Migreurop takes the position that Libya’s recent decision to expel the UNHCR is a negotiating tactic that will be used to leverage more money and concessions from the European Union in the context of the ongoing EU-Libya partnership negotiations and poses the important question: What Price Will Europe Pay if Gaddafi Again Authorises UNHCR’s Return to Libya? The UNHCR’s presence in Libya has played an essential role in Europe’s immigration policy, specifically Europe’s migration management and border outsourcing:
“Thanks to UNHCR’s presence in Tripoli, Europe and Italy, which concluded its agreement with Libya in August 2008, were able to claim that the boat people who were forcibly returned to Libya could find a minimal level of security and protection. Everyone knows full well that this was a smokescreen: the conditions under which migrants are treated in Libya are well documented and well known to European authorities and institutions.”
“The presence of the UNHCR in Libya justified the policy of externalisation and deportation carried out by the EU. … Libya has now raised the stakes and the UNHCR is an accomplice in the sordid negotiations: UNHCR’s return is already planned.…”
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