Tunisia: Annual EU Migration Data Highlights Desperation of Tunisia’s Youth

by | Jan 13, 2023 | Economic, Political, Tunisia


On 13 January 2023, the European Union’s (EU) Border and Coast Guard Agency (known as Frontex) released its 2022 reporting, which highlights Tunisia as one of the top three sources of irregular migrants to Europe along with Afghanistan and Syria. The 330,000 total irregular border crossings recorded by Frontex in 2022 were the highest level recorded since 2016. More Tunisians attempted the Mediterranean crossing than previously recorded and a growing number of Tunisians were identified as attempting irregular crossing through the Western Balkans. In October, Serbia rescinded visa-free travel for Tunisians as this trend became increasingly evident.


The underlying conditions driving irregular migration out of Tunisia toward Europe continue to worsen, with limited hope for short-term economic solutions as delays in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan process continue. Unemployment, corruption, and inflation have taken a particular toll on Tunisia’s youth who are willing to tolerate the risks of an irregular migration attempt to escape a sense of hopelessness at home. While Tunisia’s political class continues to trade proverbial blows over policy decisions, the younger generation appears largely resigned to a trajectory of disengagement.


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