- €50 million will be dedicated to the voluntary repatriation of 6,000 sub-Saharan migrants found in an irregular situation in Tunisia to their countries of origin
- 8 new coastguard boats will be provided, 17 boats will be upgraded
- €150 million in budgetary assistance, not conditional on an IMF agreement
- The €900 million ($1.9 billion) of macro-financial assistance will be released after a final agreement with the IMF
- Tunisia rejected to be a “reception centre” for returns of sub-Saharan migrants from Italy or any other country in Europe. Tunisian authorities have only agreed to repatriate its nationals to its soil.
A memorandum of understanding for a “comprehensive strategic partnership” on renewable energies, economic development, and irregular migration was signed in Tunis on Sunday, July 16th, by the European Union and Tunisia.
The Memorandum of Understanding covers five areas: migration, trade and investment, the transition to renewable energy, and macroeconomic stability. It shall be carried out in accordance with the appropriate laws and protocols and through the various channels of cooperation between the European Union and Tunisia.
Before the end of the year, there will be a significant opportunity to reestablish political and institutional links with the EU-Tunisia Association Council, with the goal of tackling shared international challenges together and sustaining the rules-based system.
Thousands of migrants leave from Tunisia each year to travel across the Mediterranean to Europe. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, applauded the accord intended to “invest in shared prosperity.”
After the trio’s initial visit to Tunisia a month ago, during which they suggested this alliance, von der Leyen was followed to Tunisia by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
According to Meloni, who invited Tunisian President Kais Saied to a meeting on migration in Rome the following Sunday, this is “an important new step in dealing with the migration crisis in an integrated way.”
The relationship between Tunisia and the European Union, in Meloni’s words, “can be considered a model for the establishment of new relations with North Africa.”
Given that the EU is Tunisia’s top economic partner and investor, Rutte believed that “the agreement will benefit both the European Union and the Tunisian people.”
At a time when Tunisia is strapped with debt and short on cash, the agreement includes €105 million in aid to prevent irregular immigration and €150 million in budgetary aid.
Over the next few years, Tunisia will receive loans totaling another €900 million, after a final agreement with the IMF.