In this week’s news highlights, an update about the outcome of the Valletta Summit concerning the increased cooperation between EU and Libya, and developments in and around the Horn of Africa. Another highlight this week is the announcement of the European Court of Justice that released an advice that urges EU member states to issue visas on humanitarian grounds.
Advocate General Mengozzi of the European Court of Justice announced in a press release yesterday, 7 February 2017, that “Members States must issue a visa on humanitarian grounds where substantial grounds have been shown for believing that a refusal would place persons seeking international protection at risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment.”
The advocate’s opinion further states that “it is irrelevant whether or not there are ties between the person concerned and the requested Member State.”
At the EU Council summit in Valetta, European Union leaders agreed on a new plan to increase its cooperation with Libya in order to stem the flow of migrants coming from the North African country last week Friday, 6 February 2017.
The released declaration states that Libyan national coast guard will receive support in training and equipment. Under the second package of the SOPHIA Operation capabilities shall be enhanced and the business model of smugglers and human traffickers in Libya shall be disrupted.