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EU Parliamentary Delegation in Tunisia to Discuss Political Reforms

EU Parliamentary Delegation in Tunisia to Discuss Political Reforms

Tuesday, 12 April, 2022 - 09:30
Tunisians raise placards and national flags as they take to the streets of the capital Tunis to protest against their president, on April 10, 2022. (AFP)

Members of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee arrived in Tunis on Monday for consultations on the country’s path towards political reforms and a return to institutional stability.

According to observers, the visiting delegation will underline the need for a comprehensive political dialogue, respect for the rule of law, civil liberties and human rights, as well as the importance of having a political system based on democratic principles, especially the principle of the separation of powers.

The delegation was led by Michael Gahler, Standing Rapporteur for Tunisia of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and includes Javier Nart, Jakop Dalunde and Andrea Cozzolino, Chair of Parliament's Inter parliamentary Delegation for relations with Maghreb countries.

During the three-day visit, the senior officials are scheduled to meet with the Tunisian president, representatives of the government, political parties, and civil society to discuss how the EU can continue to support Tunisia in the process of political reform and democratic consolidation.

This ad-hoc delegation will also provide the opportunity to discuss with relevant interlocutors if and how the European Parliament can support Tunisia in preparing for the planned elections at the end of 2022.

In addition, the delegation will pay special attention to the economic situation in Tunisia and on how the EU can best support Tunisian authorities in the implementation of economic reforms for the benefit of all Tunisians.

Due to the suspension of the parliament, Tunisian authorities, and several parties loyal to the president had previously rejected a similar visit by European Parliament members to the country.

They viewed the visit as meddling in Tunisia’s internal affairs.

In response to the visit, Parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi’s assistant Maher Medhioub addressed a letter to the European Parliament, saying Tunis rejects foreign meddling and that it can resolve its problems internally.

There can be no resolving the political crisis without the participation of all elected Tunisians, starting with the parliament, various political parties and social and civil society organizations, he stated.

He added that the beginning of the solution lies with President Kais Saied annulling the extraordinary measures he imposed in July 2021 and reinstating the parliament, which had dissolved earlier this month.

He also proposed the launch of national dialogue to resolve the "deep and dangerous constitutional crisis."

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