On Wednesday, the European Commission announced proposals for preventing refugees from travelling to the EU from Libya. Under the proposals, EU resources would be deployed to prevent sea crossings from Libya to the EU and to manage Libya’s borders (1).
Commenting on the proposal, Green migration spokesperson Jean Lambert said:
“We are deeply concerned to see the Commission again prioritising keeping people in need of protection outside the EU’s borders. If the Commission really wants to save lives, they should focus on establishing legal and safe routes to the EU for those in need of protection and ensuring the humane treatment of asylum seekers in the EU.
“These plans amount to an externalisation of the EU’s responsibilities to protect refugees to countries such as Libya and Niger, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria. Even with the recent increase in arrivals, the EU still hosts only a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees. Proposals like this only serve to fuel the false narrative that Europe is being swamped with refugees, making it much harder to convince our citizens that the EU can play a meaningful role in addressing the current problems.”
Green migration spokesperson Judith Sargentini added:
“We already know that detained refugees and migrants in Libya have been subjected to torture, forced labour, and sexual violence, and other horrific human rights violations (2). Given what we know of the conditions in Libya, Europe cannot with good conscience pursue such a deal.
“It is frustrating that another deal with a third country is being pursued without giving the European Parliament its right to democratic oversight, as was also the case with the deals with Turkey, Afghanistan and Mali.”