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Thursday, 15 June 2006 - StrasbourgOJ edition

Question no 77 by Simon Busuttil (H-0443/06 )  
 Subject: EU-Libya relations

When an ad hoc EP delegation visited Tripoli in December 2005 to investigate the question of immigration, one of the items up for discussion with the Libyan authorities was the Action Plan proposed by the Commission last year and to which Libya was expected to react.

Can the Commission inform the House whether there have been any developments to date? Have the Libyan authorities reacted and what was the outcome of this proposed Action Plan?


(EN) On 21 and 22 May 2006, the Vice-President of the Commission in charge of Justice, Freedom and Security travelled to Libya and met with Colonel Khaddafi and a number of Government officials.

On that occasion, Libya has indicated that, although it is strongly committed to developing its relations with the EU, it is not ready to join the Barcelona process. As the proposed Action Plan was to a large extent premised on Libya's membership of the Barcelona process, and on the financial assistance that would have been made available to Libya, as a result, it is clear that it will not be feasible in the absence of such membership.

Although, for the time being, there is no legal framework for cooperation with Libya, the Commission is currently looking into the issue of how to further develop operational cooperation with that country, especially with regard to the fight against irregular migration flows. In particular, the Commission is considering initiatives designed to foster exchanges of experience and capacity building that can be launched within the scope of the limited funds which have been made available for cooperation with Libya. It goes without saying that such initiatives, that should be the result of a dialogue with Libya, will need to be closely coordinated with the support that is being made available to that country by a number of Member States.

The Commission has in particular proposed to send an experts mission, also including representatives of FRONTEX(1) and interested Member States, to Libya's Southern border with a view to examining how Libya could be supported in its efforts to control that border and prevent loss of life in the desert. Libya has welcomed this proposal and a date for that mission is expected to be agreed soon.

The Commission will continue its effort to deepen the dialogue on migration and related issues with Libya and is confident that more ambitious and structured cooperation can be developed over the medium-term.


(1) European Agency for the Management of operational cooperation at the external borders of EU Member States.

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