Answer – Security concerns in North Africa – E-010726/2015

Security has been on the agenda of EU-Tunisia relations even before this year’s attacks. The cooperation has been gaining speed and depth since these tragic events, and includes meetings at the highest political level, regular contacts and visits of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, as well as technical level experts’ contribution.

In this context the EU and Tunisia agreed to hold a high level dialogue on Counter-Terrorism (CT) and the first session which took place on 21st September in Tunis represents a very concrete step forward in engaging in cooperation in this sensitive area.

At the same time the EU has allocated EUR 23 million for a Security Sector Reform programme in Tunisia, to be launched before the end of 2015. This programme covers the following three areas: (1) institutional reform, including training of security agents, to put practices fully in line with international human rights standards; (2) integrated border management; and (3) support to intelligence services (including an improved legal framework), in particular in a CT context.

Consideration is also underway as to how we can assist the Tunisians in countering radicalisation that leads to violent extremism, particularly drawing upon the expertise and best practice that has been developed by the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Excellence.