This evening, the EU heads of state and government will meet in Malta to discuss the "external dimension of migration". The spotlight will be put on the Central Mediterranean route and, particularly, on Libya. The aim is to step up cooperation with the Libyan authorities in order to implement immediate measures to "stem migratory flows, break the business model of smugglers and save lives".
However, if viable ways out of Libya’s current political stalemate are not found, an effective cooperation will prove difficult to achieve. Since 2014, political power in Libya has been split between two rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk. Fayez al–Serraj’s UN–backed Government of National Accord is rapidly losing ground, while the growing power of general Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army is hindering the country’s political transition. Moreover, a number of local and external actors struggling for power and hegemony make the situation even more difficult.
Such impasse signals the pressing need to rethink the country’s political transition in a more inclusive way. Which role should Europe and other international and regional actors play in this crisis? And which priorities should be set?