Africa

EU SEES SIGNIFICANT DROP IN MIGRANT DEPARTURES FROM TUNISIA

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson announced on Tuesday that the European Union has established a robust collaboration

EU SEES SIGNIFICANT DROP IN MIGRANT DEPARTURES FROM TUNISIA

European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson announced on Tuesday that the European Union has established a robust collaboration with Tunisia regarding migration issues. She highlighted a substantial decline of approximately 80-90% in migrant departures from Tunisia over the past two months. However, she noted a concerning increase in departures from Libya, a trend that contrasts with the positive developments in Tunisia.

During a briefing in Brussels, Johansson emphasized the effectiveness of the partnership between the EU and Tunisia, which includes a migration component agreed upon in July. She expressed regret over the surge in departures from Libya, which, along with Tunisia, serves as a major departure point for migrants bound for Italy. Italy has witnessed a significant rise in migrant arrivals as a consequence.

Ylva Johansson addressed an “international conference on a global alliance against migrant smuggling” in Brussels, where representatives from 57 countries gathered. In addition to discussing the challenges, the Commissioner introduced a revised directive aimed at strengthening efforts against human trafficking. She also presented a regulation designed to enhance Europol’s role in combating this issue.

While Tunisia was not represented at the ministerial level in the conference, Johansson assured that the EU maintains “good cooperation” with the country. She responded to concerns about the implementation of the July memorandum of understanding and tensions surrounding European funds by acknowledging the positive impact of Tunisia’s strengthened coast guard, resulting in the reduction of departures.

Johansson acknowledged the broader scope of cooperation with Tunisia, extending beyond migration issues. Despite the progress, she emphasized the need for further action in collaboration with Tunisia in the field of migration.

The EU-Tunisia partnership, aimed at reducing migrant arrivals in the EU from Tunisia, involves financial aid of 105 million euros to combat irregular immigration. Additionally, there is direct budgetary assistance of 150 million euros to support Tunisia’s economy, facing serious challenges. However, President Kais Saied’s rejection of 60 million euros in budgetary aid in October, citing concerns about EU “charity,” has added complexity to the partnership. Criticism from NGOs and European parliamentarians also revolves around worries about migrant rights violations in Tunisia.

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