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Barroso meets the press in Tunis

Published the:  12/04/2011

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April 12, 2011 - TAP - Visiting President of the European Commission (EC) José Manuel Barroso held, Tuesday in Tunis at the European Union (EU) Delegation headquarters, a news conference during which he reviewed the various issues he had discussed during his meeting with the Tunisian officials.
As regards illegal immigration, Mr. Barroso said that the problem of illegal immigration should be settled as part of co-operation between Tunisia and EU.
He laid emphasis on the fact that this phenomenon could be associated with criminal networks and that it is of service to everyone's interest to put an end to it. He pointed out that his talks with the Tunisian officials had helped discuss the issue of illegal immigration from Tunisia, stressing the Tunisian authorities' commitment and responsibility in this regard.
He specified that the issue should not become an impediment to bilateral relations, specifying that Europe hopes to develop a legal immigration with Tunisia and to relax conditions of visas delivery for some categories.
Answering a question in this connection, Mr. Barroso deplored diverging stands on this issue among the EU member States, calling to set up an immigration policy at the European level.
In another connection, Mr. Barroso said that European Union would support the Tunisian economy by granting an additional 140 million euros for the 2011- 2013 period, financing multiple SME projects through the European Investment Bank (EIB).
He pointed up that partnership would be focused on trade, technical assistance to Tunisian products to have better access to Europe, notably as regards the "origin certification."
He also voiced wish that the Tunisian side would make easier access for European services, asserting that the future for Europe would be to develop a real Euro-Mediterranean space.
Besides, Mr. Barroso said that he had confidence in the democratic transition process in Tunisia, pointing out that Tunisia is a model for the Arab world and the Mediterranean southern shore. He specified that he was bearer of a message of solidarity to the Tunisian people and authorities, wishing success to the free elections and to the setting up of a democratic regime.