Tripoli, 31 January 2013:
The Council of the European Union announced today, Thursday, that it is preparing to support Libya with border management.
A proposal to set up a new civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission in the country has been approved by Brussels. The help, from civilian security experts, will offer a broad range of non-military support for at least two years.
Working with the Libyan authorities, European experts will, in the short term, help the country to boost border security. In the longer term it will also assist Libya to develop a sustainable strategy of Integrated Border Management.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, vice-president of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, said: “The EU’s plans have been discussed in detail with the Libyan authorities and their ownership is key for us.”
She added: “A civilian mission to build Libyan capacities in border security and management is not only important for Libya, but for the entire region.”
The proposed EU mission will look at aspects of border management for land, sea and air. Managing migration and supporting human rights will be be part of the programme.
Support will include advice, training and mentoring. The training will initially be in Tripoli but, the EU said, this could be extended to other parts of the country, depending on the security situation and Libya’s needs.
After today’s announcement, planning and preparations for support can get underway. A separate legal act, however, is required to officially establish the mission.