This is the second visit by European parliamentarians to Tunisia in less than two months. This is evidence, if necessary, that the European Union (EU) is very interested in what is happening in the young democracy and that it certainly wants the Tunisian experience to shine in a region where democratic setbacks are common. The press releases that followed the first stay of MEPs – from April 11 to 13, 2022, they had time to explore the Earth well – were very generous. And the finally It was decided to temporarily and give freedom to the head of state, Kais Saied, at least until December 2022, the date of the legislative elections. But in the meantime there was an attack on the body, which infuriated the European partner to the point of making unpleasant comments about Saeed. The second visit of the European deputies clearly indicates that the President of the Republic will not have a blank check.
Above all, there is a new idea in the air: “accountability principleThis was a matter of real concern to the Tunisian executive authority. After many difficult manipulations, the US administration has come to the conclusion that Tunisia has come a long way from the nails set by the democratic transition, and therefore the aid given to Tunisia has been cut in half. The USAID chief’s latest outing hit the nail in the head. It is hoped that Tunisia will be careful not to anger the European partner to the point of encouraging it to follow the American “model”…
This is the full text signed by the delegation of the Sub-Committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament entitled “Tunisia: MEPs support a return to the constitutional order
MEPs support a return to the constitutional order, through negotiation and consultation with all actors in Tunisian society.
A delegation from the Parliament’s “Human Rights” Subcommittee went to Tunisia from May 22 to 24, 2022 to enable it to understand the democratic issues currently at stake in the country, in a context marked by a major political and economic crisis. And before the July 25 referendum on constitutional reform.
The visit, which took place within the framework of the distinguished relations between the European Union and Tunisia, focused in particular on the set of shared values between the two parties that are recognized as central elements of this partnership.
During this visit, MEPs had the opportunity to meet with a large number of institutional actors and representatives of Tunisian civil society and especially human rights organizations, including women’s rights, associations active in the field of economic and social rights, but also judges, academics and experts in particular in immigration and anti-corruption issues; As well as representatives of political parties and youth organizations.
Meetings were also held with Noureddine Taboubi, Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labor Union, Samir Mejoul, President of the Tunisian Labor Union, Mohamed Yassin Jelassi, President of the National Union of Tunisian Journalists, and Fathi Jaray, head of the Independent Authority for the Prevention of Torture. As well as Farouk Bouaskar, the new head of the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE), and Sadok Belaid, the coordinating head of the National Consultative Committee of the new republic that was created by decree on May 19.
The discussions mainly focused on the problem of the rule of law, in particular the successive dissolution of the House of Representatives and the Supreme Judicial Council, and the risks associated with the concentration of powers. The issue of good governance, including the recent Decree-Law on the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE), the dissolution of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (INLUCC) and the role of social partners and civil society in the national dialogue process; As well as respecting rights and freedoms and protecting the constitutional achievements and independent bodies in this regard.
During this visit, many concerns were expressed on the one hand about the ongoing process that focuses on the powers in the hands of one person and does not guarantee any potential cure and on the other hand about the attacks on the independence of institutions. “Tunisia does not face a situation of abuse, but authoritarian drift poses a real threat to the country’s constitutional achievements.” If the actors in Tunisian society remain convinced that a comprehensive national dialogue is the only way out of the current political crisis, the decree-law that created a national advisory committee for the new republic made only all those who demand genuine dialogue and consultation in the country. The context of future constitutional reform. Moreover, if the fight against corruption is an established goal, it should not be used as a slogan or as a political weapon.
Finally, the delegation noted that the partnership linking the European Union with Tunisia is based on a foundation of values. While it is necessary to distinguish between the political situation and the economic situation in the current context, it is as important to strengthen the link between cooperation and economic rights to support Tunisians as it is important to defend the shared values of democracy and freedoms, and to think about new approaches, including the principle of accountability.
The European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights delegation included DROI Chair Maria Arena (S&D, Belgium), MEPs Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany; was in Tunisia last April), Andrea Cozzolino (S&D, Italy), Jacques Madison (ID, Estonia) and Karol Karski (ECR, Poland).”
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