Business & Finance

Report: EU-Tunisia privileged partnership making progress

BRUSSELS, The European Union (EU) released Wednesday a new report on developments in relations with Tunisia which details major aspects of cooperation from early 2018 to March 2019.

It notes progress in the priority areas of the EU-Tunisia partnership. These include sustainable socio-economic development; youth, democracy, good governance and human rights; rapprochement between peoples, mobility and migration; as well as security and the fight against terrorism.

The report was released ahead of the EU-Tunisia ministerial council in Brussels on Friday.

“We attach particular importance to our cooperation with Tunisia, built on the basis of our shared history, shared values and mutual respect. Significant progress has been made in the past year as part of our privileged partnership,” commented the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.

On his part, EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement negotiations Johannes Hahn said “the EU has continued to mobilize all its cooperation instruments to support our Tunisian partner. This resulted in 2018 in a package of financial aid measures amounting to 305 million euro (USD 341 million) in the form of grants, the highest amount ever allocated to Tunisia under the European Neighborhood Instrument.” During this same period, together with eight European and international financial institutions, Hahn said he launched an unprecedented initiative to highlight the importance for Tunisia to implement as soon as possible its reform commitments in socio-economic areas for the benefit of all Tunisians.

The report notes that since 2011, Tunisia has been engaged in a democratic transition that remains a source of hope at the regional level and beyond.

“Significant progress has been made in 2018, including the holding of municipal elections in May 2018,” it underlined.

However, the report also notes that the transition will only be sustainable if it is accompanied by similar economic and social progress.

Thus, recommends the report in this year of important electoral deadlines, it is important to continue to progress in the implementation of the Strategic Priorities of the Tunisia-EU Partnership as well as the Partnership for Youth Tunisia-EU.

The EU remains Tunisia’s largest trading partner, accounting for about three-quarters of its exports and source of more than half of its imports in 2018.

The EU remains the largest foreign investor in Tunisia, accounting for more than 85 percent of all foreign direct investment in the country, and with more than 3,000 European companies employing more than 300,000 people, added the report.

Source: Kuwait News Agency