EU, Parliament asks Commission for clarifications on funds for Tunisia

STRASBOURG (FRANCE) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The European Parliament has approved a resolution asking the European Commission to clarify the circumstances linked to the disbursement of funds to Tunisia. In the non-binding resolution approved by MEPs with 243 votes in favour, 41 abstentions and 167 against, the European Parliament invites the Commission to clarify why it chose to provide 150 million euros in aid as a special measure for Tunisia in a single tranche.

According to the MEPs, a gradual disbursement based on concrete goals or objectives achieved would have offered the possibility of suspending further disbursements in the event of a clear erosion of fundamental values.

The resolution calls on the Commission to clarify how it believes Tunisia meets the criteria on fundamental values, as stated in its action document, which refers to “satisfactory progress” justifying the provision of budget support.

MEPs highlight the deterioration of the rule of law in Tunisia since July 2021, as stated in an EP resolution of 16 March 2023, regarding recent attacks on freedom of expression, and express doubts on the respect of principles relating to democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the country.

In light of the Tunisian President Kais Saied’s refusal in October 2023 to accept €60 million in budget support from the EU, the European Parliament asked the Commission to clarify why it believes the Tunisian authorities are willing to accept the support provided for by this special measure. The European Parliament also contested the Commission’s decision to use an emergency procedure for the disbursement, as decided on 21 December 2023, given that the announcement of the support of 150 million euros had already been made on 11 June 2023 , leaving sufficient time to resort to the normal procedure.

MEPs believe that this decision demonstrates a failure to respect parliamentary scrutiny, and regret that the Commission “did not proactively make this financing agreement available to Parliament”.

Finally, MEPs want guarantees that Parliament will be able to visit the sites of EU-funded projects in Tunisia to exercise its supervision and control rights.

– Photo: Agenzia Fotogramma –


Source: medNews