in collaboration with ECFR and KAS
Despite the progress made since the October 2020 ceasefire agreement, in Libya authorities face a myriad of challenges as they try to knit a war-torn country back together and make the final preparations for the approaching elections scheduled in late December, this year. However, as the effects of persistent domestic political feuds, economic distress, and outright foreign interference continue unabated and remain dangerously intertwined, the risk of renewed hostilities and the elections being cancelled is far from remote. In this complex scenario, and despite some notable progress, the EU has found itself in a delicate and arduous position to advance a coherent strategy and shape Libyan dynamics, due to both divergent visions among its members and a fast-growing influence acquired by other actors such as Russia and Turkey, which have not hesitated to deploy, overtly and covertly, troops and proxies to consolidate their interests. But if the past is prologue, the military instrument and armed deterrence are hardly a good recipe for sustainable peace and stability. This is the reason why the EU, thanks to its long-time and polyvalent experience in peacebuilding and post-conflict stabilisation, has much more to say in Libya than it has done so far, provided that Europeans can speak with one voice and offer innovative policy options. The need for a stronger EU engagement in Libya is even more pressing considering both the U.S. disengagement and the growing geopolitical nexus between the country and its African hinterland, especially the Deep Sahel, where increasing insecurity and political unrest, together with climate-driven humanitarian catastrophes, are undermining the region’s stability and fuelling dangerous spillovers in the broader Mediterranean.