• UN commends Tunisian Dialogue Quartet for Nobel Peace Prize win

    9 October 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon applauded the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet on being awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Peace.

    “I congratulate the members of the Quartet – the Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers,” said a statement issued today by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson in New York.

    The UN chief lauded Tunisia for “managing to avoid the disappointment and dashed hopes” that arose after the ‘Arab Spring,’ that tragically have emerged in other regions. He added that this tribute highlights the lasting progress of an inclusive process.

    “In a larger sense, I salute the Tunisian people – this recognition belongs to all those who gave birth to the Arab Spring and are striving to safeguard the sacrifices of so many,” the statement said.

    Meanwhile, Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also welcomed the attribution and said that the award represents hope for “the Arab world and beyond, and this prize incites us to give it our full support.”

    “The Prize is a tribute and a call to support all civil society forces engaged in the fight for democracy, pluralism and rule of law. It is when these principles are attacked that we must reiterate them ever more forcefully through social dialogue, youth mobilization, without difference of gender, origin or faith,” said Ms. Bokova in a press release. As leaders of civil society, the Tunisian National Quartet helped drive the change that Tunisians demanded. Their roles were central to the country’s stability, integrity and pursuit of justice.

    “The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet offers hope that serious political challenges can be overcome through dialogue and consensual politics. Their example is an inspiration to the region and the world,” the statement from Mr. Ban further noted.

    The UN chief reaffirmed the commitment of the UN to proudly stand in solidarity with the awardees as they work to build the peaceful and democratic nation that the Tunisian people deserve.

  • Congratulations on Nobel Peace Prize for post-revolution Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet


    Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet: A tribute to the Tunisian people and their revolution.

    Congratulations on Nobel Peace Prize for post-revolution Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet

    The Nobel Peace Prize, which rewards those who contribute to the peoples’ rapprochement and the spread of progress for peace, has just been awarded to four organisations that have led the Tunisian national dialogue and thereby saved the democratic transition in Tunisia after the revolution from December 2010 to January 2011.

    The National Dialogue Quartet comprised four key organisations in Tunisian civil society: The Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, who have together claimed the Nobel prize from a pool of 205 individuals and 68 organisations that were also candidates.

    The ‘national dialogue’ initiated by these four organisations – then called the Quartet – began in October 2013 when the Troika (Ennahda, CPR and Ettakatol) was in power, the constitutional process was in deadlock and the transition to democracy was threatened, especially after the political assassinations of Chokri Belaïd and Mohamed Brahmi.

    At this time, Tunisians went back on the streets to save their revolution, supported by the parliamentary opposition, especially the Popular Front.

    The Quartet played a decisive role in the resumption of the dialogue process which led to the adoption of the new Constitution on January 26, 2014 and the election of the first democratically elected head of state in December 2014.

    The Nobel Committee thus wished to reward a “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”.

    GUE/NGL MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat expressed congratulations: “I have no words to express my joy and satisfaction to see this democratic process rewarded. It continues to offer, if not an example, at least a ray of hope for many countries with authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.”

    “This example shows how civil and political dialogue, in which civil society should play a major role, and consensus beyond the differences is, and must always be, the way to overcome deadlocks and reestablish the path to peace and democracy.

    “Beyond these four actors who played a major role in this process, it is the Tunisian people as a whole that have been rewarded.

    “There are few occasions on which this Prize has been so well-deserved, so symbolic. It matters not only for the present, but also for the future, because nothing is absolutely achieved in Tunisia, a country which is still facing hardships – as demonstrated by the Bardo and Sousse attacks – and in which the social crisis is still prevalent.

    “More than ever alongside the Tunisian people, I say a big bravo and thank you! and I extend my congratulations to the four winners,” Ms Vergiat concluded.

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  • Written question – Tunisia – Tunisian oil quotas, support for EU production – E-013012/2015

    On 17 September 2015 the Commission adopted a legislative proposal authorising additional temporary access for Tunisian olive oil to the EU market in order to support the country’s recovery in the difficult period it has been facing. However, olive growing and olive oil production are a core business for agriculture in southern Europe.

    The arrival of 35 000 tonnes of Tunisian olive oil, added to the 56 700 tonnes already provided for under the EU-Tunisia Association Agreement, could pose a great threat to the olive oil market in southern Europe, and more specifically to southern Italy.

    Helping the Tunisian economy is a laudable goal, but it should not necessarily be pursued by destroying the European economy.

    Can the Commission answer the following questions:

    Does it intend to establish any specific measures to help protect olive production in southern Europe and southern Italy?
    Why, in its proposal, has it not decided to insert reciprocity clauses to ensure that Tunisian producers comply with the rules which serve to maintain European quality and production standards, in order to safeguard the quality of the product and European consumers’ health? Does it intend to insert such clauses in future?
  • Nobel Peace Prize for Tunisian democracy group (Al Jazeera)

    The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet – a democracy group – has been awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for “its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee has announced. The group of four organisations established “an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink…

  • Nobel Peace Prize Awarded to Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet (Newsweek)

    The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet that was set up in the wake of the Arab Spring and has helped establish a democratic government in Tunisia. In a statement, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that the prize had been awarded to the Quartet “for its decisive contribution to…

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