This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on the situation in Libya

On 17 September, Marietje Schaake spoke in the plenary meeting about the instable situation in Libya. Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group - Mr President, after the people of Libya bravely defeated the dictator Gadaffi who brutally ruled over them for decades, the recent clashes are no reason for optimism. Various militias are actually cause for grave concern, especially as Islamists have taken Tripoli and its airports. The cases of arbitrary detention, abductions, unlawful killings, torture, violence against journalists and officials and human rights defenders are very troubling, and meanwhile there is hardly any government structure to adequately run the country in crisis.

We recognise the House of Representatives, but hope that all parties will engage in an inclusive and constructive dialogue to rebuild stability and in fact to rebuild the country. One important step they should take is to ensure that oil which is still flowing is not sold by illegitimate terrorist groups, and in this sense I emphasise EU-based and international companies’ own responsibility to refrain from purchasing such oil.

With such threats at our doorsteps, we need the EU to show more leadership. Globally, we now see a chain of Islamist jihadist militias stretching from Nigeria through the Middle East to Pakistan. So we need more EU leadership to fight jihadist militias, to prevent regional spill-overs and to ensure that the people who flee this violence do not suffer a horrible death by drowning in the Mediterranean. We must seek accountability for the perpetrators of violence and end the impunity with which the most horrific crimes are now met.

Additionally, we should put pressure on those who are externally funding Islamist groups and urge them to stop these toxic activities. Sadly, some of these sponsors are our EU allies. It is time we got to grips with the fact that the instability in Libya directly impacts us. The refugee flows are enormous, and suggestions such the one as by the Dutch Prime Minister that this is merely an Italian problem are inappropriate and no solution. We need European leadership and solutions right now.