Libya Initiative

MEDirections’ Libya Initiative has two main focuses: research and dialogue support.

The research track aims to inform policy-makers in Europe and Libya through analysis of the key dynamics and ongoing transformations in the country, based on fieldwork and close collaboration with local analysts and researchers. MEDirections has also started to mentor and provide support to junior Libyan analysts.

The dialogue support track is based on a partnership with a group of Libyan community activists, the Peacemakers. While the Peacemakers have been involved in various dialogue and peacebuilding initiatives since January 2015, they have since mid-2017 been focusing on conducting a wide-ranging, grassroots dialogue around a new social contract for Libya. Discussions have focused on the concept of and need for a new social contract, as well as the common basic rules and values that can form the basis of such a contract between the different components of the Libyan society.

MEDirections provides material, logistical and analytical support to these activists’ efforts to promote peace and reconciliation across Libya, while the dialogue process remains wholly Libyan designed and led.

To date, the dialogue around the social contract has:

  • directly engaged over 500 influential actors in the dialogue process through 12 large dialogue meetings held in Tunis (between mid-2017 and early 2019), each lasting 3 days;
  • reached out to many more Libyans through activities in numerous Libyan cities and through social media, in particular a dedicated Libyan Social Contract Facebook page;
  • built connections between actors from different regions, backgrounds and political opinions, including tribal and community leaders, businessmen, members of municipal councils, representatives of major political parties and divided state institutions, young activists, representatives of linguistic and cultural minorities, artists, sportspeople and intellectuals;
  • opened discussions around some contentious issues that have been generally absent from the political debate, including the economy and resource distribution, models of local governance, migration and citizenship, amnesties and transitional justice;
  • successfully reintegrated former regime elements into the discussions, including facilitating the return of major figures to Tripoli;
  • resulted in the drafting and approval of a consensus social contract document which touches on many of the key conflict issues.

>> For our latest publications and events, and for more information on our research activities, please visit our Research Activities page.



Listen to the PODCAST

The Team

Virginie Collombier, Scientific Coordinator

Musab El-Gaed,  Libyan Peacemakers team, Project Coordinator in Libya

Omar Sheira, Research Associate

May Tamimova, Research Associate

Hedi Selmi, Project Assistant

>> To get in touch with the Libya Initiative team, please contact us on


Latest blogs:

Tensions rise in Libya’s Sirte as the city becomes central to the conflict, Omar Al-Hawari, 12 October 2020.

Political divisions in Libya’s epicentre impede the fight against the Covid-19, Rema el-Fellani and Waleed Khaleefha, 10 June 2020.

The impact of coronavirus and the continuing war on Tripoli and Western Libya, Mohamed Saleh Belqasem, 16 April 2020

Libya’s Sirte is preparing for a war of a different kind, Omar Al-Hawari, 27 March 2020

The new war in Libya: Europe cannot afford to be caught sleeping, Virginie Collombier, 16 April 2019