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EU–Tunisia Relations: Unpacking the Conundrum


The European Union faces intricate challenges in its policy towards Tunisia. Examining the country’s intertwined political and socio-economic crises, the analysis sheds light on President Kais Saied’s populist politics, which have hindered the political transition and undermined democratic structures. Amidst the pressing challenge of high inflation, escalating debt, sluggish growth and critical shortages in basic goods, the analysis delves into the IMF loan negotiations amidst European concerns regarding Tunisia’s economic collapse and increased migration flows across the Mediterranean. Yet, focusing exclusively on migration or the economy is overshadowing President Kais Saied’s authoritarianism, which in turn has exacerbated Tunisian fragilities. While external financial support appears necessary, a comprehensive approach is essential, addressing urgent economic and political challenges while recognising the need for deep reforms to restore Tunisia’s aborted democratic transition.