The European Commission has today adopted an assistance package for Libya to support the stabilisation and transition process of the country. The programme will strengthen civil society and public administration by providing training for experts and expertise through twinning with EU and Arab partners. It will also improve education in the country by supporting teacher training and reviewing the way that textbooks deal with issues of gender or minority discrimination, for example.
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, said: "When I visited Tripoli in November, the Libyan authorities and the civil society representatives I have met all expressed their gratitude to the EU for our support during the crisis. We are now here to help the new Libya develop its institutions and the civil society which will build a deep democracy respectful of the rights of everyone. Public administration, education, and resources for the civil society – in particular youth and women – will be crucial factors in defining the way ahead."
EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, commented: "From the start of the Libyan crisis, the EU has stood by the people of Libya in their quest for freedom. Today's decision helps pave the way towards a more open and inclusive society for Libyans, with a public administration that responds to their needs. We are initiating a stronger partnership, both with civil society and with the new authorities, in sectors which are crucial for democratic transition."
The programme, which amounts to a total of €10 million, responds to a request by the Libyan authorities and comprises three areas of intervention:
The EU will fund a public administration capacity building facility which will help to modernise, stabilise and improve public administration in Libya. The activities will include tailor-made training courses, providing high level expertise on legal, administrative and financial matters, institutional assessments and studies, as well as setting up exchange and twinning with counterparts from EU and/or Arab countries;
An education programme will help to ensure that all children receive quality pre-school and basic education in a child-friendly environment, with a focus on the most vulnerable children. The activities will include, teacher training and the development of teaching material on child/human rights, assessment and review of textbooks regarding gender/minorities discrimination. The programme will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Education in policy formulation; for example, by supporting training, mentoring and study visits of ministry staff.
The civil society programme will support the emergence of an inclusive and sustainable civil society and local governance which will help to act as a catalyst for stabilisation and transition reform in Libya. The activities will include the establishment of civil society resource centres, capacity building for civil society organisations (for example,. through training in advocacy and fundraising), support to local authorities and civil society on joint local development plans and the establishment of exchanges between Libyan and European/regional civil society organisations.