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Operation Sophia and Libya: Lords EU Committee to follow up on last year's report

On Thursday 23 March 2017 the House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee will take evidence on Operation Sophia, the EU operation to counter migrant smuggling in the central Mediterranean.

This evidence session is a follow-up to its previous inquiry on Operation Sophia last year.

The Committee will hear from:

At 10.05am:

  • Joseph Walker-Cousins, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Statecraft.

At 11am:

  • Giles Ahern, Head of Euro Atlantic Security Policy, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence
  • Edward Hobart, Migration Envoy, Europe Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Nicholas Williams, Head of North Africa Joint Unit, Middle East and North Africa Directorate, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What is the current security situation in Libya?
  • What are the prospects for the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) reaching agreement with the House of Representatives and General Haftar?
  • How effective and influential are the UN, the EU and its Member States in bringing together the GNA, House of Representatives and General Haftar? What role does Russia play?
  • Is it realistic for the EU to be seeking to intensify cooperation on migration given the limited reach of the GNA and the wider challenges facing the administration?
  • What is the Government's position on the future of Operation Sophia after its mandate expires on 27 July 2017?
  • How effective has Operation Sophia's monitoring of the UN's arms embargo been?
  • What is the situation like for migrants in Libya at present? Is the Government confident that, with support from the EU and UK, the conditions for migrants in centres in Libya can be improved to an adequate humanitarian level?
  • What can be done by the EU and its Member States to help improve Libya's border security, both in the interior and on the coast?

The evidence sessions will take place from 10.05am on Thursday 23 March 2017 in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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