In support of the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a strategic and comprehensive partnership between the EU and Tunisia, the Commission is today announcing €60 million in budget support for Tunisia and an operational assistance package on migration worth around €67m, which respectively will now be disbursed in the coming days and contracted and delivered swiftly.
The announcement follows yesterday’s phone call between Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi (pictured) and Tunisian Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar, to discuss the importance of continued delivery in the implementation of the MoU and in particular on priority actions. A delegation of Commission officials will visit Tunisia next week to discuss the implementation of the MoU, in particular the priority actions.
The EU and Tunisia are committed to swiftly advance on the implementation of the MoU, prioritising actions in the field of migration the cooperation to crack down on the smuggling networks and with intensified EU assistance for capacity building of the Tunisian law enforcement authorities, as well as support for voluntary return and reintegration of migrants to their countries of origin, in full respect of international law.
The Commission is accelerating the delivery of ongoing programmes as well as actions under the new €105 million support package on migration linked to the MoU that will help address the urgent situation in Lampedusa, in line with the 10-point plan for Lampedusa.
This new package will deliver the refitting of search and rescue vessels, vehicles and other equipment for the Tunisian coast guard and navy, protection of migrants in Tunisia in cooperation with UNHRC and returns and reintegration from Tunisia to the countries of origin, in cooperation with IOM. The provision of new vessels, thermal cameras and other operational assistance, coupled with the necessary training, are also foreseen.
The Memorandum of Understanding is availalble here.
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