Germany and Tunisia are close partners and friends. Tunisia has been very successful in managing the transition from dictatorship to democracy based on the rule of law. As a result, it has acquired a profile far beyond the region. Germany and Tunisia want to play an active role in establishing peace, stability, democracy and human rights within their neighbourhood and across the world. To this end, they want to cooperate closely at both bilateral and multilateral level.
It is in this context that the 4th German-Tunisian consultations are being held in Berlin on 27 September, with Andreas Michaelis, State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, and his Tunisian counterpart, Sabri Bachtobji, as co-chairs. Senior representatives of the two Governments meet every two years under the leadership of the State Secretaries of their Foreign Ministries to take stock and set priorities for further cooperation.
State Secretary Michaelis said:
I am impressed by how successful Tunisia has already been in building up a democratic, pluralist state based on the rule of law. No-one can be surprised that the transition is not yet complete in every area. What is important, though, is that economic development keeps pace with political change. I am delighted that German expertise and support are so sought-after and welcome – in the fields of security and civil protection, and also regarding the question of how relations between Tunisia’s central government and its regions can be retuned. Cooperation and exchange with the country’s vibrant civil society is a focal point. Tunisia is on the right course, and can continue to count on us.
German engagement in Tunisia
Germany is currently supporting Tunisia with up to 1.4 billion euros for ongoing projects. Tunisia has entered into a reform partnership with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, undertaking to reform the financial and banking sector in return for additional technical and financial support.
Over 260 German companies have created more than 62,000 jobs in Tunisia, where unemployment is high. During the talks, both sides stressed that social dialogue is crucial for social harmony. Research and innovative capacity are to be strengthened and developed .
What else was discussed?
Another item on the agenda was the difficult situation in Tunisia’s neighbour Libya. Germany and Tunisia support the efforts of the UN Special Representative, Ghassan Salamé, who is mediating between the parties. Both sides agreed that a solution can only be found through negotiation and that it will require patience.