The memorandum of understanding signed by Tunisia and the European Union (EU) on Sunday July 16, 2023 has caused a lot of ink to flow. The Tunisian Diplomacy has published its entire content, but it remains, in many respects, unclear given the interpretations that can be made.
Among the points that should be remembered and which were not necessarily mentioned in the document and even less by the European leaders during the press briefing on Sunday, is that the EU has promised two envelopes.
The first is worth 105 million euros which should support Tunisia’s efforts in the fight against illegal migration. The date of disbursement was not specified. The second, for its part, is worth 900 million euros, and we know when it will be disbursed: after Tunisia obtains the loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
And on this level, nothing is yet played. Indeed, the Bretton Woods institution still demands the commitment of structural reforms in our country, particularly in terms of energy and food subsidies, but President Kaïs Saïed does not hear it that way. .
This means that Tunisia has returned, in part, to the starting point. Admittedly, the memorandum of understanding includes positive points, in particular on renewable energies and support for the state budget, but it remains insufficient and perhaps disadvantageous for Tunisia.
On the other hand, the latter must ensure that its administration and its apparatuses are capable of applying the terms of the memorandum. Other questions deserve to be asked. We are entitled to wonder about the absence of African support: Tunisia faced the EU alone. Of course, there will be the Rome Immigration Congress on Sunday July 23, 2023, which will bring together African Heads of State and Government, in addition to President Kaïs Saïed, but observers say that the Tunis memorandum of July 16 2023 is anything but advantageous for our country.
Other, more positive critics claim that it is a considerable step towards solving the migration crisis in Tunisia and, why not, in Africa. Beyond economic and geopolitical considerations, it is a question, and it must be remembered, of human lives that are at stake.
This article is originally published on realites.com.tn