Immigration: EU and Tunisia sign Mobility Partnership

Italy among the 10 Partnership member States

03 March, 17:00

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELLS, MARCH 3 - The EU and Tunisia signed a Mobility Partnership to facilitate the movement of people, to promote joint responsible management of migration, to simplify visa procedures, and to protect refugees and asylum seekers, EU Internal Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom made known Monday.

    The agreement was signed by Malmstrom, Tunisian ambassador to Belgium and the EU, Tahar Cherif, and the interior ministers of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, which are the Mobility Partnership member States.

    On the illegal immigration front, the two sides agreed to start negotiations on a deal to readmit such immigrants, to jointly fight human and migrant trafficking, to increase security of identity and travel documents, and to improve border management.

    Tunisia and the EU also pledged to work side by side to identify asylum seekers, examine asylum applications, apply the principle of non-refoulement, which means that people cannot be sent back to their countries of origin if they are likely to face persecution there, and to set up long-term protection of asylum seekers. One of the first consequences of the Partnership will be negotiations towards an agreement to streamline visa granting procedures.

    The accord also aims to improve information given to qualified Tunisian citizens who could be in demand on the job market, or who are eligible for EU study and training grants, as well as to facilitate mutual recognition of professional qualifications and academic degrees.

    The EU and Tunisia also committed to facilitating the integration of Tunisians who are legal EU residents and of immigrants who are legal residents of Tunisia, as well as to a series of initiatives to optimize the impact of migration on development.(ANSAmed).

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