Tunisia Denies Entry to EU Delegation on Official Visit

    Tunisia Denies Entry to EU Delegation on Official Visit
    Last updated Sep 16, 2023
    Image credit: European Parliament/Flickr [via Wikimedia Commons]


    • Tunisia has denied entry to a group of members of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, who were due to start an official visit to the North African country on Thursday.
    • The five-member delegation led by Germany's Michael Gahler was set to meet with civil society organizations, trade unions, and opposition figures but failed to secure engagements with Tunisian officials.
    • The two-day visit was expected to assess developments since the committee's previous fact-finding mission to the country in April 2022, when concerns over Tunisia's democratic standards and human rights were expressed.
    • Tunisia reportedly didn't provide reasons for the refused entry, which Gahler described as "unprecedented since the 2011 Tunisian Revolution."
    • The controversial decision comes shortly after some European parliament lawmakers criticized a migration deal Brussels struck with Tunisia in July, which would allow the latter to receive millions of dollars in financial support for stemming the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.
    • Meanwhile, on Friday, the EU administrative watchdog gave the European Commission a three-month deadline to explain how it plans to safeguard human rights in the migrant busting deal with Tunisia.


    Narrative A

    Tunisia's outrageous refusal is a direct result of the European Commission signing a disgraceful EU-Tunisia migrant deal and giving a blank cheque to the autocratic Kais Saïed government to insult the EU's parliamentary diplomacy and divide the bloc.

    Narrative B

    Though Tunisia's decision may be deemed controversial, the EU must find ways to go through this crisis to ensure the long-term success of the migration deal since the EU-Tunisia migration deal has already led to increased boat interceptions and rescues.

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