Other available languages: none
Brussels, 20 March 2013
ENP Package – Libya
Since the Revolution in 2011, Libya has made significant progress on the path of democratic transition as witnessed, among others, by the first ever free elections in July 2012. Important challenges however remain, with security being the most pressing concern. The EU is a key partner supporting Libya in the transition process through a comprehensive programme focusing on support to public administration, migration, civil society, social services and security. The EU will seek re-launching negotiations for a comprehensive agreement with Libya normalising relations in a mutually beneficial legal framework.
No Country Progress Report is prepared for Libya since no ENP Action plan is in force.
Political situation and latest developments in EU relationship with the Country
After the events in 2011, Libya made in 2012 the first steps on the path of the democratic transition process. After 42 years of dictatorial rule, an institutional, mental, legal and societal reset was required, a process that is still ongoing and will require sustained international support.
The EU has accompanied this process from the very first moment. The EU's aim in Libya is to support the transition to a democratic, stable and prosperous Libya. More specifically this involves promoting “deep and sustainable democracy”, based on strong, transparent and accountable institutions and a vibrant civil society. In the area of stability and security it involves addressing the root causes of conflict and promoting the integration of Libya within the region and the world at large. In this regard support for the diversification of the economy and the creation of employment and trade opportunities will be critical. The EU will seek an agreement with Libya (drawing on the Association Agreements concluded with neighbouring countries) in order to formalise and normalise our relations in a mutually beneficial legal framework.
In terms of democratic transition, the elections of 7 July 2012 were no doubt the highlight of the year when the Libyans went to vote for the first time in more than four decades to elect their constituent assembly. The EU Election Assessment Team (EU EAT), deployed in the country to cover this historic elections, concluded that the electoral process had been efficiently administered, pluralistic and overall peaceful.
Following the elections Mohamed Yousef el-Magarief was elected President of the General National Congress (parliament) of Libya in August 2012. In this role, he is Libya's de facto head of state. The General National Congress rejected the government line-up as proposed by the Prime Minister elect Abushagur after which Ali Zeidan was elected as the new Prime Minister in November. The swearing in of ministers took until end January as all had to undergo a vetting process by the Integrity Committee. As a result of these delays, policy making on essential dossiers was delayed including the drafting process of the Constitution.
Over the current year, the new government’s key challenges will be security, consolidating the rule of law, kick-starting the constitution-drafting process, ensure full respect of human rights and national reconciliation.
Security is the main challenge, as security problems include opportunistic kidnappings, revenge killings, provocation attacks and bombings, inter-communal fighting and a sharp increase of common crime. The government started to address these concerns by e.g. declaring the south of the country a closed military zone and formally shutting the southern borders. A demobilisation and integration process of militias is being implemented, albeit with serious difficulties.
The relations between Libya and the EU are very positive. In 2012 the first EU Head of Delegation arrived in Tripoli, together with permanent staff for all core functions, including the coordination of EU and member state support to the country.
The EU is actively supporting the authorities in a wide range of areas. Regarding security, and in conjunction with the actions listed below under cooperation, the EU is preparing the deployment of a civilian CSDP border management mission to Libya.
The EU will continue the discussions aiming at Libya’s full participation in regional cooperation. In January 2013 Libya announced its decision to join the Union for the Mediterranean as observer.
During 2012 several human rights violations have been cause of concern. Despite the governments public commitment to bring detention centers under central control, limited progress has been achieved. Continuing reports of torture, illegal detention and executions against migrants, particularly against those of Sub Saharan origin, have been issued by civil society and International organisations. (Amnesty International, International Federation for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch). According to the Libyan Humanitarian Agency there are approximately 72,000 Internally Displaced People (IDP) throughout the country. UNHCR has reported cases of mistreatment against IDPs.
Death penalty is still formally in force in the State of Libya although it has not been applied since the collapse of the former regime.
The cooperation of the Libyan authorities with the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the cases of Saif al-Islam and Abdullah al-Senussi, both subject to an arrest warrant issued by the ICC following the adoption of UNSCR 1970, still constitutes an issue.
There was some progress made in the reactivation of the judicial system. While most judges and prosecutors have reported back to duty, in most parts of the country, court sessions are not held on a regular basis.
Despite an increase of women political participation in Libya during 2012 (33 seats have being awarded to women at the General National Congress following the July elections) discrimination and violence against them remains a challenge.
Economic and social issues
The conflict in 2011 led to a sharp economic decline in Libya. The temporary disruption in oil production (that accounts for more than 70% of GDP) generated a 60% contraction of the economy. However, the economic shock has been largely reversed. The oil production has recovered faster than expected and by the end of 2012 it had reached pre-revolution levels.
With the security situation featuring so prominently on the agenda, thus far little attention was paid to the diversification of the economy and job creation. These are however important and enormous challenges as the Libyan economy is for over 90% dependent on oil and gas and youth employment is at dangerously high levels.
Health and education services are slowly recovering, providing basic services in most areas in the country. Enhancing the quality of these services and ensuring their inclusiveness are among the challenges.
Corruption was always a major concern in Libya under the previous regime (Libya ranked 146 out of 178 on the Transparency International Index in 2010). The Libyan authorities have indicated their commitment to enhancing transparency in all sectors.
The World Bank and the IMF carried out an assessment of Public Finance Management in 2012. An article IV mission took place in early 2013.
The EU is the main trading partner with Libya accounting for 70% of its total trade which amounted to approximately EUR 35.5 billion in 2010 and this is not expected to change after the events in 2011.
