Volume 22 (2017) / Issue 1
Soon after the jasmine revolution and the fall of Ben Ali’s regime in 2011, the migration and mobility dossier immediately entered the cooperation agenda between the European Union (EU) and Tunisia and dominated bilateral negotiations. The signature of the Joint Declaration for a Mobility Partnership was an important breakthrough in EU-Tunisia cooperation, since after decades of stalemate, the agreement allegedly sealed a new mutual will to cooperate in a sensitive policy area. Despite its pivotal role in the ‘new turn’ in EU-Tunisia relations, and against the EU declared quest for strengthened co-ownership, this contribution argues that the first steps of the EU-Tunisia Privileged Partnership in the realm of migration tend to replicate rooted dynamics rather than breaking with the past.
It is contented that the permanence of deep institutional embeddedness in times of volatile transition limited the leeway of the Tunisian government, confirm the asymmetric nature of the relationship and questions the possibility for future cooperation priorities to be truly co-owned.
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