prepared jointly with Italy;
- Support the establishment of a fully operational Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre in Libya;
- Launch and finance a new resettlement pledging exercise, notably from Libya, Egypt, Niger, Ethiopia and Sudan in conjunction with the UNHCR;
- Work with Libya to strengthen controls at the southern border, in cooperation with G5 Sahel countries and Member States with the backing of EU financial support;
- Step up work to secure readmission agreements (or equivalent informal arrangements) with countries of origin and transit, with the support of Member States;
- Engage further with Niger and Mali under the Partnership Framework to prevent movements towards Libya;
- Continue to work with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to accelerate Assisted Voluntary Returns from Libya and Niger to countries of origin, including by providing additional funding;
- Further to the €200 million mobilised in 2017 for the North Africa window of the EU-Africa Trust Fund, ensure equivalent funding for 2018 and beyond from the EU budget and Member States.
The EU is also calling on EU Member States to:
- Contribute much more substantially to the EU-Africa Trust Fund, to complement the €2.6 billion contribution from the EU’s limited budget, in line with their commitments dating back to November 2015;
- Help engage with Tunisia, Egypt and Algeria, alongside the Commission and the European External Action Service, to encourage them to join the Seahorse Mediterranean Network, and call on Tunisia, Libya and Egypt to declare their search and rescue areas and establish a formal Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre.