With the release of the first tranche of funds from the memorandum of understanding between the European Union and Tunisia, Italy Giugia Meloni hopes that the North African country led by Kais Saied can finally begin to stem the flows of migrants heading towards our possessions. But it is certain that it will not be easy or immediate and the unknown is still different, and those who hope that this agreement will have the same effect as the one reached with Turkey under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016 will be disappointed. Also, those who talk about a naval blockade, like Matteo Salvini, without reaching a European agreement for a Sofia-style mission, are only “deceiving the Italians,” as Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani himself admitted.
Last Friday, Brussels agreed to disburse 127 million euros to Tunisia, but 67 of them were linked to old agreements, including those for post-Covid recovery assistance, and not to the new memorandum. But it is clear that their release now is not a coincidence, but the impact of disbursing these loans on flows will only appear over time (if seen). “What we need to do is create capabilities in the country to improve land and sea controls, and we are currently discussing the assets to do that,” EU diplomatic sources explained to us. “To do this first, we are considering supplying used materials, including refurbished boats, to ensure supplies quickly. Otherwise, if we only have to supply new ships, we may have to wait until the end of 2024 and we can.” She can’t afford it,” the sources continue.
The nation should be handed over 17 refitted boats and eight new boats, but not only. “We will give the Tunisians what they ask of us, there will be no weapons, but in addition to the boats, we are talking about tools such as engines, other equipment, gasoline and obviously training, which is also very important. We will try to make sure of something that can be used in times of kidnapping.” But one problem to overcome is the fact that Tunisia has never established a search and rescue zone, a rescue and assistance area under the exclusive jurisdiction of the state, which may not oblige the local coast guard to intervene in the matter. Emergency. The source hopes that “they will establish it as well as the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center Mrcc (Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, ed.), which will involve them in coordination work with other authorities in other countries.”
Therefore, it must be said that the work is still on the high seas, and even talking about a naval blockade is meaningless. “The presence of a naval mission, even a European one, that does not have the ability to work in agreement with the Tunisian authorities, is of little benefit. We must ensure that the identification and interception of departures takes place in Tunisia’s territorial waters. Tunisia and Meloni know that this cannot be done.” Without an agreement with the local authorities,” an agreement that must also be put into effect. Europe is also concerned about the ability to control land borders in the south, with Algeria and especially Libya, two countries bordering the Sahel countries, which are the main routes for migration flows. These are countries that have recently been rocked by coups such as those in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, coups that threaten to make the situation worse.
“Given what is happening in the Sahel region, we need to help Tunisia control its land borders. Niger was among the countries that cooperated most in assisting repatriation, in agreement with the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, to help reduce Departures, but if the situation continues like this, “it is very dramatic, and there is a fear that there will be an increasingly strong push for migration from those areas of the world where organized crime interests are grafted on,” the sources denounced. To carry out repatriations, let us not We forget that agreements with countries of origin are needed, and Europe is moving in this direction as well, but it will not be automatic. Precisely for this purpose, the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, has undertaken a mission to West Africa, starting from Ivory Coast, Guinea and Senegal, to discuss cooperation Especially in the field of mobility and migration.
In general, when we talk about the memorandum of understanding with Tunisia, we must understand that the problem is fundamentally that, unlike what happened with Turkey in 2016, here it is about building a control capacity almost from scratch. “Erdogan is at the head of a state that he controls in a broad and powerful way, and therefore had the possibility of guaranteeing results. The impression is that Tunisia is a country that must be helped to stabilize, a country that has no money.” The sources mention the means of controlling its lands. This complicates the whole plan.
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