Tag: Tunisia

Tunisia Geopolitics

Tunisia Geopolitics

Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb, the coastal strip of North Africa that extends from Morocco to Libya. From a geopolitical point of view it differs from other players in the area – such as Algeria and Libya – because it is not rich in natural resources; this feature unites it to Morocco and makes the country more dependent on relations with partners on the northern shore of the Mediterranean. Its strategic geographical location, on the southern shore of the Strait of Sicily and in the middle of the Mediterranean routes, makes Tunisia an important player for all the countries of southern Europe. Relations with the European Union (Eu), with which Tunisia signed an association agreement as early as 1998, represent one of the foreign policy priorities. In particular, the country has the closest ties with France, which was a colonial power in Tunisia for decades (until independence in 1956), and with Italy, for reasons of geographical proximity and historical relations. In the Maghreb area and, more generally, in the Middle East, Tunisia maintains good relations with all its neighbors and with all the Arab countries, although there are some tensions with Algeria, due to geostrategic and political reasons. Historically a second-rate country from a political and diplomatic point of view, both due to its marginal position with respect to the heart of the Middle East and its small size. For Tunisia political system, please check cancermatters.net.

In 2011, former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in office since 1987, was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia following two weeks of popular demonstrations and protests, in which about 80 people died. Since that moment, Tunisia has started a process of political transition, which was established with the election of a constituent assembly in October 2011. This body, in addition to having the task of writing the new constitutional charter of the country, also carried out legislative functions, pending the 2014 elections. Before this date, the assembly was composed of a majority that gravitated around the Islamic party Ennahda, which ruled in coalition with Ettakatol and the Congress for the republic. Despite the political and social divisions and the climate of polarization created in the aftermath of the victory of the Islamic party, after more than two years of discussion the assembly approved the new Constitution in January 2014. This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the opposition forces, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, that would lead the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union, This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the forces of opposition, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, leading the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union, This was only the first step towards a more structured democratization process, continued with the national dialogue between the parties for the establishment of a technical government in 2014 – in a tense climate due to the assassination of two politicians belonging to the forces of opposition, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi -, leading the country to new elections. This phase was led by the so-called ‘quartet’, i.e. by four civil society associations (the largest trade union,Uggt; the association of industrialists; that of lawyers; the Tunisian League for Human Rights) which, precisely for this effort, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2015. In October 2014, the first democratic parliamentary elections in republican history saw the victory of the secular formation Nidaa Tounes, led by the former minister (from the first years of the Bourguiba presidency) and head of the government (in the second transitional government after the fall by Ben Ali), Béji Caïd Essebsi. The latter, in December 2014, was then elected president of the republic. Following this election result, the two major parties, Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes, gave birth in 2015 to a coalition government led by Prime Minister Habib Essid, which also includes the Free Patriotic Union and Afek Tounes.

Tunisia Geopolitics