Economic analysis

Macro-Financial Assistance

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 Commission approved the disbursement of the third and last tranche (EUR 100 million in loans) on 10 July 2017.

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 Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 27 April 2017 and it entered into force on 11 August 2017, following its ratification by the Tunisian parliament. The MFA assistance will 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 2017 and 2018, 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.

Press releases

The links below provide additional information on EU-Tunisia relations: