Meeting on Monday in Brussels, the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union stressed that the elections of October 23, 2011 in Tunisia are a turning point for Tunisia and beyond for the entire region.
The EU added that the Constituent Assembly will have to fulfill the historic task of establishing the framework of a State based on democratic principles, respect for fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, human rights, gender equality and non-discrimination.
It stands ready to deepen and intensify its commitment with the newly elected authorities and civil society in the implementation of reforms in order to provide concrete answers to the legitimate aspirations of the Tunisian people for democracy and a more equitable society based on an inclusive and sustainable economic growth.
The EU approved a new more ambitious approach in its neighborhood policy to provide greater support to countries in the region engaged in a transition period, as indicated in the Council’s conclusions of June 20, 2011. In this context, the EU and Tunisia have established a broad agenda for cooperation, including the recent launch of Dialogue on Migration, Mobility and Security.
The EU also recalls the financial support it has increased significantly. The EU confirms its commitment to launch negotiations on a bilateral comprehensive and thorough free-trade agreement (CAFTA), to improve market access opportunities in the context of the reforms undertaken by Tunisia in order to achieve progressive economic integration in the EU internal market.
It reaffirms its willingness to quickly implement this support in accordance with the requirements of Tunisia and its progress in implementing its reform program.
The EU also confirmed its commitment to resume and conclude negotiations of the new action plan which will focus on strengthening of relations between the EU and Tunisia, through a renewed partnership. The EU will support the new authorities in their efforts for democratization and sustainable economic development, particularly in the context of the EU-Tunisia Task Force launched on September 28, 2011 in Tunis. ”