Germany, France, and the Tunisian Spring

07/07/2011 | 15:30 - 17:00 | DGAP | Invitation only

Discussion

Category: Arab countries, Democratization/System Change

What positions have Germany and France adopted in the light of mass demonstrations and regime change in Tunisia? What is expectated of Germany, France, and the EU by Tunisia and other Arab states during the process of transformation? These questions were discussed at the “German-French Future Dialogue” by Sami Ben Sassi, Internet activist from Tunis, Béligh Nabli, director of research at the French Council on Foreign Relations and Strategy (IRIS) in Paris, and Klemens Semtner, head of the task force on transformation partnership with Tunisia in the German Foreign Office.

Sami Ben Sassi spoke of his personal perception of the revolution process and expressed his disappointment, in particular with the reactions of the French. Béligh Nabli analyzed the ambivalent French position as well, which he thinks is based on fear of the possible Islamization of Tunisia. Klemens Semtner underlined the special relationship between France and Tunisia. Moreover, he described the German initiatives in the region and pointed out the role of German political foundations.

All speakers highlighted the importance of strong political signals and close cooperation with the Tunisian reformers moving forward. There is a strong need for aid in the education sector as well as a need to increase investments to boost socio-economic development in the region.

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