At its meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on 28 June 2019 the Bureau of the Congress approved Tunisia’s request to be granted Partner for Local Democracy status. This request will be examined, for adoption, at the 37th session of the Congress (29-31 October 2019), in Strasbourg. Established by the Congress in 2014, this status is part of the Council of Europe’s neighbourhood policy and offers the countries concerned a special framework for institutional dialogue with their European counterparts.
Through this status, the Tunisian authorities undertake to develop a process of decentralisation and regionalisation, based on the principles of the European Charter for Local Self-Government, and to hold free and fair elections at local and regional level, which will be in conformity with international standards.
Tunisia is the second Maghreb country to accede to Partner for Local Democracy status, since Morocco obtained it on 2 April 2019 at the 36th session of the Congress.
The official application to be granted this status was submitted to the Congress on 13 May 2019 by the government and the Federation of Tunisian Towns and Cities.
The Tunisian Government’s decision to request Partner for Local Democracy status with the Congress was made within the context of the longstanding co-operation between the Congress and the Tunisian authorities. The Congress contributed, In particular, to the drafting of the Tunisian Constitution in 2014, and to the preparation and observation of the municipal elections held in 2018.