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EU Tells Tunisia: Support in Exchange of Reform - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Brussels- “There are common challenges to overcome along with Tunisia in connection to economic and social policies,” said Chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Maghreb Countries and the Arab Maghreb Union at the European Parliament (EP) Pier Antonio Panzeri.

Youth unemployment, stability, security and counter terrorism are issues that fall under the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) between Tunisia and the European bloc, Panzeri said Tuesday as the Tunisia-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee held its second meeting in Tunisia.

The agreement should be fair in order to maintain balance between business and social policies, the EP highlighted.

The EP resolution of 14 September 2016 on the EU relations with Tunisia in the current regional context defines the main lines of joint action and the nature of the EU political, economic and social contributions to Tunisia, Panzeri indicated.

The document contained 70 statements, proposals and recommendations concerning political reforms and institutions, economic and social development, security and defense, mobility, research, education and culture.

In the document, the EP renewed its commitment to the Tunisian people and urged the Union and Member States to mobilize and better coordinate technical and financial means to bring concrete aid to Tunisia.

The EP expressed its concern about the current socioeconomic and budgetary difficulties that go hand-in-hand with the instability of a country in transition, and believed that it is essential that the budgetary authorities agree to reinforce the European Neighborhood Instrument’s planned resources for Tunisia.

It supported the efforts made by the Tunisian public authorities to modernize and liberalize the economy in order to meet new demands at the national, regional and international levels.

It recommended reinforcing the fight against corruption in order to establish a more favorable environment to investments and companies.

The Parliament showed that it is concerned about the sustainability of Tunisian debt and advised to convert debt into investment projects.

It also asked the EU Member States to determine a means to guarantee the rescheduling of Tunisian debt on preferential terms.

It expressed its deep concern over the direct repercussions of the instability in Libya on security in Tunisia and acknowledged that terrorism is a shared challenge that calls for a joint response.

It called for more efficient youth integration in order to allow them to find stable jobs and avoid being recruited by terrorist organizations.

In terms of mobility, the EP welcomed the mobility partnership signed between the EU and Tunisia and urged the Tunisian authorities to cooperate closely in the fight against organized illegal immigration.

It also welcomed the EU-Tunisia partnership in research and innovation and recommended the development of other partnerships in culture, sports, education, community life, and audio-visual media.

For her part, Chairwoman of the Committee on Culture and Education Silvia Costa said it is necessary to intensify cultural exchange on all levels, especially increase exchange between teachers and students.