Assessing EU–Mediterranean Policies in the Fields of Energy from a Bottom-up Perspective: The Case of Tunisia

The present report analyses the situation of Tunisia concerning the energy sector in the framework of the EU-funded project MEDRESET. It aims to investigate Euro-Mediterranean policy in the energy sector from a bottom-up perspective. The main findings are the following: concerning energy, Tunisia faces a huge change in its energy status. Until the revolution, Tunisia had covered its energy needs thanks in particular to the gas royalty fees from the Algerian–Italian pipeline. In 2000, it became a dependant country with a growing deficit. Due to the revolution context, implementing a stable energy policy was not a possibility. Smuggling and illegal trade with Libya increased, while energy subsidies reached 7 per cent of GDP. Tunisia has suffered from a growing lack of investments. Considering such challenges, the people’s welfare and the local needs, EU policy regarding energy in Tunisia remains very limited with two Neighbourhood Investment facilities: 1 million euro for SUNREF in 2015, and 1.5 million euro for the Tozeur power plant. The EU has also offered a grant (e.g., European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument) of 975,000 euro for a photovoltaic power plant in Nabeul. This must be compared with the global European Neighbourhood Instrument of 213 million euro in 2016 for Tunisia. In sum, the EU energy policy in Tunisia is marginal.

Rome, IAI, December 2018, 29 p.
Working Paper 33
Publication date: 

1. Methodology
2. Overview of the Tunisian Energy Sector
2.1 Key Challenges
2.1.1 The Growing Energy Deficit
2.1.2 A Centralized System Challenged by Renewable Energy and the EU Relationship
2.1.3 A Sector Based on Hydrocarbon in Need of Diversification
2.2 National Energy Policies
2.2.1 Major Policy Instruments
2.2.2 A New Vision for the Energy Sector
3. European Energy Policy in Tunisia Since the Launch of the Barcelona Process
3.1 European Energy Policy in Tunisia: A Missed Opportunity
3.2 EU Energy Projects in Tunisia
4. A Bottom-up Perspective on the Energy Sector in Tunisia
4.1 Content Analysis of the Documents Produced by Relevant Stakeholders
4.2 Analysis of the Recursive Multi-Stakeholder Consultations
4.3 Employment and Gender-related Issues
Annex 1: List of Interviews
Annex 2: Questionnaire

Research area