Published On: Thu, Jan 26th, 2017

EU spends $214 million to fight human trafficking, refugees out of Libya

Doubts over plan

Marco Funk is an analyst at the European Policy Center. He doubts the EU plan will work.

“It is hard to see how EU support for a weak and unpopular central government could improve conditions for migrants. It could even make things worse, as counter-smuggling activities could effectively amount to an EU-financed crackdown against the ethnic groups running them, thus undermining political stability,” Funk said.

“However, EU engagement could still be effective if it focuses on stabilizing Libya’s political situation by helping the Libyan authorities build trust between ethnic groups,” he added.

The EU said the plan could only work if economic development and peace and stability are improved in Africa; but, the EU also stated that it is not trying to replicate its Turkey deal with Libya. Ten months ago, the EU and Turkey agreed to a plan that provides Turkey with billions of dollars in exchange for preventing migrants and refugees from entering EU territory.

The EU is also trying to implement pacts with five African countries. Ethiopia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali would be offered aid intended to boost economic development, create jobs and provide other aid to reduce migrant flows.

The Malta gathering on February 3 will need to convince European heads of state to invest more money to match the more than $214 million, which will be made available from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

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