BRUSSELS, 17 Jul. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The European Union will allocate 255 million euros to Tunisia in 2023 within the framework of the agreement signed this Sunday to strengthen cooperation to stop irregular migration to Europe.
The EU and Tunisia have signed this Sunday the strategic agreement to combat irregular migration and which contemplates, among other aspects, the strengthening of border controls and the hardening of the fight against human trafficking.
Of the total funds mobilized to reinforce the fight against smuggling, return and border management, the EU will allocate an additional 105 million euros, thus doubling the item planned for Tunisia, community sources have reported. Within this framework, the activity of smugglers and human traffickers will be combated, border management will be strengthened to prevent irregular departures, promoting legal migration routes.
Regarding the return of migrants, the EU will strengthen cooperation to help the Tunisian authorities to relocate irregular migrants who remain in the country to their places of origin and the return of Tunisian migrants irregularly in Europe to return to Tunisia.
Apart from this specific help to manage the migration issue, the EU mobilizes another 150 million in budget support and “works intensively with the Tunisian authorities to spend it in the best possible way.”
The EU funds will be distributed mainly through agencies such as the Red Cross, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the Organization for Migration that work on the ground to provide opportunities for refugees and resettlers.
Apart from this, the European bloc maintains several energy cooperation and connectivity projects that will involve million-dollar investments, such as the Medusa submarine cable that will link North Africa and Southern Europe. With the aim of attracting investment and boosting sectors such as aviation and tourism, the EU will organize a business forum at the end of the year.
Europe is also putting on the table the possibility of increasing the participation of Tunisian citizens in EU programmes, such as the Horizon science and research programme, the Erasmus+ university exchange programme, and Creative Europe.