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Policy Recommendation 

Political and Security Implications of Migration in Libya

Migration is not a new phenomenon for Libya; situated at the gateway between two continents, and bordered by six other nations, Libya has long been a transit point into Europe for African migrants. Migration has also long conditioned relations between Libya and its European neighbours; for example, Muammar Gaddafi orchestrated a series of agreements with the EU, promising to curb migration across the Mediterranean in exchange for handsome compensation. These agreements culminated in the 2008 ‘Friendship Treaty’ with Italy, earning Gaddafi USD 5 billion over 25 years. The political and security implications of migration have not abated since the fall of Gaddafi. Rather, the main difference between pre-2011 and post-2011 has been the ‘existence of a clear, albeit unpalatable, interlocutor’.1 Indeed, the main challenge for the EU in curbing illegal immigration has, in recent years, been the lack of a single entity with which to negotiate and partner.

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