Tunisia is one of the 16 partner countries whose relations with the EU are framed by the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This country page presents information on DG ECFIN’s activities and economic cooperation with Tunisia.
DG ECFIN conducts regular analysis on macroeconomic and financial developments in Tunisia.
Through their regular macroeconomic dialogues, the EU and Tunisia exchange views on their respective economic situations and outlooks and on the major structural challenges that they face.
The latest EU-Tunisia macroeconomic dialogue took place in Brussels in March 2015. The European Commission presented inter alia the EU economic outlook based on the latest economic forecast. The Tunisian authorities discussed recent macroeconomic developments in their country and reviewed the state of play of key reforms and progress made under the IMF programme. The meeting also provided the opportunity to consider issues related to public finance management, price subsidy reform, tax reforms, bilateral cooperation, as well as progress under the first macro-financial assistance operation (see below).
The EU's macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Tunisia is part of a wider effort by the EU and other international donors to help Tunisia overcome the severe economic difficulties it has faced since its economic and political transition process began following the 2011 revolution. Terrorist attacks in 2015 worsened the situation further by affecting key economic sectors such as tourism and transport.
Upon Tunisia’s request and following an ex-ante evaluation , the European Commission proposed in December 2013 up to EUR 250 million in macro-financial assistance (MFA) loans (read the proposal ). The aim of the MFA loans was to help Tunisia cover its external financing needs in 2014 and 2015, as well as encourage reforms aimed at improving the investment climate and fostering trade and regulatory convergence with the EU, thereby supporting the ultimate objective of creating the conditions for sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The European Parliament and Council approved the MFA on 15 May 2014 and increased the amount to EUR 300 million (read the Decision here). The Loan Facility Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding were signed between July and September 2014, and ratified by the Tunisian Parliament in March 2015. The Commission approved the disbursement of the first tranche (EUR 100 million in loans) on 14 April 2015, and the disbursement of the second tranche (EUR 100 million in loans) on 16 November 2015. The final tranche is expected to be disbursed in the second half of 2016, subject to the agreed conditions being met.
During 2015, the Tunisian economy was strongly affected by the terrorist attacks and other security developments, which harmed its tourism inflows, investment and growth. In this context, and following a request by the Tunisian authorities and the evaluation of the country's external financing needs (see the ex-ante evaluation ), the Commission proposed additional macro-financial assistance (MFA) to Tunisia in the amount of up to EUR 500 million in loans. The decision was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 6 July 2016. The MFA assistance is meant to complement a new comprehensive economic adjustment and reform programme between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a follow up to the Stand-by Arrangement approved by the IMF in June 2013.
The new MFA programme is intended to help cover Tunisia's external financing needs in 2016 and 2017, while supporting reform measures aimed at achieving a more sustainable balance of payments and budgetary situation, improving the investment climate, and fostering economic integration and regulatory convergence with the EU. The ultimate aim is to help Tunisia lay the conditions for sustainable, inclusive and employment-generating economic growth.
The links below provide additional information on EU-Tunisia relations: