In an official document from 2004 the Eropean Parliament states:
"The EU has currently no formal relations with Libya, and the Commission has no Delegation in Tripoli. Nine EU Member States have embassies in Tripoli, and increased focus is being given to Libya following the lifting of the UN sanctions.On the basis of a consensus among the 27 Euro-Med partners reached on the occasion of the third Euro-Med Conference of Foreign Ministers in April 1999 in Stuttgart, Libya can become a full partner of the Barcelona Process if she accepts the full Barcelona acquis.
|At the EU-African Summit|
The EEAS strategy paper for the timeperiod 2011-2013 notes:
Press freedom has improved. However, freedom of association and freedom of expression remain restricted and there are still numerous reported abuses of human rights. Recently, many Islamic prisoners were freed and the government has taken steps to grant compensation to victims of the 1996 repression at the Abou Salim jail as well as to destroy this prison, a symbol of internal repression. The Leader of the Revolution, Muammar al-Gaddafi, still retains strong influence."[Read the whole EEAS Strategy Paper on Libya here].
Catherine Ashton and the EEAS are facing a great challenge. The role of the EU in matters of foreign affairs is going to be (re-)defined, especially by the actions the EEAS is going to take now that many Arab countries are heading for change - change that will need careful and deliberate support. Now, with the Maghreb Countries unsettlement, the past strategies will have to be reconsidered and modified - the EEAS will have to prove its ascribed raison d'être.