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Tag Archives: EU
The integrity and the integration of the European Union (EU) have been debated for several decades. Various questions have been raised about integration and the EU’s integrity, but one should also ask to what degree is the EU as a whole affected by unstable countries such as Libya? Such a question is a very significant one considering the fact that globalization increasingly performs a crucial role for states, regional organizations, and international organizations. It is impossible to critically analyse the EU without placing it within the context of globalization.
What is the EU’s current position regarding Libya?
On 10 October 2011 the EU issued the following general statement regarding Libya: “[the EU] reaffirms its commitment to support the emergence of a new, stable, prosperous, sovereign, and democratic Libya.” .This sounds very positive, but with the Libyan people still mainly depending on NATO for security there is still a threat to political, economic, and social stabilisation. The EU has also provided humanitarian aid and has promised to increase its aid in the future. Moreover, the EU will assure that with Ghadaffi’s dictatorship coming to an end, women will finally be able to express their opinions in public and the rights of Libyan citizens will be respected once again.
It is commonly known that the European Union and the US are aiming to achieve democracy in the world, peace, and security, especially since the 9/11 attacks. These are noble goals and definitively worth striving for. It is therefore not surprising to see
The European Union’s foreign affairs chief has called on Libya to protect women’s rights in law as the country moves towards democracy.
Catherine Ashton made her appeal during a whirlwind visit to Tripoli to launch the EU’s mission, which is meant to help coordinate aid efforts in Libya.
“To… Read More
The United States and European Union turned up the heat on Libya, as fresh fighting erupted on Wednesday along rebel lines at the oil town of Brega and state television showed footage of a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, days after rebels reported him dead.
US diplomats are visiting several African countries to urge leaders to press Gaddafi to leave power immediately, officials in Washington said, while the EU slapped new economic sanctions on Gaddafi’s regime.
Libyan television showed footage of Gaddafi’s youngest son, Khamis, supposedly visiting victims of NATO raids on Tuesday. But a rebel spokesman insisted that the 28-year-old, a feared military commander, was dead.
The date of the recording could not be confirmed. If genuine, it would be the first time Khamis had been seen in public since Friday, when rebels said a NATO strike on the western town of Zliten killed 32 people, including Khamis.
Gaddafi spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said at the time the claim was untrue, claiming it was ‘dirty lies to cover the murder of civilians’ in Zliten.… Read More
The European Union will widen sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi this week by adding a Libyan oil firm and a government administrative department to a blacklist, an EU official said on Tuesday.
The al-Sharara oil company and the Organisation for Administrative Affairs would both join a list of organisations facing asset freezes, the official said.
The EU is seeking to isolate Gaddafi, who has held onto power in Libya despite a six-month insurgency by NATO-backed rebels.
“These measures show the determination of the international community in maintaining the isolation of the regime in Tripoli and in drying up its revenues,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Oil shipping sources said the decision to add al-Sharara, an oil and gas distribution company, to the sanctions list appeared aimed at curbing fuel deliveries to parts of Libya still controlled by Gaddafi.
The sources said the firm had been involved in an attempt to import fuel to west Libya aboard the government-owned tanker Cartagena, which was hijacked and taken to the rebel-led town of Benghazi by opponents of Gaddafi last week.
Power and petrol shortages have been worsening in Gaddafi’s Tripoli power base in recent weeks, deepening public frustration at months of conflict with NATO-backed rebels.… Read More
The Libyan rebel delegation, led by Mahmoud Jebril of the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC), is expected to meet NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on July 13, a NATO diplomat said.
The delegation is also expected to meet EU officials, who could include EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, an EU diplomat said.
NATO officials declined to confirm the visit, but one noted that Rasmussen had met representatives of the opposition council several times and would continue to do so.
“NATO has had contacts with the NTC as part of the broad international efforts to find a solution to the Libya crisis … such meetings have taken place and will continue to take place,” the official from the military alliance said.… Read More
It LOOKED,for a moment, like a return to the days of European interventionism. For the first time since Suez, Britain and France led an intervention in the Middle East. And unlike the disaster in Egypt in 1956, the action in Libya of 2011 was supported by America and by part of the Arab world too.
