EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM)


EUBAM Libya: EU and Libya working together for stronger border management

17/12/2018 - 10:07
News stories

The EU's Border Assistance Mission in Libya supports local authorities in developing border management and security capacities and is showing concrete results. For example, training on recognition of forged documents has already been provided to over 150 local officers and has resulted in the discovery of a chain of forged Schengen visas by Libyan authorities, according to local testimony.


First launched in 2013, the EU's Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM Libya) is a civilian crisis management mission with a capacity-building mandate. It supports the Libyan authorities in developing border management and security at the country’s land, sea and air borders, as well as in the fields of law enforcement and criminal justice. The mandate of EUBAM Libya has just been extended until June 2020.

The mission's work has an impact on both sides involved: Libyans and Europeans. On the one hand, it helps Libyans construct the peaceful, stable and secure Libya they deserve to live in. On the other, by helping secure Libya's borders, EUBAM Libya helps for example control unlawful movement of persons – ultimately also securing European borders and ensuring the safety of European citizens.

Detecting forged Schengen visas

Some results of the mission can already be measured in concrete numbers and examples. For instance, training on recognition of forged documents has been provided since 2017 to Libyan authorities by the Netherlands, one of the Member States participating to the mission, namely by the Expertise Centre of Identity Fraud and Documents (ECID) of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (RNLM). 128 Libyan officers have already received basic training; 24 officers have been trained at advanced level and 12 trainers have been prepared. A chain of forged Schengen visas has been discovered by the Libyan authorities thanks to the exercise and knowledge acquired during this EU training, local testimony reports.

Flexible, tailored approaches to crises

Local ownership is thus fostered, as sought by the EU's multi-dimensional, multi-level, multi-phase, multi-lateral Integrated Approach to external conflicts and crises. The EU's Integrated Approach is composed of a flexible, tailor-made range of instruments, and civilian missions such as EUBAM Libya are an integrated part of this toolbox for international peace and security. Civilian missions are, in the words of High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini, ''a unique instrument that only the European Union has in that way'' and something Europeans can be proud of.

This essential role of civilian missions and operations in the EU's joined-up approach has been reaffirmed by the EU Member States in  November 2018, when they agreed on the so-called ''civilian CSDP compact''. By adopting the civilian CSDP compact, the Member States committed to strengthening the EU's capacity to deploy civilian crisis management missions, with higher contributions by the Member States and the aim, amongst others, of reaching the ability to launch a new mission of up to 200 personnel in any area of operation within 30 days after a Council decision.