The European Commission (EC), on Friday, proposed additional macro-financial assistance to Tunisia of up to EUR 500 million (nearly 1,128 million Tunisian dinars).
The EC said in a statement Friday, following a request by Tunisia , this assistance will take the form of medium-term loans at favorable financing conditions.
“Today’s proposal for additional assistance is part of a wider effort by the EU to help Tunisia overcome the severe economic difficulties it has faced since its economic and political transition process began,” said the same source.
It is meant to complement a new comprehensive economic adjustment and reform program currently being discussed between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as a follow up to the Stand-By Arrangement approved by the IMF in June 2013.
The EC said the new macro-financial assistance program, to be disbursed in three installments that could start this year, needs to be approved by the European Parliament and the Council before disbursements.
It will help to cover Tunisia ’s external financing needs in 2016 and 2017, while supporting reform measures aimed at achieving a more sustainable balance of payments and budgetary situation, improving the investment climate, and fostering economic integration and regulatory convergence with the EU.
Tunisia has benefitted since 2011 from over EUR 1 billion (2.25 billion dinars) in grants through the European Neighborhood Instrument and other EU external co-operation instruments. Moreover, Tunisia also received over EUR 1.3 billion (2.93 billion dinars) in loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) since the start of the revolution.