Meeting of Steering Committee of Regional Joint Programme "Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the South of the Mediterranean" | Tunisia News Gazette

Meeting of Steering Committee of Regional Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the South of the Mediterranean”

The Steering Committee of the Regional Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the South of the Mediterranean” (South Programme II, 2015-2017) held its last meeting in Tunis on Tuesday to evaluate the progress of the projects carried out under this programme and to examine the prospects for co-operation.

This co-operation programme, which is the result of collaboration between the European Union (EU), the Council of Europe and Tunisia, aims to support democratic reforms, constitutional and independent institutions, the media and the judiciary in Tunisia and combat corruption and money laundering, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes of the Council of Europe Verena Taylor told TAP.

She added that this programme also aims to create a common legal area between Tunisia and other countries in the world according to European standards.

In this regard, Verena Taylor was keen to acknowledge Tunisia’s success in aligning itself with European standards and adhering to the Council of Europe’s international conventions and contracts in the field of personal data protection.

“The legislative framework is finally laid. It now remains to be implemented, “she said.

“Stakeholders in this programme are discussing this week the third phase of the project which will focus mainly on building the capacity of constitutional and independent bodies to implement the results of the legislative framework,” she added.

The programme, which is also designed to improve local governance, is currently building capacity of mayors and other local elected officials to enable them to fully carry out their mission, she said.

Sophie Vanhaeverbeke, Head of Co-operation at the European Union (EU) Delegation in Tunisia said the EU has always worked to support Tunisia in the consolidation of the rule of law and democracy through the implementation of place of an adequate legislative framework.

She said this programme will be accompanied by other activities to ensure a real implementation.

Present at the Steering Committee Meeting of the Regional Joint Programme “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the South of the Mediterranean”, President of the National Anti-Corruption Body (INLUCC), Chawki Tabib said the body has benefited from the support of this programme, in particular through the organisation of training sessions for the benefit of its members and executives.

“The programme also assisted INLUCC in setting up regional offices and supported Tunisia’s application for membership in the Group of States against Corruption (Greco),” said Chawki Tabib.

“If the application is retained, Tunisia will be the first Arab and African country to join this group which includes European countries, the United States and Canada,” he said.

The South Programme III will provide all the necessary support to the INLUCC and the next anti-corruption body (to be elected) to implement all the activities and missions envisaged by the new laws on the fight against corruption.

The South Programme II also accompanied the National Anti-Torture Authority through, inter alia, the training of its agents and executives in the handling of torture cases.

The South Programme I (2012-2014) had focused in particular on identifying opportunities to improve the functioning of Tunisian justice.

The bilateral steering committee of the South Programme II “Towards Strengthened Democratic Governance in the Southern Mediterranean” had held its first meeting in 2015.

Seven million euros were earmarked to the programme implemented by the Council of Europe and funded by the European Union.

Source: TAP News Agency

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