Tunisia, EU aims for memorandum of understanding by the end of June

The joint statement after today’s meetings

L’The EU and Tunisia have given the taskrespectively to the European Commissioner for Enlargement Oliver Varheliy and the Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar to draw up a memorandum of understanding (Memorandum of Understanding, MoU) sthe enlarged partnership package, which should be signed by Tunisia and the EU “before the end of June”. This can be read in a joint EU-Tunisia statement, after today’s meetings in Tunis. The package, described in its general lines by President Ursula von der Leyen, will concern four areas, namely the strengthening of economic and commercial ties, an alliance in energy, migrations and contacts between people.

There Tunisia should be one of the topics on the table at the European Council at the end of June, a signtogether with today’s joint mission to Tunis by Giorgia Meloni, Ursula von der Leyen and Mark Rutte, that even at EU level the risk that the entire Union runs should the country go into default has been understood. The Central Mediterranean route, the deadliest of the migratory routes to the EU, has once again become the most traveled one: if Tunisia, in addition to Libya, were to jump, Italy would have serious problems in managing the situation. Meloni reminded his colleagues during the European Council in March that, if the situation in Tunisia were to worsen, there are “900,000” migrants ready to leave.

The joint statement released today at the end of the meetings reads that economic support, also in the form of macro-financial assistance, will be “evaluated”. Tunis should first find an agreement with the International Monetary Fund on an aid package, against which, however, the Fund is asking for reforms, which would be unpopular and which the Tunisian leadership is therefore hesitant to take on. As regards migration, the EU and Tunisia state that “in the context of our joint work on migration, the fight against irregular migration to and from Tunisia and the prevention of the loss of human lives at sea are a common priority, including the fight against smugglers and human traffickers, strengthening border management, registration and full repatriation respect for human rights”.