Tunisia’s Fragile Democracy: Decentralization, Institution-Building, and the Development of Marginalized Regions

Perspectives from the Region and Europe (Workshop II)

Topics of discussion included Tunisia’s ongoing decentralization process; the importance of implementing effective participatory approaches to engage citizens; the role of fiscal reform in ensuring the success of the decentralization process and in addressing the unequal distribution of income; concrete measures to tackle a range of socio-economic challenges that Tunisia and its marginalized regions in particular are facing; and the impact of EU support on the development of Tunisian civil society.

The workshop participants presented their policy papers, which they had written in the months between the two workshops, and discussed them with relevant Tunisian and European decision-makers. In addition, two political activists and civil society representatives who have led successful initiatives in the field of labor law reform and open governance attended the workshop to share their experiences with the participants and help them to advance their advocacy skills.

The following speakers and discussants attended the workshop (in alphabetical order):

  • Ali Abaab, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Yassine Ammar, Tunisian Ministry of Justice
  • Nabil Ben Nacef, Delegation of the European Union in Tunis
  • Riadh Dabbou, Tunisian Ministry of Local Affairs and the Environment
  • Yosra Douiri, Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture
  • Jazem Halioui, The Open Gov Campaign
  • Hedi Kechrid, Municipality of Ariana
  • Tarek Lamouchi, The Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability
  • Adnen Lassoued, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Youssef Tlili, Chargé de Mission of the Tunisian Minister of Education
  • Amor Yahyaoui, Tunisian Ministry of Justice

The workshop is part of the MENA Program’s project on the promotion of think tank work in the Middle East and North Africa, which aims to strengthen the scientific and technical capacities of civil society actors in the region and the EU who are engaged in research and policy analysis and advice.

The workshop was funded by the German Federal Foreign Office and the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), and was organized in cooperation with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Tunis, and the Labo “Prospective, Stratégies et Développement Durable” PD2D.