The Human Cost of EU Migration Policy in Libya(Freedom United,July30,2019)

This dark reality of European migration policy exposes tension between the EU’s ambitions as a normative power and its perceived self-interest in reducing migration at any cost. This includes making partnerships with authoritarian regimes or fractured, war-torn countries to stop would-be migrants and refugees from reaching Europe. Because Libya has no regular security sector, militias have become European partners on migration policy. As such, migrant detention centres, many financially supported by the EU Trust Fund for Africa, are merely makeshift prisons appended onto existing militia bases. This means migrants are trapped among arms caches and armouries, now in the midst of a warzone. Indeed, the Tajoura detention centre is one such camp, adjacent to the barracks of the pro-government militia and their weapons workshop. Survivors of the 3 July attack claim that the local militia forced them to work in the armoury. The ECFR notes that some politicians have argued that  hardline migration policies are a success; the number of migrants and refugees reaching Europe’s shores have decreased. But the rate of deaths(many of them are children)   has increased: “one death for every 38 arrivals in 2017 to one for every 14 arrivals in 2018, to one for every three arrivals in the first four months of 2019.” Secondly, the EU is not a “military power,” writes ECFR.“Its role on the international stage is driven by aspirations to be a soft power, promoting democratic reform and human rights. Yet EU migration deals with dubious partners are indelibly tainting such symbolic capital and its future potential to support peace and stability.”