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The Regions of Europe make their revolution in Tunis


13 May 2011


Regional Policy

The Assembly of European Regions and the Tunisian Ministry for Regional Development reach an agreement on regionalization and employment

Tunis (TN), 13th May 2011

At the heart of the Tunisian democratic transition, Michèle SABBAN, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), and the Tunisian Minister for Regional Development, Mr. Abderrazek ZOUARI, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), in the presence of Mr. Said AYDI, Tunisian Minister of Vocational Training and Employment.

During two days, this new initiative, supported by a delegation of 20 regional politicians, heads of regional administrations and European entrepreneurs has given way to meetings and discussions with the authorities and civil society in Tunisia. “The challenge of this partnership is to support the growth of this new democratic Tunisia, and to fight the scourge of unemployment. We will quickly establish the conditions to welcome young Tunisian graduates, through internships, among our voluntary member Regions. Increased mobility, as well as the introduction of professional integration programs, will be essential for the country’s growth and development. We have not come here just to sign another protocol. There is an urgent need and we must quickly provide proposals and, hopefully, the beginnings of solutions” commented Michèle SABBAN, during the signing of the protocol.

In order to ensure this initiative's successful conclusion and prepare the next steps, AER will draw its inspiration from its past experiences in the field of mobility and professional education. AER has thus led the programme « Eurodyssey » for 25 years, which allows 600 young Europeans each year to acquire a first professional experience (from 3 to 7 months) abroad, independently from their field of study - the accompaniment and support being provided by the hosting region.

Beyond meeting with the partners involved in the future initiative, the delegation’s visit aimed at supporting the decentralization process which is currently underway in Tunisia. "In the reforms package which is to be implemented after the constituent of July, the reforms for the regionalization of territories will be a major challenge for the Tunisian economy’s reflection and the deepening of the democratic process", underlined Mrs SABBAN. AER has already proposed to share its knowledge and methods of work with the Tunisian authorities. Working groups gathering regional European politicians, representatives of Tunisian ministries, experts of the tunisian-european chambers of commerce as well as actors from the Tunisian civil society are to present their conclusions and recommendations by the end of June.

Next Monday, a gallerie photo will be available on the AER website.

*Members of the AER delegation: Michèle SABBAN, AER President and Vice-President of Ile-de-France (F), Jean-Claude GAYSSOT, Vice-President of Languedoc-Roussillon (F), Hande ÖZSAN BOZATLI, Regional Councilor of Istanbul Provincial Council (TR) and President of AER’s ‘Culture, Education, Youth and International Cooperation’ Committee, Armelle MARTIN, Vice-President of Limousin (F), Pascal MANGIN, Regional Councilor of Alsace (F), Antonio SORGI, Director General of Abruzzo (I), Luis SIMAS SOUSA ROCHA, Director of the Observatory for the Employment and Vocational Training (Açores-P), Guylaine CHOUISSA, Head of European and International mobility for youth (Franche-Comté-F), Michel PRUD’HOMME, Deputy Director General for Personnel and Human Resources (Ile-de-France-F), David-Xavier WEISS, Head of European policies of the Regional Tourism Committee (Paris-Ile-de-France), Jean-Pierre FOUBERT, Head of International Relations (Languedoc-Roussillon-F), Marie-Laure MEYER, Managing Director for learning, vocational training and integration (Limousin-F), Daniel HAAS et Dr Tyll WEBER-CARSTANJEN, Entrepreneurs and Jean-Yves DELANOË.