(MENAFN- AzerNews) The European Commission on Friday announced 60 million euros in
budget support for Tunisia and a package of operational assistance
on migration worth 67 million euros in support of the
implementation of the memorandum of understanding between the EU
and the north African country, Azernews reports,
This first package of assistance, which will be contracted and
delivered "quickly", is based on close cooperation with Tunis in
the fight against illegal trafficking networks, according to
Commission spokeswoman Ana Pisonero.
Italy played an instrumental role in pushing through the
memorandum of understanding between the EU and Tunisia on stemming
migrant flows in exchange for funding, which was sealed in mid-July
during a visit to Tunis by EC chief Ursula von der Leyen, Premier
Giorgia Meloni and Dutch PM Mark Rutte.
However, early this week there were reports it may have been put
on ice amid opposition from some in Brussels including High
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep
Borrell and the Socialist bloc amid claims that Tunisia is not a
safe enough country to negotiate with.
The European Commission "is accelerating both ongoing programmes
and actions under the assistance" linked to the memorandum of
understanding, Pisonero explained.
"These will help us to address the current urgent situation in
Lampedusa, in line also with the 10-point plan" on migration
announced by Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen during her
visit to the tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa last Sunday, she
The EU is "committed to advancing the implementation of the
memorandum by prioritising, in the field of migration cooperation,
the crackdown on trafficking networks and intensifying EU
assistance for capacity building of Tunisian law enforcement
authorities, as well as support for voluntary returns and the
reintegration of migrants into their countries of origin," Pisonero
The memorandum of understanding between the EU and Tunisia
covers five main pillars: macro-economic stability, trade and
investment, green energy transition, people-to people contacts, and
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