EU to provide Tunisia €100m to tackle migrant crisis

EU to provide Tunisia €100m to tackle migrant crisis


19 July, 2023

The European Union and Tunisia have signed a controversial memorandum of understanding for a "strategic and comprehensive partnership" on irregular migration and economic development, brushing over the refugee and migrant crisis at the Tunisian borders.

On Sunday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, flanked by Italian PM Giorgia Meloni and her Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte, posed with Tunisian president Kais Saied at Carthage Palace after sealing a €100m deal for Tunisia’s border management, search and rescue, anti-smuggling and return schemes.

The EU said it would also provide €1bn in financial assistance, which dependent on whether Tunisia follows through with some reforms.

The European Commission website shared the agreement's three-page memorandum of understanding, with the last paragraph dedicated to migration: "Both parties agree to continue working together to address the challenges posed by the increase in irregular migration in Tunisia and the EU, recognising the efforts made and the results achieved by the Tunisian authorities.”

The deal not guarantee any rights or protection for the Sub-Saharan migrants living in Tunisia who have been dealing with rising anti-Black racism and discrimination since Kais Saied's infamous "Grand Remplacement" speech in February, in which he accused "hordes" of sub-Saharan African migrants of a "plot" to change the country's demographic makeup.