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Migrants, weapons and oil: Europe and Libya after the sanctions

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Abstract

Long shunned by Western countries for its support of terrorist activities, Libya has, over recent years, become an increasingly important partner of European countries in a number of key policy fields. This article examines the rapprochement between Europe and Libya in three areas that have been of particular interest to European Union (EU) countries: immigration control, military cooperation, and collaboration in the energy field. In all of these important policy domains, there has been a significant rise in cooperation between European countries and Libya over recent years. While there has been some debate and criticism within the EU regarding the acceptability of collaborating with the former outlaw state, given its poor human rights record, such criticism has been largely confined to the military (and nuclear) field, whereas the deepening collaboration with Libya in the area of immigration control seems largely acceptable to EU countries. As Libya is playing an increasingly crucial role in several areas that are amongst the EU's main security (and commercial) interests in the Mediterranean region, there has generally been little, if any, willingness on the part of European countries to raise human rights issues in their relationships with Libya.

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... Cahiers de la Méditerranée, 89 | 2014 17 Ideationally, the emphasis on international security as an outcome of regime stability in the region further undermined an already weakened notion of democratic normative order for the region. It indirectly validated the continuing division between democratic and non-democratic regimes -roughly between the north and the south of the Mediterranean region-by prioritizing a convergence of security policies over a convergence of models of governance. ...
... 16 19 Institutionally, the new international and regional security paradigm strengthened the capabilities of authoritarian institutions (including those of the police and armed forces through increased sales of weaponry) in order to improve the security and surveillance capabilities of those regimes on the southern shores of the Mediterranean which were allies in the 'War on Terror' -including unlikely candidates such as Gaddafi's Libya. 17 The desire to bolster the capabilities and stability of such authoritarian regimes contributed to a partial blindness to their internal weaknesses and to the possibilities of change in the region. 18 The 2010s 20 The unannounced Tunisian democratic revolution that kick-started the Arab uprisings set in motion a wave of regime change on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. ...
... Moving beyond the specificities of the Israeli case, our discussion so far has shown that migration and border controls represent the issues which lend MENA states the most leverage over the Europeans, as a growing body of literature has highlighted (Cassarino 2007;Durac and Cavatorta 2009;Lutterbeck 2009;Del Sarto 2010;Paoletti 2011;Hollis 2013;El Qadim 2014). Here the bargaining power of MENA states, particularly those in North Africa, has only strengthened in recent decades. ...
Book
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... 99 Subsidiary commercial interests -Libya is an oil-rich countrywhich played a part in the prior normalization of relations with Libya have become of secondary importance at a time when political and military power is deeply fragmented. 100 For years nowlong before Mediterranean migration routes became a regular feature of media and political discoursethe EU, and in particular Italy, has been cooperating with Libya on migrant returns and border surveillance, often in violation of international conventions. 101 Similarly, discussions exploring the possibility of extraterritorial processing of asylum claims in Libya which have recently resurfaced were already being conducted ten years ago. ...
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Negotiations on a framework cooperation agreement are ongoing between the EU and Libya. Since the country's reintegration into the international community, both parts have taken significant steps towards normalization and enhancement of mutual political and economic relations. In reviewing the EU 'policy of engagement' with Libya, this contribution points out what it appears the major challenge confronting EU policy-makers currently dealing with Tripoli: how to balance EU growing material interests with its own aspirations to be a global 'normative power'. For the Union, Libya has unquestionably become one of the most rated prospective partners in Mediterranean Africa -with particular regard to such issues as trade, energy and countering irregular immigration. However, the country still is a plain one-man dictatorship with an extremely poor record on human rights and democratic standards. As a result, the EU is under great pressure to make at least some human rights improvements a firm pre-condition for striking the deal. At the same time, the Union also faces the serious risk of reaching a deadlock at the bargaining table, should it stick still to its principles. The paper seeks to prompt reflection upon different scenarios in which the situation might result and possible implications on how to regard the EU as a foreign policy actor on the international scene.
... Italy has especially co-operated with Libya in areas like establishing detention centers and providing military equipments. 36 Another example, Egypt has developed in the last few years to be a transit country to Africans seeking to illegally migrate to Israel. It is reported that between 2006-2008 more Needless to say, the extent to which these scholarly modes of co-operation will have a political impact depends on the ability of research communities in different countries to develop policy-oriented research and links with policy circles without compromising their autonomy vis-à-vis these circles. ...
... Oil, arguably, consolidated the hand of the government or foreign-backed opponent to end the conflict through amnesties, power sharing, or military victory. The "turnaround" of Libya-a major sponsor of armed opposition movements in the past three decades-was also welcomed, notably by western governments (Lutterbeck 2009). Renewed forms of authoritarianism and human rights abuses, however, mark these transitions to "peace" (Gamandzori 2009;Martinez 2007;Peclard 2008). ...
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Over recent years, there has been growing concern in European countries with irregular migration and other – supposedly related – transnational challenges from across the Mediterranean, which have come to be seen both as a security risk as well as a humanitarian challenge. In response, European countries have been stepping up their efforts to police their Mediterranean borders. This has involved both an increasing militarization of migration control in the Mediterranean, in the sense of the deployment of semi-military and military forces and hardware in the prevention of migration by sea, and an intensification of law enforcement co-operation between the countries north and south of the Mediterranean. This article discusses the evolution of these policing activities in and across the Mediterranean, as well as some of its perverse side effects, such as the growing involvement of human smugglers, and the diversion of the migratory flows towards other, usually further and more dangerous, routes across the Mediterranean sea.
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Three factors combined to force the Libyan regime to reinvent itself: the international embargo, the Islamist challenge and the prospect of a preventative war. During the period of the embargo (1992–2003), the regime felt a sense of vulnerability that encourage it to initiate some reforms. The period of Islamist violence (1995–98) and, even more, the rapid collapse of the Iraqi regime eroded the confidence of the Jamahiriyya in its ability to survive in a changing international order. Yet, overcoming the three challenges that faced it, the Libyan regime not only managed to survive but it also used to its advantage the two events that shaped this new international order: the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war. By manoeuvring shrewdly, Mouamar Qadhafi was able to include Libya among the states waging a ‘global war against terror’ and to present his country as a Mediterranean eldorado comparing favourably against the illusions of an Iraqi oil wealth. This reinvention of the Libyan regime was accompanied by a new political rhetoric attuned to the standards of the international community and stressing transparency, the fight against corruption and democracy.
Article
Representations of the 'Other' are invariably associated with European or Western perceptions of Islam, Muslims and the Orient. However, as this article argues, the world of Islam was never monolithic and Muslims held widely differing views of each other. Even among 'fellow' North Africans, such as Egyptians and Maghribis, collective regional or local identities developed and furnished the material for self-identification built upon perceived differences among the 'others'. In discussing the religio-cultural bases for these differences, the author examines Malikism, Maghribi Islam as practised in the Mashriq, including Sufism, as well as varying ideas regarding urbanity and cosmopolitanism. He concludes with an analysis of how the Moroccan state and its representatives often sought legitimacy in the Mashriq despite the fact that the Sharifian Empire was a rival of the Ottomans and that Moroccan ulema often saw the Mashriqis as lax in the practice of their religion.
La Libia acquista un Atr 42 Mp
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Qadhdhafi's world design: Libyan Foreign Policy
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