Tunisia: more EU support for judiciary and health care
Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle participated today at the lunch offered by President José Manuel Barroso to Prime Minister of Tunisia Mr Hamadi Jebali. On this occasion, the Commissioner discussed the political situation in Tunisia, and the development of the democratic transition. Commissioner Füle stressed the need for Tunisia to consolidate human rights and fundamental freedoms, noting in particular the need to strengthen guarantees on freedoms of expression and association, and the rights of women. During the meeting the state of bilateral relations was reviewed, in particular the final steps of the negotiations on the EU Tunisia action plan for a privileged partnership. It was agreed that both sides would do their utmost to reach an agreement on this action plan in time for the next EU Tunisia Association council which is scheduled to take place on 19 November.
Commissioner Füle also stressed that progress in the negotiations of a number of important agreement (mobility partnership,agriculture liberalisation agreement, economic integration agreement, aviation agreement) would create mutually beneficial opportunities and would have immediate benefits for Tunisia.
After the lunch, Commissioner Štefan Füle signed two financing agreements with Mr Riadh Bettaïeb the Tunisian Minister of Investment and International cooperation. The EU support will target the modernisation of judiciary (25 million euro) and of the health system in the poorest regions (12 million euro). With these two programmes, the EU is addressing two important challenges stemming from the 2011 revolution, namely the need to create an independent, impartial and modern Justice system and the need to address the economic and social imbalances within Tunisia. The two programmes will also directly benefit civil society organisations.
See attached documents for more information on the financial agreements: