The European Union (EU) announced that it has adopted € 305 million in financial support for Tunisia, the highest amount ever allocated to the country under the European Neighborhood Instrument.
This financial envelope will be devoted to the following programs:
The “Youth in Action” program (€60 million) will improve the economic, political, and social inclusion of the most vulnerable among Tunisian youth. It will (i) contribute to a better access for young people to the job market, through skills development, (ii) invest in culture and sports and (iii) improve policy participation of young people at the local level.
The “EU4Innovation” program (€15 million) will contribute to the strengthening and structuring of the Tunisian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. More specifically, it will (i) improve the services available to start-ups and entrepreneurs and (ii) support the implementation of an enabling regulatory environment for innovative entrepreneurship and start-ups.
The “Support to local governance” program (€70 million) will support Tunisia’s efforts to boost local development and reduce regional and local disparities as part of its decentralization process.
Actions will (i) improve living conditions for local populations through a better access to basic services, (ii) support and build the stakeholders’ capacities and (iii) provide analysis and dissemination of good practices.
€160 million have been allocated to various programs and actions supporting key economic sectors (private sector and urban development, culture and tourism) and the modernization and reform of the Tunisian public administration.
Since 2011, the EU has more than doubled its financial contribution to cooperation with Tunisia. In the Southern Neighbourhood, the country is the principal beneficiary of the ‘umbrella’ program, which allows for increased European financial support to partners working to strengthen democracy and human rights.
Besides increased support, the past years have ushered in more diverse approaches and forms of assistance to address Tunisia’s needs in the wake of its historic democratic transition.