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Tunisia / Transition to Democracy: The Polish paradigm

A Polish delegation paid a one-week visit to Tunis to meet the different components of the Civil Society in Tunisia.

In this context, “Democratic Transformation, the Polish Experience ” was particularly the theme of a roundtable held last Friday in Tunis, in the presence of Polish ambassador Krzysztof Olendzki and Professor Bronislaw Misztal, Executive Director of the Community of Democracies, member of that delegation. AfricanManager met with them: Interview:

What is the object of the Polish delegation’s visit?

* Ambassador: Krzysztof Olendzki:

The Polish mission is composed of representatives of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Aid to Development as well as representatives of Polish NGOs. They stayed in Tunisia from March 21 to 26, 2011.

Its members are among the main actors of democratic changes in Poland, namely Bronisław Misztal, representing, among others, the Community of Democracies and Dr. Włodzimierz Puzyna, who represents the School of Public Administration of Szczecin and Zagranica Group President. “The Zagranica group is a coalition of Polish NGOs Polish working for and in cooperation with international organizations and institutions in the areas of cooperation for development, humanitarian aid, strengthening civil society, development of local democracy and fight against corruption.

The group carries out projects in Poland and also in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, in the Balkans, Central Asian countries of and Afghanistan.

* Professor Bronislaw Misztal:

The reason behind the group’s visit is to prospect and examine the current situation in Tunisia and identify the needs of Tunisians, bearing in mind the Polish experiences regarding the construction of the democratic system and political, social and economic transformation. Tunisia remains one of the most interesting and also the most requested by the Poles

who appreciate the hospitality of Tunisians. The people of Poland have admired the Tunisian revolution. This is a crucial step to establish democracy and break with the past. It’s time to establish freedom and justice.

How can Tunisia benefit from the experience of Poland in its transition to democracy?

* Professor Bronislaw Misztal:

Every nation writes its own history and chooses the best means of ensuring political stability, good governance and economic development. During more than 20 years of the process of transformation, Poland has gained extensive experience. The Poles have made many mistakes, but we also found many effective solutions to problems that have arisen in the process of building a democratic society. Poland wants to share these experiences with Tunisians to contribute to choosing a better solution for the country.

What are the areas of cooperation between Tunisia and Poland?

* The Polish Ambassador:

Tunisia and Poland celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. They have pledged to further develop their economic and trade relations to further strengthen these exchanges and raise them to a level of a mutually beneficial partnership. In this sense, areas of cooperation are multiple, namely in the sectors of food processing, mechanical engineering and electronics, gas, tourism and transport …

We have a common desire to develop partnership, for example through the exchange of agricultural products such as dates, olive oil and citrus …

There is also the exchange of expertise in the field of agricultural research and development research institutions in both countries. We are called upon to redouble efforts to boost bilateral cooperation and build on investment opportunities in Tunisia and Poland thanks to the incentives and measures taken in order to boost investment.

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