The EU and Libya - Strange bedfellows on Human Rights?

Assessing current EU-Libya negotiations.

Co-hosted by MEP Dr. Franziska Brantner, Coordinator of the Greens/EFA-Group in the Foreign Affairs Committee

MEP Hélène Flautre, Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and Substitute in the Foreign Affairs Committee

Negotiations between the EU and Libya on a Framework Agreement have been ongoing since November 2008, including on matters of migration policy. On October 5th 2010, the European Commission signed a "cooperation agenda" with Libya on migration which includes allocating 50 million Euro for projects purportedly aimed at improving Libyan treatment of refugees and the upgrade of its border surveillance systems. Up to now, the Commission has not provided adequate information on the ongoing negotiations to the European Parliament. In particular the negotiation mandate for the framework agreement has not been disclosed to the Parliament. This is not in conformity with the Commission's commitment of 27th January 2010 to keep Parliament fully and immediately informed at every stage of negotiations on international agreements, in line with Article 218 TFEU.

This lack of information and transparency is particularly worrying in light of the human rights record of Libya, the treatment of migrants under the Rome- Tripoli accords, and Libya's June closure of the local office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. At the same time that Libya has demanded substantial financial assistance from the EU in exchange for "migration control", it continues to refuse to sign the Geneva Convention on Relating to the Status of Refugees.


This hearing will bring together a panel of experts from the EU institutions, EU member states and civil society. It aims to assess the ongoing EU-Libya negotiations with a particular focus on the rights of the Parliament to full information and scrutiny and the human rights dimension of the negotiations.

- Programme -

1) Welcome address 13:00 - 13:05
Hélène Flautre MEP

2) Input speech: 13:05 - 13:20
The situation of immigrants in Libya and the role of the EU
Gerry Simson, Senior Researcher Refugee Program, Human Rights Watch Brussels Office

3) Panel debate followed by discussion: 13:20 - 14:50
EU- Libya cooperation and the negotiations for a new agreement: What risks, what to gain?
Chair Dr. Franziska Brantner MEP

- Bernard Brunet, Deputy Head of Unit for Maghreb, responsible for Libya, DG RELEX, European Commission
- Olivier Quinaux, Libya Desk, Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (tbc)
- Judith Kumin, Director Bureau for Europe, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Anneliese Baldaccini, Executive Officer Asylum & Immigration, Amnesty International EU Office


4) Concluding Remarks 14:50 -15:00
Dr. Franziska Brantner, MEP

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