First meeting of EU/Tunisia Task Force to support transition to democracy and economic recovery
Brussels, 27 September 2011 – The first meeting of the EU/Tunisia Task Force will take place in Tunis tomorrow. The Task Force will ensure better coordination of European and international support for Tunisia’s transition. It will be co-chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Catherine Ashton, and Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Ca ĭd Essebsi. Stefan Füle, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and the European Neighbourhood Policy, and Bernardino Léon, the EU Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean Region, will also participate in the event.
The EU-Tunisia Task Force is the first task force in the Southern Mediterranean since the Arab Spring began. In Tunis, HR/VP Ashton and Commissioner Füle will reiterate the full support of both the European Union and the international Community to Tunisia’s transition towards an open and democratic society, less than a month before the elections scheduled for 23 October. The Task Force will follow up the implementation of its decisions and will meet again in 2012 to continue work on medium and long term projects.
It will put a strong focus on support to the economic recovery in Tunisia. Concrete actions will aim in particular to assist the recovery of frozen assets, and to boost Foreign Direct Investment and job creation. A number of EU grants, which are part of a 1 billion € multi-donor programme, will besigned during or in the margins of the event.
Market access, mobility of persons, education and research and support to civil society will also be high on the agenda – including in a session with civil society representatives – and the EU will offer enhanced cooperation and new partnerships in these areas.