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One hundred and forty million euros added to budget allocated by EU for 2011-2013, Barroso

Published the:  12/04/2011

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April 12, 2011 - TAP - President of the European Commission (EC) José Manuel Barroso announced, on Tuesday in Tunis, a "re-orientation" of the assistance program to Tunisia with an amount of 140 million Euros to be added up to the budget appropriated by the European Union for the 2011-2013 period.
The EU President, on a visit in Tunisia, said he had discussed with Prime Minister Béji Caid Essebsi "priorities" of the Tunisian-European co-operation.
The talks, which the European official described as "constructive and fruitful," helped "provide guarantees and be an occasion to assert Europe's support to Tunisia's efforts in the economic and social fields," Mr. Caid Essebsi said. "
Tunisia was the first country to launch this transition process and I wish it would be the first example of the new generation of our partnership for democracy and shared prosperity," Mr. Barroso stressed, announcing a re-orientation of the assistance programs for the Southern countries during the 2011-2013 period.
All these programs combine a total worth of 4 billion Euros.
"For Tunisia, an amount of 140 million Euros is to be added up to the already allocated budget for 2011-2013, which is of 257 million Euros," he specified.
The EU is determined "to achieve a qualitative leap" with those Southern neighbours committed to carry out reforms, through this partnership mechanism, the EC President emphasized.
He paid tribute to the Tunisian people who, by means of "their revolution, took their future in their hands and imposed themselves as an example of success for the region and for the whole world", he said.
The President of the European Commission, who reasserted Europe's commitment to support economic revival in Tunisia and open up for it broader access to its market, arguing that "immigration could never be the solution" and that Tunisia and Europe should tackle this issue of immigration "in a constructive way".
The phenomenon is a challenge for and a shared responsibility, he explained.
"We expect that Tunisia takes a strong and clear action".
Tunisia should accept to return of those Tunisian nationals whose stay in Europe is illegal and should show commitment to fight illegal migration, he suggested".
Tunisia's commitment is crucial for carrying on our co-operation", he said.