On 11th June 2015, the International Conference on Decentralisation and social cohesion took place in Tunis. The event was organised by PASC – Programme d’Appui à la Société Civile – and CFAD, in collaboration with ATERDAL – L’Association Tunisienne d’études et récherches en démocratie et affaires locales, ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy – and with the support of Club de Madrid. ALDA was represented by its Med coordinator Anne-Laure Joedicke, the head of its office in Skopje Ivana Dimitrovska, the Communication support Elena Debonis, and brought in the expertise in decentralisation of Murat Daoudov, President of the Middle-East Development Network and professor at the Marmara University of Istanbul.

After the welcoming words, the floor was given to Mr José Rodriguez Zapatero, Former Prime Ministry of Spain, who discussed the transition process which Tunisia is facing in the framework of its democratisation process. Mr Zapatero focused on the importance of having a future of freedom, rights and progress, stressing the importance of the Tunisian constitution as solution and model, which thanks to its originality and functionality will lead to cohesion. He also mentioned the terroristic attack of the 18th March: “There is no policy in terrorism. There is only violence and destruction. No religion can justify violence” he said. And he also added: “ The international community and the European Union must support the Tunisian process of democratisation. Tunisia is our hope among the Arabic countries”.

Mr Zapatero indicated Spain as example of the most decentralised country: “After 40 years of dictatorship, during 10 years we leaded a democratisation process, motivated by the value of plurality. Centralisation and decentralisation are very interesting issues also for Spain. Thanks to the political, social and economic consensus, you will succeed in this transition. But keep always in mind that you have to move step by step”.

He added that it’s essential to have a more participative democratisation: also the smallest and poorest villages have the right to participate to social and political life. And interregional solidarity plays a fundamental role: in Spain solidarity has the same value in both rich and poor regions. Furthermore, he added the importance of the involvement of women in political issues.

Among the speakers:

• Mr. Imed Abdeljaoued, Director of PASC, who introduced the programme, its objectives and challenges, giving an overview of the work they are leading.

• Mr Jean-Luc Boeuf, territorial expert and professor of history and finances of communities, who delivered a presentation on the fundamental elements that influence the success of decentralisation, such as the State, the Finance, the Right and the Progress.

• Mr Lotfi Tarchouna, President of ATERDAL, delivered a speech on changes given by the Tunisian constitution of 27th January 2014, focusing on same details for better understand how the Tunisian system is organised on local level.

• Mr Murat Daoudov, President of the Middle-East Development Network and lecturer at the Marmara University of Istanbul, made an overview of how territories in Turkey and France are organised, highlighted the criteria of definition of an optimal size of territorial governments, and gave examples of successful metropolisation process in Turkey and its impact on cities like Gaziantep.

• Mr Thomas Fiegle, Researcher, brought his experience on federalism in Germany, while Mr Mohamed Lazhar Mazigh had a speech on Tunisian Constitution.

The event was a milestone for debating and reflecting on the challenges ahead of Tunisia and all stakeholders involved in the process of decentralisation. ALDA keeps working in the country with local and international partners to promote good governance and citizen participation at the local level, and ongoing is the preparatory work to launch the future Local Democracy Agency Tunisia.

Please find here a video 

On 11th June 2015, the International Conference on Decentralisation and social cohesion took place in Tunis. The event was organised by PASC – Programme d’Appui à la Société Civile – and CFAD, in collaboration with ATERDAL – L’Association Tunisienne d’études et récherches en démocratie et affaires locales, ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy – and with the support of Club de Madrid. ALDA was represented by its Med coordinator Anne-Laure Joedicke, the head of its office in Skopje Ivana Dimitrovska, the Communication support Elena Debonis, and brought in the expertise in decentralisation of Murat Daoudov, President of the Middle-East Development Network and professor at the Marmara University of Istanbul.

After the welcoming words, the floor was given to Mr José Rodriguez Zapatero, Former Prime Ministry of Spain, who discussed the transition process which Tunisia is facing in the framework of its democratisation process. Mr Zapatero focused on the importance of having a future of freedom, rights and progress, stressing the importance of the Tunisian constitution as solution and model, which thanks to its originality and functionality will lead to cohesion. He also mentioned the terroristic attack of the 18th March: “There is no policy in terrorism. There is only violence and destruction. No religion can justify violence” he said. And he also added: “ The international community and the European Union must support the Tunisian process of democratisation. Tunisia is our hope among the Arabic countries”.

Mr Zapatero indicated Spain as example of the most decentralised country: “After 40 years of dictatorship, during 10 years we leaded a democratisation process, motivated by the value of plurality. Centralisation and decentralisation are very interesting issues also for Spain. Thanks to the political, social and economic consensus, you will succeed in this transition. But keep always in mind that you have to move step by step”.

He added that it’s essential to have a more participative democratisation: also the smallest and poorest villages have the right to participate to social and political life. And interregional solidarity plays a fundamental role: in Spain solidarity has the same value in both rich and poor regions. Furthermore, he added the importance of the involvement of women in political issues.

Among the speakers:

• Mr. Imed Abdeljaoued, Director of PASC, who introduced the programme, its objectives and challenges, giving an overview of the work they are leading.

• Mr Jean-Luc Boeuf, territorial expert and professor of history and finances of communities, who delivered a presentation on the fundamental elements that influence the success of decentralisation, such as the State, the Finance, the Right and the Progress.

• Mr Lotfi Tarchouna, President of ATERDAL, delivered a speech on changes given by the Tunisian constitution of 27th January 2014, focusing on same details for better understand how the Tunisian system is organised on local level.

• Mr Murat Daoudov, President of the Middle-East Development Network and lecturer at the Marmara University of Istanbul, made an overview of how territories in Turkey and France are organised, highlighted the criteria of definition of an optimal size of territorial governments, and gave examples of successful metropolisation process in Turkey and its impact on cities like Gaziantep.

• Mr Thomas Fiegle, Researcher, brought his experience on federalism in Germany, while Mr Mohamed Lazhar Mazigh had a speech on Tunisian Constitution.

The event was a milestone for debating and reflecting on the challenges ahead of Tunisia and all stakeholders involved in the process of decentralisation. ALDA keeps working in the country with local and international partners to promote good governance and citizen participation at the local level, and ongoing is the preparatory work to launch the future Local Democracy Agency Tunisia.

Please find here a video