The Council of European Union has approved the crisis management concept for a possible new civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission to support capacity building for border management in Libya.
European experts are primarily to support Libyan authorities in developing capacity for enhancing border security in the short term. Secondly they will assist in developing a sustainable Integrated Border Management concept and strategy, including necessary structures, in line with the priorities agreed with the Libyan authorities.
This will be achieved in a gradually expanding and phased approach, through advising, mentoring and training. As conditions allow, the EU mission will progressively address the different land, sea and air aspects of border management, as well as the necessary coordination required by an integrated approach for decision making and effective operational conduct. Management of migration flows, human rights and links to the wider rule of law reform would also be part of the programme.
The EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-president of the Commission, Catherine Ashton (pictured), said:
"A civilian mission to build Libyan capacities in border security and management is not only important for Libya, but for the entire region. The EU's plans have been discussed in detail with the Libyan authorities and their ownership is key for us."
The initial mission mandate would last at least two years. Training is planned to start in Tripoli, but it could be extended to other locations, depending on the security situation and the needs of the Libyans.
Today's decision definitely initiates operational planning and other preparations. A separate legal act is required to establish the mission.