|President Romano Prodi in Tunis|
|Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, will be visiting Tunisia on 31 March and 1 April.
He will be received by the President of the Republic, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. He will have talks with the Prime Minister, Mohammed Ghannouchi, and a working meeting with the group of ministers most closely involved in the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
He will also be awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Tunis and will make a public speech at the award ceremony. During his visit he will meet leading figures in economic and cultural circles.
During the visit, President Prodi will have the opportunity to discuss with Tunisian leaders both the bilateral (Association Agreement and MEDA programme) and regional aspects of the operation of the Euro-Tunisian partnership. The main topics of discussion will include matters relating to enlargement of the European Union, deepening of the upgrading process, cooperation in the field of migration and that of justice and human rights.
President Prodi's visit comes at a time when the Euro-Tunisian partnership is producing satisfactory results, in particular with greatly improved performances by the MEDA programme in Tunisia. At the same time the Tunisian economy is up against the difficult situation worldwide and the repercussions of the war in Iraq.
The purpose of this visit is to illustrate the solidity and permanence of the Euro-Tunisian partnership at a critical juncture and at the same time to deepen relations with a view to attaining the objectives set by the two sides in the Association Agreement and the 1995 Barcelona Declaration.
Brussels,03 31 2003
European Union Redaction