The conference, hosted by Tunisian party Ettakatol (Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties), debated the challenges ahead for the region and proposed concrete steps to consolidate democracy in the countries where revolutions succeeded. Participants also addressed ongoing revolutions – where autocratic regimes keep repressing peaceful demonstrators – and called for a halt of violence against civil populations. In this sense, participants joined an action of solidarity with the Syrian people, holding black ribbons and adopting a declaration in solidarity with people in struggle.
At the end of the meeting, a strong declaration launching the basis of an Arab Economic and Social development plan was adopted.
Speaking at the conference, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Sergei Stanishev stated; “The declaration we adopt today in Tunis will work as a democratic road map with an economic compass. It will pave the way for an Arab region economic and social development plan, based on strong public services, an investment strategy in key sectors and decent labour regulations. People have the right to expect concrete benefits from democracy; our progressive plan will deliver this – based first and foremost on fairness”.
Mr. Stanishev added: “The European Union (EU) has a duty to help this new 'fair progress generation' born from the Arab Spring. Europe must support people struggling against dictatorships and engage in a close cooperation with countries going through democratic changes. The Party of European Socialists supports a privileged partnership between Tunisia and the EU, a partnership based on fairness and a balanced approach.
The Tunis conference takes place one year after the PES meeting “Arab revolutions: time for democracy & progress”. After a year of intense work, the Tunis conference will allow representatives to foster the democratic transition process by strengthening the partnership and cooperation between European and Arab progressive forces.
NOTE - The Tunis conference is organized by the Party of European Socialists (PES), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), together with Ettakatol (Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties).
For more information : Gisela Oliveira, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 485 759 324