Moving forward together along the path of reform: Maas in Tunisia

View of the coast of Tunis

View of the coast of Tunis, © Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net

28.10.2019 - Article

With the sweeping changes that have taken place since the Arab Spring, the country is assuming a pioneering role in the region. The visit of Foreign Minister Maas to Tunisia comes just after the presidential and parliamentary elections – sending a strong message of cooperation.

Successful progress towards democracy

Tunis© picture alliance / ZUMA Press

At the end of December 2010, protests began in Tunisia which triggered the Arab Spring and led to sweeping changes across the entire region. Almost ten years after these events, Tunisia is now a democracy, the country has successfully passed through important stages in the areas of democratisation and the rule of law and can boast a strong civil society. Freedom of expression, assembly and the press are guaranteed. Following the death of President Essebsi in June 2019, the presidential elections scheduled for November 2019 were brought forward. Parliamentary elections were also held in October.

Meetings with President Saied and Foreign Minister Jhinaoui

Shortly after the elections, Maas is travelling to Tunisia, the first foreign politician to do so. President Kais Saied is new to the office, and the Government is still being formed. Maas will meet Saied in Tunis. Talks with Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui are also planned.

Pushing ahead with reform

Tunisia now needs to build on the progress made. Part of the population has so far not reaped the benefits of the changes, particularly as far as the economy is concerned. Reforms are needed to break down old structures, improve the investment climate and fight corruption in the long term.

Close partnership with Germany

Germany and the EU intend to actively support Tunisia along its path towards further reforms. Cooperation is already close and based on trust. Germany and Tunisia are important mutual partners in areas ranging from the economy to security. Since the Arab Spring in 2011, the Federal Foreign Office has been supporting democratisation and reform processes in the region, including Tunisia, within the context of the transformation partnership.

From Tunisia, Maas is due to travel on to Egypt.


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