European Ombudsman also criticizes migration deal with Tunisia 2:32 PM Abroad The European Ombudsman asks the European Commission questions about the controversial migration deal it concluded with Tunisia this summer.

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Migrants at the border crossing at Ras Jedir. Groups of migrants were sent into the desert by Tunisian authorities
NOS News

Criticism of the migration deal that the EU concluded with Tunisia this summer is increasing. After the United Nations (UN) and the European Parliament, the European Ombudsman is also involved in the discussion. In a letter to the Commission, the Ombudsman expresses serious concerns about the human rights situation in Tunisia.

How will the European Commission ensure that no human rights are violated in Tunisia? And when will the Commission intervene if it turns out that this is happening? These are two of the eight questions that the European Ombudsman asked the Commission today.

The human rights situation in Tunisia has been under scrutiny for some time. For example, the UN holds Tunisian President Kais Saied responsible for racist policies. Black migrants who want to travel to Europe via Tunisia are rounded up and left in the desert without food, drink or shelter. Dozens of migrants have now died.

Earlier this week, the deal was also criticized from all sides by the European Parliament. Many politicians are dissatisfied because the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Tunisia this summer only increased after the deal was concluded. Thousands of migrants have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa, close to the coast of Tunisia, in recent days.

Other MEPs believe it is unacceptable for the EU to conclude a deal with the controversial Tunisian president and, like the ombudsman and the UN, are concerned about the human rights situation. For Tunisia, the criticism was probably a reason to refuse a European Parliament delegation access to the country.

Despite all the criticism, the Commission continues to support the migration deal. In her annual speech, Commission President Von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the deal is an example for future migration agreements with other African countries.

The ombudsman asks the Commission to respond to the letter before December 13. A spokesperson says that the European Ombudsman’s questions will be answered before December. The ombudsman may then decide to launch an official investigation. The recommendations of such a study are not binding.

  • Tunisia refuses European Parliament delegation access to the country
  • European Parliament not happy with Tunisia deal, but is practically sidelined
  • Tunisia deal mainly based on wishful thinking, say insiders
  • Abroad

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