EU-Tunisia: privileged partnership in November, Barroso says

Fule and Bettaieb sign financial aid plans for health, justice

02 October, 19:13

(ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 3 - Tunisia and the EU will sign a new ''privileged partnership'' protocol for bilateral cooperation in November, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said after meeting with Tunisian Premier Hamadi Jebali on Tuesday.

''Many projects are already underway, but we can go further on macroeconomic aid,'' Barroso said. This must accompany ongoing reforms in Tunisia, with the help of international lenders, he added.

EU-Tunisia relations are fourfold, EU President Herman Van Rompuy explained today. They include a new plan of action for privileged partnership; 400 million euros over 2011-2012 for economic recovery and democratic transition; further trading integration, with a view to integration into the EU single market; and partnership for mobility.

Also on Tuesday, Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule and Tunisian Cooperation Minister Riadh Bettaieb signed an agreement to implement a new, four-year, 25-million-euro program to reform the Tunisian justice system, making it more impartial, independent and efficient, and bringing prisons up to international standards.

They also agreed on a 12-million-euro health care program, that will affect four million Tunisians in 13 of the country's poorest eastern and southern regions, where 40% of the population lives. The program will improve access to basic health care, quality of service, and hospital and clinic conditions. (ANSAmed).

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