America was visibly reluctant to get involved, let alone lead the action. And, having helped to knock out Libya’s air defences and conduct some of the initial air-to-ground strikes, it pulled back from the front-line operations. But America’s role remains essential, not least in providing air-to-air refuelling, as well as intelligence and reconnaissance for the European allies.
The war in Libya, far from heralding a new era of European activism, has once again highlighted the limits of Europe’s military power, as Robert Gates pointed out today in his valedictory speech in Brussels. He is not the first American defence secretary to complain about low, often declining, defence spending in Europe (The Economist recently ran an interesting chart). Nor is it the first time Mr Gates himself has bemoaned the weakness of European allies. Last year he said the “pacification” of Europe, at first a great achievement, had gone too far and posed a threat to Western security. But his comments today were delivered with the sharpness of a man who knows he is at the end of his career and no longer needs to beg for favours. The speech is worth reading in full. But here is one passage that should make Europeans cringe.
To be sure, at the outset, the NATO Libya mission did meet its initial military objectives – grounding Qaddafi’s air force and degrading his ability to wage offensive war against his own citizens. And while the operation has exposed some shortcomings caused by underfunding, it has also shown the potential of NATO, with an operation where Europeans are taking the lead with American support. However, while every alliance member voted for Libya mission, less than half have participated at all, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission. Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can’t. The military capabilities simply aren’t there.
In particular, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets are lacking that would allow more allies to be involved and make an impact. The most advanced fighter aircraft are little use if allies do not have the means to identify, process, and strike targets as part of an integrated campaign. To run the air campaign, the NATO air operations centre in Italy required a major augmentation of targeting specialists, mainly from the US, to do the job – a “just in time” infusion of personnel that may not always be available in future contingencies. We have the spectacle of an air operations centre designed to handle more than 300 sorties a day struggling to launch about 150. Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country – yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the US, once more, to make up the difference.
As well as a paucity of European military resources, NATO faces two other dangers, Mr Gates said. One is the passing of his generation of American leaders, like himself, for whom the security of Europe was the over-riding pre-occupation of their careers. The second is that America, itself under pressure to cut defence spending to curb high deficits and debt, might soon give up on Europe: if the European taxpayers do not want to pay to preserve their own security, why should Americans shoulder the burden? Only five of the 28 NATO allies meet NATO’s recommendation that countries should spend at least 2% of GDP on defence: America, Britain, France, Greece and Albania. Today America’s key security interests are in the Middle East and in Asia. Europe will be the obvious place for America to cut expensive overseas commitments.… Read More
Muammar Gaddafi threatened Europe on Friday.
He said his Libyan supporters can take the battle “to Europe, to target your homes, offices, families, which would become legitimate military targets, like you have targeted our homes.”
He warned European leaders to cease their airstrikes against his forces before Europe faces “a catastrophe.”
Gaddafi made the comments to a… Read More
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to attack “homes, offices and families” in Europe in revenge for NATO airstrikes but U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said he should quit instead of issuing threats.
In a telephone address relayed to some 100,000 supporters in Tripoli’s Green Square, Gaddafi urged NATO to halt its bombing campaign or risk seeing Libyan fighters descend on Europe “like a swarm of locusts or bees.”
Gaddafi, who along with his son and spy chief faces an international arrest warrant for crimes against humanity, has vowed to fight to the end and branded the NATO operation a colonial aggression aimed at securing Libya’s oil riches.
“Retreat, you have no chance of beating this brave people,” Gaddafi said in his address broadcast on Friday.
“They can attack your homes, your offices and your families, which will become military targets just as you have transformed our offices, headquarters, houses and children into what you regards as legitimate military targets,” he said.
“If we choose, we can descend on Europe like a swarm of locusts or bees. We therefore advise you to retreat before you face catastrophe.”… Read More