The European Commission, on behalf of the European Union (EU), approved the disbursement of EUR 100 million in the form of loans to Tunisia yesterday. This amount represents the first tranche of the EUR 300 million Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) programme to Tunisia approved by the EU in May 2014.
Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxations and Customs, said: "Europe is living up to its commitment to Tunisia. The assistance should help ease the country's financial constraints at a time when it is undergoing a historical political transition and implementing an ambitious economic reform agenda. We support Tunisia's efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability while creating more sustainable growth and more jobs for its people."
This assistance is part of the EU's and other international donors' efforts to help Tunisia overcome its economic challenges. Apart from a weak external economic environment, Tunisia is also confronted with regional instability and threats to its domestic security. The MFA supports the comprehensive economic adjustment and reform programme agreed between Tunisia and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the context of the Stand-by Arrangement approved by the IMF in June 2013.The disbursement of the MFA is linked to the implementation of a number of economic policy measures as set out in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the EU and Tunisia.
This assistance comes in addition to other forms of EU assistance and specifically to more than €800 million in grants already provided to Tunisia since the 2011 revolution, as well as substantial lending operations by the European Investment Bank.
Background on Macro-Financial Assistance
Macro-Financial Assistance is an exceptional EU crisis response instrument available to the EU's neighbouring partner countries. This operation is complementary to assistance provided by the IMF. MFA loans are financed through EU borrowing on capital markets. The funds are then on-lent with similar financial terms to the beneficiary countries.
The assistance package for Tunisia was proposed by the European Commission on 5 December 2013 and adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 15 May 2014 (Decision 534/2014/EU).
For more information on past MFA operations, please see:
For detailed information on MFA for Tunisia, please see: