Member of the European Parliament from Italy’s Lega party Susanna Ceccardi said on Friday that the EU has finally realized the role of the Libyan Coast Guard and thus legitimized its activities.

According to Italian news agency Aki, Ceccardi quoted the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson as saying that the EU support for Libya must continue both in rescue operations under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and in strengthening border management capacity.

Ceccardi added the EU support for Libya aims at preventing further loss of life in the Mediterranean and, at the same time, combating human trafficking networks.

The EU support for the Libyan Coast Guard is under harsh criticism by EU left-wing parties and NGOs who blames the Libyan Coast Guard for the mistreatment and torture of migrants who use Libyan territories to flock to EU shores.