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José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following the International Conference on Libya

Press point

Paris, 1st September 2011

Je voudrais remercier le Président Sarkozy et le Premier ministre Cameron pour avoir pris l'initiative de tenir cette Conférence et leur leadership. L'Union Européenne, avec la communauté internationale et dans le cadre de l'ONU, est déterminée à soutenir la transition et la reconstruction économique en Lybie.

La Commission Européenne dispose d'un ensemble d'instruments et d'une large expérience en ce qui concerne le state building qui est à la disposition de la nouvelle Libye.

Nous avons distribué à l'instant un document présentant plus en détail les activités qui sont déjà en cours et qui peuvent être menées avec le soutien de l'Union Européenne.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The EU has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response in and around Libya. The Union is the biggest donor of aid – so far over €150 million have been spent (€80 million from the COM alone). The COM has also been "on the ground" from the very beginning with humanitarian and civil protection experts. And a humanitarian team is already in Tripoli since last weekend.

We provide Libyans with direct humanitarian assistance, following the principles of neutrality and impartiality.

In Tripoli and the West of the country the most pressing issue is to provide potable water and support to hospitals. We have set aside €10 million to respond to these needs.

We can and will also contribute regarding critical infrastructure, through back-up for transport, energy generators and water supply systems.

It is crucial that our humanitarian teams have access to the population by road, air and sea and we count on the support of the new Libyan authorities to facilitate this.

Beyond this vital humanitarian aid, we can offer swift assistance for capacity-building in key public sectors (policing and security, the judiciary, budget management); for the demobilisation and reintegration of combatants and for reconciliation and democratisation.

Beyond this immediate response, strong EU assistance will support the new Libyan authorities and respond to a locally driven state building process. This could cover national reconciliation and building strong, accountable public institutions. I already had the opportunity to discuss European support with Prime-Minister Jibril when he visited Brussels.

A priority for Libya will be developing an effective public service. For this, the EU is ready to mobilise technical assistance immediately, if requested by the NTC.

I welcome the early launching of a UN-led Joint Needs Assessment with advance teams to be deployed shortly. The EU stands ready to participate in these efforts.

Let me underline two essential points for the EU. First, the transition should be a Libyan led process, the EU is ready to adapt its support measures to Libyan needs and requests; second, the UN must lead the international community in providing assistance, under Libyan guidance.

For its part, the EU, through the High Representative-Vice President Cathy Ashton, will ensure co-ordination of support from the Union itself and from its Member States.

I congratulate the NTC and the Libyan people for their courage. The EU will stand by them on their way to freedom and democracy.

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