The European Commission has announced a significant financial package of €900 million to bolster the Tunisian economy, with an additional €150 million provided for immediate support. To journey to Tunisia, securing a Tunisian visa is a prerequisite. The type of visa you'll need will be determined by factors such as your nationality, the purpose of your visit, and the intended duration of your stay.
This initiative aims to foster development in Tunisia and address the issue of irregular migration originating from the North African country. The European Union (EU) is also committed to assisting Tunisia in border management and combatting human trafficking as part of its comprehensive approach to addressing migration challenges.
Tunisia has become a prominent gateway for migrants and asylum-seekers seeking to reach European countries in pursuit of better opportunities. This influx of migrants is largely driven by economic challenges in Tunisia, including mounting debts and negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout loan.
The €900 million financial package, coupled with the €150 million in immediate support, represents a substantial commitment by the EU to support Tunisia's economic development. This financial aid is intended to create economic growth and employment opportunities within the country.
The EU is cognizant of the need to address the issue of irregular migration from Tunisia. EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the shared interest in combating human traffickers who exploit vulnerable individuals.
The EU's commitment to Tunisia includes initiatives aimed at breaking the business model of smugglers and traffickers who endanger lives for profit.
As part of its support, the EU plans to facilitate the export of clean, renewable energy from Tunisia to European countries. Additionally, efforts will be made to deliver high-speed broadband infrastructure in Tunisia, which will contribute to economic growth and job creation within the country.
Tunisia had previously reached an in-principle agreement for an IMF bailout loan of nearly $2 billion. However, negotiations have faced challenges, particularly concerning state-run enterprises and state subsidies on essential goods.
According to Frontex, the EU's border and coast guard agency, the primary migratory route from Tunisia is the Central Mediterranean. Approximately 98.5% of irregular border crossings in the first three months of 2023 occurred along this route, which connects African countries like Algeria, Egypt, and Libya with European nations such as Italy and Malta.
Italy remains one of the primary destinations for Tunisian migrants, owing in part to geographical proximity. In the past, France was also a popular destination for Tunisian migrants, particularly in the 1980s.
Simultaneously, there has been an increase in the number of sub-Saharan migrants residing in Tunisia. Between 2004 and 2014, the population of non-Tunisian nationals in Tunisia rose by 66%, from approximately 35,000 to 53,490 individuals.
The EU's comprehensive approach to support Tunisia encompasses economic development, border management, and efforts to combat irregular migration and human trafficking, with the ultimate goal of improving the livelihoods of Tunisians and addressing migration challenges in the region.