EU Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi was in Libya on 28 May together with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo. It was the first official visit of an EU Commissioner to the new Libyan Government of National Unity formed earlier this year.
During their mission, they met with Prime Minister Dbeiba, Foreign Minister Mangoush and Minister of Interior Mazen. The visit was an opportunity to confirm the reengagement of the EU with the Libyan authorities, illustrated by the recent reopening of the EU Delegation in Tripoli, and to discuss overall cooperation including on the economic recovery and migration management.
Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi stated: “From our side, we are ready to engage with you [the Libyan government] each and every day, we are ready to work with you for Libya that is safe, free, prosperous and secure. This is why we came with our partners, Italy and Malta, two member states closest geographically to Libya, and we are showing with this that we care for Libya and that we are ready to work with you, together.”
The EU is the largest provider of assistance in Libya, with a package of around €700 million for the 2014-2020 period, in fields such as human development, good governance, entrepreneurship, youth empowerment, human rights, COVID-19 response or migration management. Most of the EU’s support for Libya, €455 million, comes from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
Remarks by Commissioner Várhelyi during the joint visit to Libya with Italian and Maltese Foreign Ministers