High-level consultations between the German and Tunisian governments will be held at the Federal Foreign Office on Wednesday, 12 September. The Tunisian participants, several of them state secretaries, will be representing nine different ministries. The German side will comprise state secretaries from nine ministries – including economics and technology, the interior, education and research, economic cooperation and development, and the Foreign Office – as well as the Federal Chancellery.
These consultations, the first ever to take place in this format, are evidence of the new quality of German-Tunisian relations. They also demonstrate how significant the German government considers Tunisia’s political and economic transformation. This is the first time that Germany has engaged in intergovernmental consultations with a Maghreb partner on this sort of in depth and comprehensive cooperation.
In economic talks which will be open to the press, the state secretaries will speak to representatives from business and civil society about Tunisia’s ongoing reforms and the options for greater private-sector collaboration.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle first proposed a transformation partnership in February 2011, when he was visiting Tunisia shortly after the revolution there. The two governments then agreed on cooperation projects in a joint declaration of intent on 9 January 2012. A number of cooperation projects are now underway in the areas of education, civil society, economic development and the rule of law.
The consultations at state secretary level were agreed in March 2012 by Federal Chancellor Merkel and Hamadi Jebali, her opposite number at the head of Tunisia’s government. The talks will provide the transformation partnership with broad-based foundations.