To support the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a strategic and comprehensive partnership between the EU and Tunisia, the Commission is today declaring budgetary aid of €60 million for Tunisia and a migration operational assistance program worth about €67 million which will be respectively disbursed in the forthcoming days and contracted and delivered quickly.
According to the European Commission, this announcement follows a telephone call between the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, and Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabil Ammar, to examine the significance of continuing the implementation of the MoU and in particular priority actions.
He added that a delegation of Commission officials will pay a visit to Tunisia next week to discuss the enactment of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in particular priority actions.
“The EU and Tunisia are determined to make rapid progress in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding, prioritizing actions in the field of migration, cooperation to confront smuggling networks and assistance intensified EU efforts to strengthen the capacities of Tunisian law enforcement authorities, as well as support the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants in their countries of origin, in full compliance with international law,” reads -on in the press release from the European Commission.
He added that the Commission is accelerating the implementation of ongoing programs as well as actions under the new €105 million migration support program linked to the Memorandum of Understanding, which will help to address the emergency situation in Lampedusa, in accordance with the 10-point Plan for Lampedusa.
This new package will incorporate the refit of vessels, vehicles and other search and rescue equipment for the Tunisian coast guard and Navy, the protection of migrants in Tunisia in collaboration with the UNHRC and returns and reintegration from Tunisia to the country of origin, in partnership with IOM.
The provision of new vessels, thermal cameras and other operational aids, coupled with the required training, is also scheduled.