Crisis in Libya: What Can Europe Do?

Three years after its revolution, Libya is teetering on the edge of civil war, as core elements of democratic transition have stalled. Mary Fitzgerald, Mohamed Eljarh and Mattia Toaldo will discuss this crossroads for the country, and assess measures that Europeans could take to prevent further violence, and support Libya's long-term transition. 


Mary Fitzgerald, Tripoli-based Journalist

Mohamed Eljarh, Libya Analyst

Mattia Toaldo, Policy Fellow, ECFR


Chaired by

Daniel Levy, MENA Programme Director, ECFR

Three years after the revolution and international intervention, Libya has reached a critical juncture. The country is on the brink of civil war between those aligning with retired General Heftar, and their opponents. Parliament has been suspended and new elections may be held soon, while all the major elements of transition are lagging behind: constitution-making, the National Dialogue, and transitional justice, not to speak of a functioning economy. Libya risks anarchy and protracted violence if these elements do not get back on track and a political agreement is not reached soon. External support and pressure is critical to avoiding further bloodshed and advancing Libya’s transition. The discussion will assess what kind of action Europeans can take to stop violence in the short-term and support the transition in the longer term.

Mary Fitzgerald is an award winning journalist for the Irish Times. She is now based in Tripoli where she contributes to several outlets including The Economist, Foreign Policy and the Financial Times. She has contributed to a forthcoming volume on the 2011 Libyan uprising and its aftermath to be published later this year by Hurst/Oxford University Press.

Mohamed Eljarh lives in Tobruk, Libya. He is a prominent analyst of Libyan affairs, the Libya Transition blogger for Foreign Policy and a non-resident fellow at the Rafik Hariri Centre of the Atlantic Council.

Mattia Toaldo is a policy fellow for the Middle East and North Africa programme at ECFR and a council member of the Society for Libyan Studies. He has been working on Libya since 2004.

Daniel Levy is the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at ECFR.