As per the official request of prime minister Youssef Chahed, the name of Marouen Mabrouk was removed from the list of 48 Tunisians sanctioned by the European Union for misappropriation of state funds. Unlike other friends and relatives of deposed president Ben Ali who saw their money frozen by the EU, Mabrouk was able to find himself a new political shield to protect his wealth following the revolution that swept the country in 2011. With help from telecommunications company Orange France, he managed to get Tunisia’s prime minister to unfreeze over seven million euros in assets held in EU countries.
The tragedies continue one after another off Tunisia’s coasts. The last to date, along the shores of the islands of Kerkennah, cost the lives of 84 individuals according to a statement made by the Interior Ministry as the search for 28 missing migrants continues. 20 years after the closure of European borders following the Schengen Agreement, where does Tunisia’s migratory policy stand?
At roundtable events in the presence of EU funders and Tunisians who work in art and culture, the Ministry of Culture affirms that it has moved beyond words and is in the phase of action. With European Union’s recent designation of four million euros to the sector, the question remains whether or not such support will accompany the implementation of new policies, and specifically a framework ensuring the social and economic security of artists in Tunisia.
Dans sa lutte contre la migration irrégulière, l’Union Européenne s’est engagée depuis 2015 dans des opérations militaires. Le ” Service européen pour l’action extérieure” (SEAE) s’apprête à mener ses opérations non pas uniquement en haute mer mais à l’intérieur des eaux territoriales libyennes.. Fin janvier, le contre-amiral italien et commandant opérationnel Enrico Credendino a adressé un rapport de suivi (« Six Monthly Report ») au Comité politique et de sécurité (COPS) de l’Union Européenne. Le document, classé confidentiel, a été publié sur Wikileaks le 17 février 2016.
With each measure of “support” the EU has offered Tunisia—whether in the form of a sizable loan for security reforms, or a free trade agreement for economic growth—particular emphasis has been placed on the recent successes and imperative role of civil society in the country’s path to democracy. But if what Tunisian civil society demands is a shifting of the scales and relations based on reciprocity, is Europe really prepared to listen?
As civil society and political forces across the Mediterranean debate Europe’s Agenda on Migration, in Tunisia it is the absence of a comprehensive national strategy, cohesive immigration legislation and designated State institutions which is at the heart of migration discussions.
At the beginning of March, another modification was issued via Committee Implementing Regulation 2015/380 to suspend the issuing of importation certificates and to respond to requests for olive oil with an allocation coefficient of 5,451531%. In order to understand how these regulations reflect and effect the production and export of Tunisian olive oil, Nawaat visited the Tunisian Board of Olive Oil (ONH) in Tunis.
In Tunisia’s case, there will likely be for many years to come the relentless push, from both without and within, for foreign governments and institutions to supply aid, support, assistance, and know-how to the end/under the pretext of promoting economic growth, social justice, and State accountability. In this context, will Tunisia allow outside interests and impositions to define its foreign relations and, by extension, its own autonomy? or will it remain vigilant, deliberate, and selective in decisions concerning relations with its geographical neighbors, economic ‘partners,’ and strategic ‘friends’?
Articles and reports in foreign media on Tunisian olive oil have been manifold since the beginning of the year, prompted by an EU regulation to accommodate Tunisia’s “excellent season” and US interest in promoting and facilitating the export of Tunisian olive oil to the States. The following is an overview of Tunisia’s olive oil industry and affiliated ministries, institutions, and foreign markets who influence the production and export of Tunisia’s historically symbolic and gastronomically essential commodity, ingredient, source of wealth.