Answer given by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission
The Seahorse project was launched in 2013 with a budget of EUR 5.5 million. Its main objective was to improve the capacity of relevant authorities in a number of target countries, to monitor the phenomenon of irregular migration by sea, to prevent and combat smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings as well as to prevent the loss of human lives at sea.
The project concluded in January 2019. The project focused on strengthening the capacities of the Libyan Coast Guard to provide lifesaving support at sea and it involved Spain, Italy and Malta. In total 141 staff from the Libyan Coastguard were trained under this programme in technical and search and rescue (SAR) procedures.
The EU support to Tunisia on Border Management has taken place under a different project of the EU Trust Fund, namely the regional Border Management Project Maghreb , involving Morocco and Tunisia. The aim of this project is to strengthen the technical and human capacities of the Tunisian Coast Guard (Garde Nationale Maritime) in fulfilling its missions at sea, including communication, detection and Search and Rescue tasks in respect of human rights.
Equipment supply as well as the provision of necessary training is also part of the project. The project is built on the principle of respect of sovereignty of Tunisia and is developed in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including the Tunisian Garde Nationale Maritime.
Tunisia’s territory is not monitored by Frontex (European Border and Coast Guard Agency) under the Eurosur (European Border Surveillance System) Fusion services.