Tunisia’s Fragile Democracy (Workshop I)

Decentralization, Institution-Building, and the Development of Marginalized Regions – Perspectives from the Region and Europe

16/08/2018 - 18/08/2018 | 09:00 - 18:00 | DGAP Berlin | Invitation only

Category: Tunisia, Democratization/System Change

Tunisia enjoys a unique status as the only Arab country with a parliamentary democracy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). While this makes the country a beacon of hope, there are numerous challenges in the transformation process, as the 16 Tunisian and European participants of the workshop highlighted.

Amine Ghali, Director of Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM) with Intissar Kherigi, co-founder of the Jasmine Foundation.

The event, entitled “Decentralization and the Development of Neglected Regions“, was chiefly aimed at representatives of think tanks and other non-governmental organizations. The main goal was to further promote the civil society and to develop specific topics for policy analysis. To that end, they gathered in Berlin to discuss and improve the instruments of policy advice and outreach.  

“The role of the Tunisian civil society is remarkable. But it is being more and more confined by the government and used as scapegoats for various problems”, said Amine Ghali, Director of Al Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center (KADEM). “We need to fight this”, he added. Intissar Kherigi, co-founder of the Jasmine Foundation, criticized that the envisioned process of decentralization has transformed into a centrally controlled enterprise. “The participatory dimension is diminishing at an increasing rate.” The workshops at DGAP help build the capacities to influence decision-makers, which makes them “very important in this process.” 

For Germany, too, Tunisia is a priority country in bilateral cooperation, as David Löw from the Federal Foreign Office stressed. Main areas of cooperation are the establishment of a sustainable economy through job creation, good governance, judicial reforms, the strengthening of security, cooperation with the civil society, and the advancement of renewable energy sources. Specific project examples include the training of police forces and of investigators in national anti-corruption agencies. “The development in Tunisia also influences the security in Germany”, Löw stated.

Responsible Persons

  • Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid

    Laura Lale Kabis-Kechrid

    Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa Program

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