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European Think Tanks Contact Group on Libya. Towards a new common European narrative on Libya

2021 - 2022

The emergence of a National Unity Government (GNU) led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh in mid-March 2021 had initially given rise to cautious optimism for the Libyan transition. Yet, many challenges persist and this optimism quickly dissipated amidst rising tensions in the economic, political and security domains. Libya remains fragmented among a multiplicity of local actors and exposed to significant external interferences. Grappling with the need to rebuild its infrastructure and revamp the economy, Libya’s dire socio-economic and political situation has been further exacerbated by the pandemic. Institutionally, the country has become an arena of power competition, corruption and chaos in the context of the now postponed electoral process.

Against this backdrop, the one-year project established a Contact Group among leading European think tanks working on Libya with the objective of forging common understandings and narratives on the Libyan transition, focussing on three crucial dossiers: the democratic transition (and notably, women’s inclusion), migration and socio-economic issues. Project outputs were subsequently disseminated via policy advocacy, research publications and interactions with key EU representatives and member states, seeking to promote a new common and proactive European approach to the Libyan transition.

The project is co-led by the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in cooperation with the Rome-office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

Funding: Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo

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