EU And Tunisia Sign Pact To Address African Migrant Influx

EU And Tunisia Sign Pact To Address African Migrant Influx

(NationRise.com) – The European Union (EU) said in a July 16 statement that it reached an agreement with the Tunisian government to boost trade relations and to stem the migrant influx from Africa. The bloc noted this is a crucial step to address a significant issue that both continents have been experiencing over the last few years.

Under this agreement between Brussels and Tunis, the European Union will provide cash to the Middle Eastern nation in exchange for stronger border controls. Different reports from European media outlets said that the EU takes this as a victory, as the European Commission has been pushing to strike a deal over the line. However, it remains unclear how much money the bloc will provide to the Tunisian government as the bloc didn’t clarify this detail in its statement.

In June, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc was planning to provide Tunis with over $1 billion. She said this money would go to areas such as investment, energy cooperation, and trade. Nonetheless, media outlets like Germany’s Deutsche-Welle or Spain’s El Mundo said the total amount might be less.

The statement did explain that the agreement between Brussels and Tunis will cover “pillars” that both sides consider crucial. These are macro-economic stability, green energy transition, people-to-people contracts, migration, and trade and investment.

During a press conference in Tunisia’s capital, von der Leyen told reporters that the bloc was ready to help Tunisia by deploying large-scale financial support. She said the EU will take this step once the conditions are met. She also pointed out that the bloc will provide “immediate budget support” as a “bridging step.”

The EU’s Commission President traveled to Tunisia with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. The three leaders were the representatives of the European bloc in their meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied.

In the press conference, Rutte told reporters that the central element of the agreement was “migration.” He said the EU’s primary goal is to gain “more control” of irregular migration.

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