The European Commission and Tunisia have signed an administrative arrangement with the aim of boosting mutual ties in civil protection and disaster risk management. The key areas of cooperation are disaster prevention, readiness and response on emergency issues such as floods, forest fires and rescue missions.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides commented that global challenges require joint efforts and partnerships. “The agreement is a win-win for both sides and will mean practical results for people during times of need. It is a tangible sign that EU cooperation with Tunisia is deep and strong.” Commissioner Stylianides also reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting Tunisia as a key civil protection partner in its wider southern neighborhood.
Under the new arrangement, Tunisia will benefit from training for experts, the establishment of joint emergency response plans as well as closer cooperation in a number of areas. Following the agreement with Algeria in December 2016, this is the second time that a similar deal has been signed with a country from the EU’s southern neighborhood.
EU-Tunisia relations that date back to 1976 gained significant momentum when Tunisia signed an Association Agreement in 1995, paving the way for twenty years of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations. Since 2011, EU assistance to Tunisia increased substantially and between 2011 and 2016, EU assistance totaled at 2 billion euros. This package was used to help the Tunisian authorities with the country’s democratic and economic transition and it contributed to the country’s fiscal stability through macro-financial assistance.