Less than the sum of its parts: Europe’s fixation with Libyan border security

A focus on countering irregular migration could impede the creation of a strong Libyan security sector.

Europe views the drop in migration from Libya to Europe as a success. The EU and member states have buttressed Libya’s border security by training and equipping formal forces, working with hybrid security forces, and making deals with armed groups. But these efforts impede the emergence of a functioning, civilian Libyan security sector and threaten stability. This is a problem for Europe. Migration will wax and wane, and its political salience will shift, but Libya remains on Europe’s doorstep.

About the author

Matt Herbert is a specialist in migration, cross-border informal activity and border management. He is a Partner and Director at Maharbal and a senior migration consultant with ISS. He received his PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Picture: CSDP EEAS/Flickr

Development partners
This policy brief was funded by the Government of the Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the following members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the USA
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