EU and Tunisia sign controversial deal following migrant stranding

Posted on 19 July 2023

On Sunday, the EU signed an agreement with Tunisia to help address the “unprecedented migration crisis” faced by the nation.

This comes after an outbreak of xenophobic violence in Sfax earlier this month, and the stranding of hundreds of migrants between Tunisia and Libya. Thousands have travelled to this area to flee to Europe over the past few months.
Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister, says the deal includes “essential measures for bolstering efforts to stop irregular migration” such as “disrupting the business model of people smugglers and human traffickers, strengthening border control and improving registration and return."
However, nations and organisations have criticised the EU’s approach, believing it ignores human rights. Eve Geddie, Amnesty International’s Advocacy Director at the organisation’s European Institutions Office, has said the deal will result in the “dangerous expansion of already failed migration policies and signals EU acceptance of increasingly repressive behaviour by Tunisia’s president and government.”


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