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European regions push for Tunisia’s economic recovery

Decentralization and promotion of youth in new businesses are the main post-revolution challenges of the Tunisian economy, Michele Sabban, Chairman of the Regional Association of Europe said in an interview with African Manager.

What do you think of Tunisia now?

What happened in Tunisia is very good and very strong. There are men and women who are preparing the necessary tools, including vocational training, regional development and this, to have sustainable governance. This means that Tunisia is now called to be governed under the banner of freedom and democracy. And young people are called more than ever to participate in this action.

I am confident that things will get better especially with the presence of responsible and competent officials at the head of the government.

As President of the Assembly of European Regions, what, is according to you, the role that these regions could play in the action of Tunisia’s economic recovery?

These regions, namely German, French and Italian regions, will make available their tools, for the exchange of experiences with Tunisia. 270 regions, it means a bunch of proposals that will be able to work. That’s why I came and put at the disposal of Tunisia these proposals and our experiences.

In this context, the Memorandum of Understanding recently signed with the Ministry of Regional Development may bring an additional contribution to the new Tunisia especially in its approach to reconstruction.

The point is to have men and women who will be in Tunisia to train and provide knowledge. They are European companies which come especially to settle in this country.

We need to work on decentralization, which is now the best way to achieve and enhance democracy. Any model is good to study. You should see the experiences of each other so that Tunisia could carry out its own experience. We are not here to impose a regional model to Tunisia. We are here just to tell Tunisia that there is a range of experiences. So take the one that suits you and make your own. I’m not here to force that country to take a specific model. Instead, try to help it make its own model.

What about the Euro DC?

We have chosen Tunisia for the first time because we are confident in the potential it offers especially in matters of youth. Euro DC involves collaboration with companies and regions to bring young people in Europe to learn a trade and train young people in new jobs.

I think this is an excellent opportunity for young Tunisians. Moreover, I will invite young people to SMARSCHOOL, the youth school, to be held in August in the Netherlands to come and talk about their own experiences while discussing and exchanging views with any other youth. That is why we signed today Tunisia’s accession to the Euro DC.

Let’s talk about migrants who preferred to remain in France and are currently facing very difficult times. One wonders about the reaction a bit hard from the French government about this issue. Do you think of a particular action to help them?

This is not the role of the Assembly of European Regions. However, and as a French citizen and as an elected representative of the Ile de France, I see that this is very dangerous with the presence of more than 20 thousand Tunisians who came to the European territory. And if each of the municipalities take 1 or 2 Tunisians to help them so they can return with a trade, I think it will be very intelligent.


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