A moment of silence in solidarity with the victims of police violence in Tunisia has been observed in the European Parliament.
The Commissioner responsible for EU neighbourhood policy, Stefan Fule, spoke about human rights during a debate on the turmoil in Tunisia:
“If there were still skeptics on both sides who thought that these values were only shared in theory, they should listen again and again to the voice of the Tunisian streets over the last days and weeks. What was this, if not a solid demand for democracy and for more economic justice?”
Tunisia was the first South Mediterranean country to conclude an association accord with Europe, in 1995.
With the popular Tunisian uprising, criticism of EU north Africa strategy has grown in volume, with calls for it to be reviewed.
The European Commission said: “The EU stands ready to provide immediate assistance, for example to prepare the electoral process, and we offer our support for a genuine and democratic transition.”
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement saying: ‘We reiterate our engagement with Tunisia and its people and our willingness to help find lasting democratic solutions to the ongoing crisis.’