The regulatory framework existing in the oil/gas sector remains rather opaque and was in the past often surrounded by accusations of corruption. Trade in non-hydrocarbon related goods is limited but offers interesting growth potential.
Some EU member states have outstanding claims for goods or services delivered under the old regime. The EU hopes to see those claims addressed by the Libyan authorities.
The investment rules in Libya do no provide for 100% ownership by foreign companies. There is considerable unease about these provisions with EUMS companies.
Over the last year the EU delivered on its commitment to support the Libyan people in their transition towards democracy. In a first phase, the EU launched immediate actions to address urgent needs and to support the stabilisation priorities of the authorities. This was followed by a comprehensive package of projects with a longer-term perspective. The EU's total programme in Libya now stands at € 79 million focussing on public administration, security, democratic transition, civil society, health, vocational training and education. This is in addition to €80.5 million disbursed to provide humanitarian assistance during the conflict phase in 2011.
(1) Security. This is clearly a key issue, affecting the lives of Libyan citizens and impacting on economic development. The main EU programmes in this sector include:
i. Security Sector Reform and Rule of Law programme (€ 10 million).
ii. Support for "Capacity building for crisis response and crime investigations" (€4.3 million).
iii. Supporting the Libyan authorities on physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) of conventional weapons and ammunition (€ 5 million).
iv. Clearance of unexploded ordnances to create a safe and secure environment (€ 5 million).
(2) Economic recovery will be promoted by better Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). A TVET programme (€ 6.5 million) will improve the quality of the training on offer as well as their relevance to the demands of the labour market. In addition, reintegration of unemployed could help support integration of former fighters.
(3) Health, the EU has always considered the health sector in Libya as a priority for future assistance. Additional EU assistance in this area (€ 8.5 million programme) will address both immediate service delivery and quality improvement of the sector.
(4) Public Administration and Democratic transition: support to the National General Congress and to the drafting of the Constitution.
(5) Migration: The EU is implementing five programmes, bilateral and regional, which started pre-revolution for a total of € 19 million to support the government in dealing with migration flows and assistance to the migrants (e.g. voluntary repatriation). An additional programme (€10 million) started end of 2011 to stabilise at-risk communities and enhance migration management.
(6) Protection of vulnerable groups (€ 4 million) by developing effective protection systems for vulnerable groups, including minorities and migrants, and strengthening the capacity of national and local authorities and non-state actors to meet their particular needs.
In 2013, additional support (€25 million) will be made available, focusing on economic development and trade, migration, protection of vulnerable people.
The EU will also continue its support to civil society (€3 million).
Civil Society: role and EU support
Independent civil society organisations were not allowed to play a role under the old regime. This has now drastically changed; the new Libyan Authorities consider civil society as an important element of the democratic transition process and actively promote civil society actors. Libyan civil society actors eagerly used this opportunity to get organised and participate in the transition process.
The EU has embarked on a significant and comprehensive series of programmes supporting both the development of the institutional dimension of the civil society sector and the capacity building of civil society organisations. This includes creating a conducive environment for the sector and promoting policy dialogue with national and local authorities. "Civil Initiatives Libya" has set up four training centres (Benghazi, Tripoli, Misrata and Sabha) to provide essential resources (meeting rooms, IT equipment, etc), information and most of all a central meeting point where civil society can share ideas. Over 1200 participants (40% women) have attended training courses in these centres.
To promote partnerships between Libyan and European NGO's, the EU organised a 2 day EU-Libya civil society forum in Tripoli and in Benghazi in May 2012. This forum also provided information on how Libyan organisation can benefit from EU support.
The "European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights" has funded activities in the areas of democratisation, women's rights, media training, support to torture victims, national reconciliation and capacity-building related to the elections.
The EU is the largest provider of support to Libyan civil society with interventions across most parts of the country.
EU–Libya – BACKGROUND
FACTS AND FIGURES
October 2007: Council decision to start the process of negotiating a Framework Agreement with Libya. November 2008: launch of negotiations.
June 2010: Signing of Memorandum of Understanding for providing EUR 60 million of financial assistance to Libya for the 2011-2013.
26 February 2011: the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1970 (2011) imposing travel bans, asset freezes on Gaddafi and members of his close entourage.
17 March 2011: the UN Security Council adopted the Resolution 1973 (2011) which authorised the use of force against Libyan forces loyal to Col Gaddafi, in order to protect Libyan civilians.
19 March 2011: Coalition intervention for the implementation of the UNSCR 1973. NATO took over the whole military operation in Libya on 30 March 2011.
21 -24 August 2011: Liberation of Tripoli, opening of EU office in Tripoli
23 October 2011: Day of Liberation.
7 July 2012: Constituent Assembly elections.
9 August 2012: Transfer of power from the National Transitional Council to the Libyan General National Congress (GNC) and dissolution of the former. Appointment of Mohamed Yousef el-Magarief as President of the GNC and Libya’s de facto head of state.
November 2012: Government takes office with Ali Zeidan as Prime Minister
Current GDP: US$ 77.7 billion (2012, IMF estimates) o. w. about 70% from hydrocarbons
GDP per capita: US$ 11.800 (2012, IMF estimates)
Total exports: US$ 46.1 billion, o. w. hydrocarbon US$ 44.6 billion (2012, IMF estimate)
Total imports: US$ 29.9 billion (2012, IMF estimate)
Unemployment: 21% (2009) public sector employs over 1 million people, 50% of work force
More info at: