The Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation, Andreu Claret, hailed “the exercise of dialogue and citizen participation” which facilitated the establishment of a new Tunisian constitution, during the inauguration of a conference on society civil society in the Arab world which began today in Tunis.
Addressing a hundred of representatives of civil society from 18 countries, Claret has declared that “the exercise of dialogue and participation is in line with the values and objectives of the Anna Lindh Foundation”, an institution that promotes intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean space.
In this conference, organised in the framework of the Dawrak - Citizens for Dialogue programme, the Anna Lindh Foundation is trying to reflect on the role of civil society in the Arab countries, three years after the beginning of the changes witnessed by the region.
Claret emphasised that civil society has played a major role in the transitions and added that ‘the challenge now is to actively participate in the construction of open and plural societies on both sides of the Mediterranean’.
Speaking during the meeting, the representative of the European Union, Aleksandr Zafiriou has declared that “the European Union is trying to work with civil society and facilitate dialogue between civil society and governments in the current context”.
Meanwhile Kamal Jendoubi, former president of the independent commission for elections, stated that “the beauty of that period lies in its dynamism and activity created by the civil society”. For his part, Mahrez Ferchichi, representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tunisia welcomed “the participative approach which characterised the introduction of the new Tunisian constitution and the positive role of civil society in this exercise”.
The meeting continues today and tomorrow with workshops on education, media and youth participation with the participation of over 80 representatives of civil society of the region.