Tunisia: European Parliament supports solidarity measures taken by the Commission

February 29, 2016
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The European Parliament convened on Thursday 25 February 2016 in Brussels and adopted two resolutions regarding relations with Tunisia – one on a plan for exceptional access to the European market for 35,000 tonnes of olive oil per year for a period of two years, and another welcoming the prospect of a ‘deep and comprehensive free trade agreement’ (DCFTA). Both are conceived in a spirit of solidarity and support, at a time when Tunisia is undergoing the challenge of fighting both terrorism and an economic crisis.
“The EU must help Tunisia to succeed”, said Marielle de Sarnez, French Liberal MEP, who is a rapporteur on this subject. “We are responsible for defending the Tunisians and supporting their efforts to consolidate democracy and also, through this agreement, for contributing to their economic development, growth and employment”, she said during a presentation before the vote on the two resolutions. 
During the debates, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström stressed the importance of these two resolutions: they touch the subject of relations with a ‘privileged partner’ who is about to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its association agreement with the EU. She stated that the framework for negotiations will be ‘asymmetric’ and will be prepared in stages, by introducing mutual listening and by accompanying grants with support measures. Malmström also recalled the commitment made to involve civil society in this negotiation process.

Countries covered:

  • Tunisia