The European institutions have published a report on the state of the EU-Tunisia relations, highlighting the intense ties that had developed between the two sides in the last 12 months. The intensified cooperation transcends many fields ranging from high-level exchanges, dialogue and cooperation on key issues such as reforms and youth employability to good governance and democracy. This cooperation has been covered by the Privileged Partnership – a term for cooperation between the EU and a non-EU country to advance common goals without the actual EU membership.
“We are eager to deepen our Privileged Partnership, and the EU remains committed to a democratic, strong and prosperous Tunisia. Our efforts are focused in particular on the aspirations of Tunisia’s young people,” commented EU diplomacy chief Federica Mogherini. Her colleague, EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, said that the EU was continuing to deploy cooperation instruments in Tunisia such as increased financial assistance – in 2017 the EU provided 300 million euros in grants. “The population is looking for tangible progress and results, and in the light of the current economic situation, the process of institutional and socio-economic reform needs to be speeded up,” he said.
The report highlights tangible progress that has been made in numerous fields, including women’s rights, judicial reform, promotion of youth entrepreneurship, local development and the environment. Moreover, Tunisia’s involvement in the EU’s exchange programs has made it possible to engage researchers, students and teachers for the benefit of the development of an innovation-oriented society.