Europe’s Libya Problem

Europe’s Libya Problem

How to Stem the Flow of Migrants

Editorial Rating



  • Analytical
  • Overview
  • Hot Topic


Though no longer front-page news, the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe continues unabated. Libya, a transit hub for African migrants, remains crucial to solving Europe’s refugee crisis. Yet, as foreign policy scholars Sabina Henneberg and Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski point out, an effective migrant policy requires a unified government in Libya – which that nation currently lacks. getAbstract recommends this article to those interested in learning how the international community can connect efforts to reunify Libya with policies to ameliorate the migrants’ plight.


Libya has long served as a transit country for African migrants en route to Europe. In the first half of 2017, almost 80,000 migrants landed on the coast of Italy, and more than 2,000 died crossing the Mediterranean in the same period. The European Union (EU)’s plans for dealing with the constant refugee stream include preventing refugee boats from crossing the central Mediterranean, shoring up Libya’s coastal patrol capacities, helping to fund refugee camps in Libya and supporting voluntary repatriation programs. But these policies include no measures to protect the human rights...

About the Authors

Sabina Henneberg is a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Mieczyslaw P. Boduszynski is a former US diplomat currently teaching at Pomona College.

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

The Evolving Terrorist Threat: Implications for Global Security
Global Migration Drives Global Democracy

Related Channels