You take a walk by the seaside, thirsty for the Tunisian scenery and the beauty of the azure waves brushing the strands of beach sand. Instead, the first things your eyes catch are stray plastic cups, bags, straws, and the list goes on. Marine pollution in Tunisia has always been, but only became a red flag in the past few years when international NGOs started to loudly voice their concerns about the disastrous levels reached in the Mediterranean Sea.
Since the revolution, the number of civil society associations in Tunisia has more doubled, reaching some 19 thousand. In the context of establishing a “participative democracy” with citizens and civil society as principal actors, Decree-law 88 of 2011 guaranteed the “freedom to create, belong to, and carry out activities through associations, and the strengthening of the role of civil society organizations…” But there is a tremendous gap between legislation and practice, as founders and heads of Tunisian civil society organizations repeated umpteen times last week during a forum on “Governance of Associations.”
Chartered buses from l’Institut Français headed towards Gafsa to assemble at the 6th Youth Forum, which each year, celebrates decentralized cooperation between France and Tunisia. Behind the “support” of civil society appears to be the dissemination of a doctrine; one which claims that what will help boost start-ups is a solution for mass unemployment and marginalization. In light of some “success stories”, how many are left behind?
Amidst the flurry of headlines and articles to have surfaced since yesterday’s announcement, reports indicate a range of reactions, from unabashed praise to skepticism. On the #NobelPeacePrize Twitter feed, the more skeptical and tactfully sarcastic comments posted by Tunisian netizens certainly constitute the more colorful—and necessarily critical—category of responses to the Nobel Peace Prize designation for 2015.
As civil society and political forces across the Mediterranean debate Europe’s Agenda on Migration, in Tunisia it is the absence of a comprehensive national strategy, cohesive immigration legislation and designated State institutions which is at the heart of migration discussions.
Currently on the table for discussion in Parliament, Draft Law n°55/2014 concerning the right of access to information continues to make waves. Last week, Reporters without Borders confirmed concerns previously expressed by a number of civil society organizations including IWatch, Touensa, and the LTDH. Analysis.