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European Commission - Press release

EU helps to further stabilise Libya through support for education, administration and civil society

Brussels, 15 December 2011 – The European Commission has today adopted an assistance package for Libya to support the stabilisation and transition process of the country. The programme will strengthen civil society and public administration by providing training for experts and expertise through twinning with EU and Arab partners. It will also improve education in the country by supporting teacher training and reviewing the way that textbooks deal with issues of gender or minority discrimination, for example.

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission, said: "When I visited Tripoli in November, the Libyan authorities and the civil society representatives I have met all expressed their gratitude to the EU for our support during the crisis. We are now here to help the new Libya develop its institutions and the civil society which will build a deep democracy respectful of the rights of everyone. Public administration, education, and resources for the civil society – in particular youth and women – will be crucial factors in defining the way ahead."

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Štefan Füle, commented: "From the start of the Libyan crisis, the EU has stood by the people of Libya in their quest for freedom. Today's decision helps pave the way towards a more open and inclusive society for Libyans, with a public administration that responds to their needs. We are initiating a stronger partnership, both with civil society and with the new authorities, in sectors which are crucial for democratic transition."

The programme, which amounts to a total of €10 million, responds to a request by the Libyan authorities and comprises three areas of intervention:

The EU will fund a public administration capacity building facility which will help to modernise, stabilise and improve public administration in Libya. The activities will include tailor-made training courses, providing high level expertise on legal, administrative and financial matters, institutional assessments and studies, as well as setting up exchange and twinning with counterparts from EU and/or Arab countries;

An education programme will help to ensure that all children receive quality pre-school and basic education in a child-friendly environment, with a focus on the most vulnerable children. The activities will include, teacher training and the development of teaching material on child/human rights, assessment and review of textbooks regarding gender/minorities discrimination. The programme will also strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Education in policy formulation; for example, by supporting training, mentoring and study visits of ministry staff.

The civil society programme will support the emergence of an inclusive and sustainable civil society and local governance which will help to act as a catalyst for stabilisation and transition reform in Libya. The activities will include the establishment of civil society resource centres, capacity building for civil society organisations (for example,. through training in advocacy and fundraising), support to local authorities and civil society on joint local development plans and the establishment of exchanges between Libyan and European/regional civil society organisations.

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Facts and figures on EU-Libya relations

Since the beginning of the Libyan crisis, the EU has provided more than €156 million in humanitarian support and mobilised EU civil protection teams and assets to help civilians both in Libya and at its borders.

In addition, the European Commission is making just under €30 million available to support the immediate stabilisation priorities of the National Transitional Council (NTC), including the new €10 million special measure mentioned above. A further €50 million will be available for longer-term support programmes based on needs assessments to be carried out.

As agreed at the international conference in Paris on 2 September 2011, the EU is preparing to launch such assessments in communication, civil society, and border management, and has already deployed experts in those fields. It will also launch assessments on security, and procurement.

Following the setting up of a Liaison Office in Benghazi (21 May) designed to co-ordinate Member State activities and provide immediate support to the National Transitional Council and civil society, a new EU office was opened in Tripoli shortly after the city was liberated. The Tripoli office has since been upgraded and is now the Delegation of the EU to Libya.

On the programme:

The approved assistance package is worth €10 million and is financed by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). The funds will be allocated to the three components of the programme as follows:

€3.1 million for support to civil society

€4.5 million for the public administration capacity-building facility

€2.4 million to support the education sector

The proposed actions are in line with the two Joint Communications of the European Commission and of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy from 2011 "A new response to a changing Neighbourhood"1 and "A partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean"2 by focusing on:

Democratic transition and institution building (with the public administration component);

A stronger partnership with the people (with the civil society component);

A sustainable and inclusive growth and economic development (with the education component).

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For more info:

EU-Libya relations:

On the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP):

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

1 :

COM(2011)303 of 25 May 2011.

2 :

COM(2011)200 of 8 March 2011.

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