Eu-Tunisia memorandum: a tale about a crisis of great political importance

  Articoli (Articles)
  Tiziano Sini
  28 September 2023
  2 minutes, 59 seconds

Translated by Valeria D’Alessandro

The theme of migrants in the Mediterranean is again at the center of the public opinion, especially in Italy, following recent events. This highlights the importance of the phenomenon and the necessity for adopting a coordinated strategy at the European level.

Recently the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, visited Lampedusa, which has been a landing place for a consistent number of migrants from North Africa and has been under a great pression in recent times. This visit testifies a concerning shift in the European dynamics; however, it is essential to interpret current events in light of the choices that countries have been making lately.

Much of the attention is focused on the positions of France and Germany and on their disagreement with Italy, which is rapidly escalating into a diplomatic crisis between the two sides. Consequently, this crisis could also undermine future negotiations among European partners on the overcoming of the debated and debatable current rules on the managing of the migration phenomenon in the Old continent. Moreover, it is important not to overlook the issue with the Memorandum signed by Tunisia and European Union[1].

The agreement signed last 16th of July is part of a broader strategy with Tunis, as demonstrated by the willingness to make more effort to stabilize the area, improving the country’s conditions after the recent crisis[2].

After extensive negotiations, the Memorandum established and economic engagement on the European Union’s behalf of 255 billion euros. A first tranche of this funding was allocated long before the agreement was signed and, as announced by European Community spokesperson Ana Pisonero, it is expected to be delivered in the next few days.

The first tranche is approximately 127 million euros, with 60 million allocated to support Tunisia's balance sheet and an assistance package of around 67 million euros for migration. This tranche is expected to be followed by another of approximately 150 million euros. [3]

The principle underlying the agreement is to provide the country with sufficient liquidity through economic means, while the country finalizes an agreement with the International Monetary Fund of macro-financial assistance of 1.9 billion euros. Additionally, there is a desire to exert increasingly stringent control over the country's borders to curb migration flows, as has already been done with other countries.

But, after two months, the agreement has sparked discontent among European Countries and political representatives within the European Parliament. They are openly accusing not only the agreement's weakness and a flawed, non-constructive approach to the migration phenomenon, but also its lack of clarity. This ambiguity could backfire both in addressing migration issues and in consolidating the authoritarian leadership of Kaïs Saïed[5].

Mondo Internazionale APS - Riproduzione Riservata ® 2023





[5] All'Eurocamera l'accordo con la Tunisia non piace (quasi) a nessuno. Nel mirino aumento degli sbarchi e violazioni dei diritti umani - Eunews

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Tiziano Sini


EU Migrations memorandum Crisis EuropeanParliament economic aid