Turkey-style deal for Libya to stop migration to Europe 'not feasible'

Press quote (The National)
13 May 2021

Luigi Scazzieri, an expert on EU foreign policy at the Centre for European Reform, told The National a Turkey-style deal was out of the question because it would involve housing migrants in Libya. “The way the deal with Turkey works is that migrants and refugees who arrive in Greece and did not qualify for asylum were returned to Turkey,” he said.

“This wouldn’t be feasible with Libya – it was difficult enough with Turkey, but in the end it proved just about possible – but in the case of Libya it just wouldn’t be considered a safe country to return people to.

“So that element of the deal, which was a very big part of the deal, wouldn’t be possible.”

Mr Scazzieri said another part of the proposal, financial support from the EU to Libya, would not be anything new.

Brussels was already involved in training Libyan coastguards and Italy co-operates with Libyan authorities on migration, he said.