Civil Society 9

National Registry of Institutions, stepping on the toes of Tunisia’s civil society organizations

In June 2017, Tunisia’s Ministry of Civil Society and Human Rights pledged to reform the legal framework regulating associations, an attempt to « harmonize » the sector with the fight against terrorism and money laundering. The government’s proposal to amend Decree 88 of 2011, widely regarded as an important gain of the revolution for freedom of association, was perceived as a significant threat to this constitutional right. But while Tunisian and international civil society organizations had their gaze fixed on protecting Decree 88, the threat materialized in a far less obvious form: draft law 30/2018 on the National Registry of Enterprises, precipitously passed into law by parliament on July 27, 2018.

Governance of civil society associations: the gap between legislation and practice

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.”

6th Youth Forum in Gafsa: France-Tunisia Cooperation and its Discontents

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?

Revolution, My Love

On 17 December 2010, a young Tunisian in Sidi Bouzid sets himself ablaze. One by one, the country’s regions rise up. On 14 January 2011, after 23 years of dictatorship, Ben Ali leaves the country. Like so many other Tunisians, Karim Rmadi, Olfa Lamloum, Ghassen Amami and Selim Kharrat decide to return home after many years abroad. Four stories that tell of revolutionary fervor, the challenges of transition, and an unshakable faith in the future.

The Tunisian Youth Parliament: An Evaluative Reading

The idea is to have the Tunisian youth act as delegates in a model of the Parliament, as is the case with the European Youth Parliament and other parliamentary youth representations. I had the chance to participate in the event after I got accepted among sixty young Tunisians. This article is my personal evaluation of the event as a whole, beyond the outward show of harmony.