The EU should suspend funding for its program to stem migration from Libya because the program breaches EU budgetary laws and international human rights law, the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), the Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI) and the Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI) argued in a legal complaint filed today to the European Court of Auditors. The complaint argues that the European Commission provides financial support for projects that result in the return of people to Libya, where they face abuse, breaching its obligations not to contribute to serious human rights violations. The Court of Auditors, the body responsible for auditing the EU budget, should accordingly initiate a special review of the ‚Integrated Border Management programme‘ (IBM) run through the European Trust Fund for Africa that supports Libyan authorities, and recommend that the EU Commission suspend the programme pending necessary revisions as required in EU law.

One year after the resumption of the armed conflict in Tripoli, and at a time when the humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate due to further military escalation and the spreading of the Covid-19 virus, Amnesty International, the Italian Recreational and Cultural Association (ARCI), Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration (ASGI), Avocats Sans Frontières (ASF), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EuroMed Rights), the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), Oxfam International, Migreurop, and Saferworld are calling on EU institutions to stop any actions trapping people in a country where they are in constant, grave danger.

EU institutions should review and reform the bloc’s policies of cooperation with Libya on migration and border management and control. During the past three years, these have facilitated the containment of tens of thousands of women, men and children in a country where they have been exposed to appalling abuse.

The call coincides with the submission by GLAN, ASGI and ARCI of a complaint before the European Court of Auditors (ECA). In their complaint, the three organisations are requesting the body to launch an audit into EU’s cooperation with Libya. Such an audit would seek to determine whether the EU has breached its financial regulations, as well as its human rights obligations, in its support for Libyan border management.

Sara Prestianni
Legal Complaint against EU Financial Complicity in Illegal Push-Backs to Libya