A memorandum of agreement was signed on Tuesday, January 8, by Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (COE) Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni and Tunisian Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem, paving the way for a COE office to be opened in Tunis.
The office will be the first of its kind outside of Europe, pointed out Battaini-Dragoni during the signing ceremony. It aims to “support the democratization process in the country, making available [the COE's] expertise in human rights, rule of law, and democracy,” she said.
Among the issues discussed during the signing ceremony, the deputy secretary general highlighted the urgent need to form the independent supervisory body for the upcoming elections. Furthermore, she added importance to the role of watchdog organizations over key areas of government, such as the judiciary and anti-corruption entities.
Abdessalem declared that the office’s installation will help Tunisia benefit from Europe’s experience in democratization.
In her official visit to Tunisia, Battaini-Dragoni will also inaugurate the first cycle of undergraduate courses of the Tunisian Political Studies School, founded last year by the Mediterranean and International Studies Center.
So far in Tunisia’s political transition, COE experts have regularly assisted the work done by the country’s National Constituent Assembly.