The eu and tunisia


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Since the successful popular uprising that brought about the departure of President Ben Ali in January 2011,
the European Union has been at the forefront of efforts to help Tunisia’s new transition administration in its
path towards democratic reform and to increase the support made available to Tunisia.

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The eu and tunisia

  1. 1. Country press pack March 2011 Photos EU/ENPI Info Centre © The EU and TunisiaSince the successful popular uprising that brought about the departure of President Ben Ali in January 2011,the European Union has been at the forefront of efforts to help Tunisia’s new transition administration in itspath towards democratic reform and to increase the support made available to Tunisia.European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy; Štefan Füle, said in a speech to theEuropean Parliament in the wake of the events, that the EU had a long-standing and robust relationshipwith Tunisia, the first country in the Southern Mediterranean to sign an Association Agreement with the EUback in 1995. Ahead of his arrival in Tunis this week, he said: “It is with some emotion that I return to Tunisia,where I find a country that has changed dramatically since my last visit. I am Czech, and I lived through asimilar transformation in my own country. I remember very well the sense of deliverance and hope in the futurethat followed our velvet revolution. Today, with its genuinely popular and democratic revolution, Tunisia issetting an example. The Tunisian people deserve all our admiration.”On 8 March, the European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton,submitted together a Communication on the European Union’s relations with the countries of the southernMediterranean (“Communication for a Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity with the SouthernMediterranean”). It sets out concrete lines of actions to support the partner countries, which will be detailed inthe Communication on the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, to be adopted in mid-May. Themessage is very simple: the EU is prepared to offer more to those of its partners who show resolve incommitting themselves to the path of economic reform and deep democratisation. Today’s visit to Tunisia byCommissioner Füle is the opportunity for him to engage in a new dialogue with the government, with politicalforces, and with representatives of Tunisian civil society in order to re-examine together the priorities and theobjectives of cooperation in light of the new situation.In February, High Representative Catherine Ashton visited Tunisia, pledging additional new resources of €17million to support Tunisia.
  2. 2. Tunisia National Indicative Programme (NIP)The overall budget for bilateral EU assistance to Tunisia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood andPartnership Instrument (ENPI) amounted to €240 million for 2011-2013, or the equivalent of about €80 million peryear, according to the National Indicative Programme (NIP). This has now risen to €258 million with the additionalresources pledged in February 2011.The EU has announced that this allocation will be reviewed to take into account the new realities in Tunisia, inorder to contribute to supporting greater political openness, assistance to the democratic transition, and support toeconomic and social development.EU supports wind of change and reforms in Tunisia with €258 million for 2011-2013The indicative budget for bilateral assistance to Tunisia in the framework of the European Neighbourhood andPartnership Instrument (ENPI) stands at €258 million for the period 2011-2013.The EU is already assisting Tunisia in the ongoing democratic transformation in the following ways:a) immediate support for the electoral process and the elections themselves:• EU experts on the ground to collaborate with the Ben Achour Commission;• €2 million package under the Instrument for Stability, including one part for support to the electoral process, and one part earmarked for civil society and the media.b) support to civil society with the call for proposals published by the EU Delegation in Tunis (€2 million);c) support for disadvantaged areas in the interior of the country: an initial sum of €10 million has beenearmarked towards this aim; implementation is currently being discussed with the Tunisian authorities;d) possible review of the current ENPI allocation (€240 million) for the period 2011-2013, including thepossibility of bringing forward to 2012 the Justice support programme planned for 2013.The EU is prepared to consider strengthening this allocation, taking into account a needs assessment to bedetermined by Tunisia, as well as the stimulus and reform programmes that Tunisia will want to implement.The National Indicative Programme (NIP) is a European Commission assistance programming document; ittranslates into financing priorities the political priorities reflected in the Country Strategy Paper (CSP), outliningthe measures and actions to be taken in order to achieve the stated objectives.The democratisation of Tunisia requires ambitious reforms on fronts as challenging as the fight againstcorruption, the independence of justice, reform of the police, freedom of expression and association, but alsodevelopment of isolated areas, employment of young graduates, and improvement of social protection. TheEU will do its utmost to support Tunisia in its actions on all these fronts, in a permanent spirit of dialogue bothwith its interlocutors in government and with the Tunisian people. It is working at the same time on a majorreprogramming of its external assistance in order to free the necessary resources.The message that Commissioner Füle is bringing to Tunisia today can be summed up in a few simple words:Europe is there, Europe admires what Tunisia has done, and it stands resolutely by your side toprepare the future.
  3. 3. European Investment Bank: €1.87 billion to spur growth and jobs The European Investment Bank (EIB) has earmarked a total of €1.87 billion for concrete actions to assist Tunisia along the path of democratic transition, with actions centred around economic growth and job creation. Following consultations in March between the EIB and the new Tunisian authorities, the following actions have been proposed: • Accelerate the implementation of public projects, in particular in the areas of sanitation, energy and road infrastructure (€1 billion) • Accompany the creation and development of SMEs through the mobilization of EIB credit lines to local banks and leasing agencies (€260 million) • Support the construction of the new Mdhilla factory of the Tunisian Chemical Group – a modern unit built to top environmental specifications, which will allow the group to consolidate its export position (€140 million) • Implementation of a major road modernisation programme throughout the country (€160 million) • Financing a number of significant projects in the following areas: SMEs, especially in a marginal areas, energy (gas sector), provision of equipment for local authorities (streets, lighting, drinking water, used water treatment, waste treatment, social facilities), and micro credits, to a total value of around €310 million. Find out moreFind out more…ENPI Info Centre webpage – Tunisia Delegation – Tunisia – ENPI Tunisia country progress report (FR only) fact-sheet 2009 (FR only) Indicative Programme 2011-2013 – Key documents
  4. 4. Action Plan Strategy Paper 2007-2013 & National Indicative Programme 2011-2013 - Political and Economic relationsEuropeAid – Tunisia country page – Tunisia Trade – EU and Tunisia Trade – Tunisia statistics II – Tunisia statistical profile Info Centre – Tunisia news Delegation Tunisia newsletter – 30 years of cooperation Info Centre fact sheet – Perceptions of the EU in Tunisia Info Centre feature – A research and education network to tackle the oldest affliction Info Centre feature – A pioneering scheme that transformed the medina Info Centre feature – Montada promotes heritage value of Kairouan Info Centre feature – Guardians of Water: EuroMed Heritage project in Morocco and Tunisia Info Centre feature - A satellite tracing system for Tunisian merchant shipping (2008) Info Centre feature - Preparing tomorrows olive oil! (2008) Info Centre features
  5. 5. Eurojar feature – Industrial Modernisation Programme “EU supports Tunisia in enhancing itseconomy” (2010) feature: EU markets absorb 80% of Tunisia’s exports (2010) case studies – Tunisia Info Centre – Photo gallery photo library – Heritage IV project photo library