Delegation of the European Union to Libya

About the EU Delegation to Libya

04/02/2019 - 08:20
About us - structure and organisation

The European Union maintains a network of over 140 delegations worldwide. These delegations are diplomatic missions representing the European Union in third countries and act as chair of the EU presidency. They are responsible for coordinating with the diplomatic missions of Member States and ensuring coherent external representation of the EU with third countries and multilateral organisations.

European Union delegations promote EU interests and values around the world, and are in the frontline implementing EU external policy and action, from common foreign and security policy through trade and development co-operation to scientific and technical relations and humanitarian assistance.

The EU Delegation to Libya opened in Tripoli in 2011 but was temporarily relocated to Tunis following the outbreak of violence in 2014. We are eager to return to Libya as soon as possible and are engaging with the Libyan authorities to that end.

The Head of Delegation (Ambassador) is accredited as the representative of the European Union.


At the political level, the EU Delegation works closely with United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), Member States and all other actors working towards the stabilisation and democratic transition of Libya. It hosts regular coordination meetings with EU member state embassies to coordinate policy and share information.

The EU is one of the biggest donors of development and humanitarian assistance to Libya, and the delegation manages an ongoing portfolio of programmes and projects amounting to around €360 million. The main funding sources are the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF - North Africa Window), the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) and the Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

The EU is also operating two Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) missions in support of Libya,  EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia and the EU Border Assistance Mission in Libya (EUBAM). These missions assist Libya in securing its borders, through technical advice, training and capacity building and aim at disrupting the business model of human smugglers and help to enforce of the UN arms embargo. The CSDP missions are external to the EU Delegation, but all work closely together towards the achievement of their respective mandates.

Finally, the Delegation hosts the EU Liaison and Planning Cell (EULPC) whose main objective is to support UNSMIL in the operationalisation of military and police aspects of the Libya security track. The EULPC is also the main security analysis provider for the EU and Member States in Libya.

EU Ambassador Jose Antonio Sabadell

Ambassador José Antonio SABADELL is the Head of the European Union Delegation to Libya since 1 September 2020.

A Spanish diplomat since 1993, Ambassador Sabadell most recently served as Director of Policy Planning at the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Between 2013 and 2017, Ambassador Sabadell served as Head of the European Union Delegation to Mauritania. He previously held different positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, including Head of Division for North Africa, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Technical Counsellor for Arms Control. He has served in Afghanistan, Guatemala, Ecuador and Saudi Arabia, and at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (in charge of politico-military affairs) in Vienna.

Ambassador Sabadell holds a bachelor degree in law and a certificate for legal business advising from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), and completed postgraduate studies in political science and sociology. He was a Fellow at Harvard University Belfer Center between 2017 and 2018, where he wrote a Policy Paper entitled “Anger Management. The Politics of Frustration in the Arab World and its Implications for the West”. He remained an Associate of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School until 2019.

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