The President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, promised Tunisia significant financial aid. Partnership will also be strengthened and an agreement to reduce migration will be agreed upon.
During negotiations between the European Union and Tunisia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised the North African country 900 million euros in aid. It said it could be made available once a deal is struck with the state.
Von der Leyen traveled to Tunisia with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The country, which is going through a deep economic crisis, is an important partner of the European Union in preventing migration.
According to the plans, von der Leyen said, the EU could immediately offer Tunisia an additional 150 million euros in budgetary support. She described the visit as “an important milestone in the relationship” with Tunisia. According to Meloni, the planned memorandum before the European Council could be finalized later this month.
100 million euros for Border management
Von der Leyen said that in addition to financial support and the update of the EU-Tunisia trade agreement, a partnership in the field of renewable energies and migration issues was discussed. Both sides are deeply interested in “breaking the cynical business model of smugglers and human traffickers”. They are working together on an “effective partnership to combat human smuggling”.
The European Union will provide Tunisia with 100 million euros this year for border management and search and rescue operations.
Tunisia rejects the role of the border police
Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Saturday that migrants are “victims of a global system” that treats them not as people but as numbers. The country cannot, as some states would like to see it, be the “guardian of its states.”
Meloni continued to pledge support to Saied to ensure Tunisia receives a $1.9 billion loan pledged by the International Monetary Fund in 2022. IMF board approval is missing on the disbursement.
Italy had repeatedly spoken in favor of a release in order to stabilize the North African country. This year, more migrants coming from or via Tunisia have reached Italy than they have in years. And so in April it declared a “immigration emergency”.
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