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[Luxembourg 2005 Presidency of the Council of the European Union]
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Press Release
JHA Council adopts conclusions on the introduction of dialogue and cooperation with Libya on immigration issues

Date of release : 03-06-2005

Policy area : Justice and Home Affairs Justice and Home Affairs

Event : Justice and Home Affairs Council

Meeting in Luxembourg on 3 June 2005, the "Justice and Home Affairs" Council adopted conclusions on the introduction of dialogue and cooperation with Libya on immigration issues.

In November 2002, as part of its conclusions on increased cooperation regarding the management of migration flows with third party states, the "Justice and Home Affairs" Council considered it essential that Europe entered into cooperation with Libya on this subject.

On 14 April 2003, the Council signalled its agreement to send a panel of experts to Libya in order to commence talks to combat illegal immigration. In May 2003, the Commission set up an observation mission to determine whether Libya was prepared to cooperate on this subject. Keeping the results of this mission in mind, a technical mission was undertaken by Commission departments in November and December 2004, assisted by experts from Member States.

The Council meeting of 14 April 2005 took note of the report made by the Commission staff regarding this mission to Libya on illegal immigration. Based on this report, which put forward a number of ideas to enable the development of cooperation on illegal immigration with this country, the Luxembourg Presidency put forward a number of draft conclusions which were adopted by the Council.

At the end of the press conference, the Luxembourg Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Nicolas Schmit, declared on behalf of the Presidency:

"The Council has reached a consensus on the need to develop an integrated approach in the Mediterranean region. Libya is one of the main countries of transit towards Europe for thousands of people arriving from Sub-Saharan Africa. Cooperation and dialogue with this country is essential, and has particular significance in itself. The adoption of these conclusions is intended to clarify the different methods of this cooperation with Libya, based on a certain number of principles. It is essential that the European Union leads these third party countries of transit, including Libya, to respect certain basic principles – more particularly the principles enshrined in the Geneva Convention of 1951. By adopting these conclusions today, the Council has taken a significant decision to pursue and enter further into dialogue with Libya".

Nicolas Schmit underlined that these conclusions contain explicit references to the situation of Bulgarian and Palestinian nationals. He stated that this is a crucial element in EU relations with Libya.

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This page was last modified on : 03-06-2005

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