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EU Foreign Affairs Council – Immigration: imminent partnership agreement with Tunisia

The signing of a “partnership on mobility” between the EU and Tunisia “is imminent”, according to the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, in which Minister Emma Bonino participated, whose main themes included human trafficking in the Mediterranean. According to the 28 EU foreign ministers, the European Union and Tunisia have committed to strengthening cooperation in the field of immigration and asylum, and negotiations on an EU-Tunisia partnership on mobility was concluded, with internal procedures launched ahead of the imminent signing of the agreement. Moreover, it was declared that the challenges posed by the tragedy of Lampedusa, and within the framework of the Mediterranean task force led by the European Commission, would be treated in a global manner.

Strengthened cooperation also with Libya

At the same time, the EU committed to strengthening cooperation with Libya on the creation of secure and stable borders, which constitutes an essential factor in guaranteeing the successful management of migration flows and the defense of migrants’ fundamental rights. Assistance will thus be supplied to the Libyan government in its struggle against human trafficking and illegal weapons trade and terrorism. An important element in this is the EUBAN Libya border assistance mission.

Italian proposal on EU Mediterranean mission

The ministers also discussed Italy’s proposal of a military mission in the Mediterranean to combat human trafficking, an issue that will be confronted in upcoming meetings and that remains on the European Council’s agenda.

Libya: violence in Tripoli condemned

The EU is concerned over the marked deterioration in political and security conditions, and condemned the 15 November violence in Tripoli that led to the loss of human lives. All parties were urged to avoid further bloodshed and the need was foregrounded for the government and national congress to work together within a consensual national framework based on the Constitutional Declaration, with a view to enacting a peaceful political and democratic transition toward a united Libya.

Syria: Gineva II as soon as possible

Deterioration in the Syrian crisis and the effects it is having on the region, especially in terms of refugees, render even more urgent the need to end the violence and secure a peaceful solution that meets the legitimate expectations of the Syrian people. The EU reiterated the importance of convening the Geneva II Conference as soon as possible, and welcomed the recent positive position of the National Coalition of Opposition Forces on participating in the conference.

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