Italy-Libya meeting, Pisapia’s alarm: “Economic aid but with respect for human rights”

Italy-Libya meeting, Pisapia’s alarm: “Economic aid but with respect for human rights”
Italy-Libya meeting, Pisapia’s alarm: “Economic aid but with respect for human rights”
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Giuliano Pisapia, a jurist and MEP who has always been committed to human rights, wants to see clearly about Libya. He was the rapporteur for the European Parliament of the dossier on the situation of Tripoli And Benghazi. “From what emerges from reading the newspapers, on the so-called Mattei plan I don’t think I see a complete strategy on the part of the Government. It seems to me that we are still in the stage of announcements and wishes. We must move from words to deeds, we are already seriously late, more than 10 years have passed since the fall of Gaddafi”.

And the civil war has been going on for ten years. Libya has a stentorian national unity government. Are there Italian and European responsibilities?
For too long, European leaders have almost ignored Libya and, more generally, the southern shore of the Mediterranean, also because they had and still have opposing interests. The EU enlargement process and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine have meant that European governments turned their gaze only to the east, giving little weight to what was happening in Africa.

So others easily crept in…
As always happens. European indifference was immediately grasped by other countries, such as Russia and Turkey, and also by some Gulf powers, which formed alliances that were profitable only for their own interests. The consequence is that the EU and its member states no longer have any political clout in those areas.

Do the Libyan concentration camps in which migrants are locked up in inhumane conditions still have to enjoy European support?
At European level, the Libyan authorities have been repeatedly asked to put an end to the arbitrary detention of migrants and to introduce alternatives to detention based on human rights.

So precise: let’s finance the Libyan Coast Guard, which shuttles from the sea to the detention centers.
Well, there are other types of funding or logistical support, including the controversial one for the Libyan Coast Guard. As the European Parliament we have repeatedly called for the EU to pay more attention to the use of its funds and ensure their subordination to respect for human rights and international law. In the report on Libya for which I was rapporteur, voted by a very large majority last October, the European Parliament was very clear: the EU must not finance and cooperate with Libyan actors who are responsible for serious violations of the rule of law and involvement in human trafficking.

Imprudent for the Italian authorities to meet Emad Trebelsi, responsible according to independent investigations for repeated human rights violations with his militias?
This is quite evident. I note the same imprudence that the Italian 007 had at the time when they met the Libyan men’s trafficker Bijia at Cara di Mineo, as reported by Avvenire. At the time, the conversation with the Libyan counterparts was aimed at studying the Mineo model. Here, I would be more cautious with the interlocutors you choose, you have to be careful.

How can the agreement with Libya on migrants be revised?
We have seen it in the past and we still see it today: the “Libya model” heralded in the past by the Berlusconi government, and unfortunately even later, has failed. Human traffickers have continued to operate and the landings have not reduced at all. Bringing it back today won’t change things. People leave their country in search of a better future and it is our duty to create safe and legal migration paths. However, we are well aware that flow management involves significant costs. I therefore believe it is right to help, logistically and financially, the countries that take charge of it, in Europe as elsewhere. But there is no doubt that any economic aid must be conditioned by respect for human rights. Finally, I recall that Libya, before the war, was a popular destination for many people looking for work. It is estimated that Libyan reconstruction would reduce unemployment in neighboring countries by up to 10%. Figures that demonstrate how necessary it is to commit ourselves so that peace and democracy take root in a country that has been tormented for too long.


And in concrete terms, what should Italy do?
A unified response from the EU is needed to have legitimacy on the part of the Libyan interlocutors; precisely because this would require an EU Permanent Representative for Libya. Instead, it would be important for Italy and the EU to do more to support the Libyan authorities in the creation of a modern state with solid institutions and an independent judicial system. In the absolute absence of the rule of law, it is unfortunately obvious that militias and traffickers will continue to operate with total impunity, constantly violating human rights.

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In Baku, Minister Crosetto is said to have also offered military assistance. But doesn’t Azerbaijan have an ongoing conflict with Armenia?
Providing military technology or equipment to a country at war is very serious, as it contributes to aggravating the conflict. Already 15 years ago the European Council presented a common position defining rules for the control of exports of military technology and equipment. One of the criteria identified for granting licenses of this type is respect for human rights and international humanitarian law. It is clear that rights are constantly being violated in Nagorno-Karabakh. The humanitarian situation is also extremely worrying following the blockade of the China corridor. The Italian government must act with great caution and in full compliance with national and international law.

Ph.D. in Political doctrines, he began writing for Il Riformista in 2003. He writes about current affairs and politics with interviews and surveys.

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Aldo Torchiaro

The article is in Italian

Tags: ItalyLibya meeting Pisapias alarm Economic aid respect human rights

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