University of Twente Student Theses


Co-operation between the EU and the Mediterranean referring to Tunisia : Which instruments can the EU use to influence the freedom of expression and the transparency of the public administration in Tunisia?

Filcheva, Marina (2007) Co-operation between the EU and the Mediterranean referring to Tunisia : Which instruments can the EU use to influence the freedom of expression and the transparency of the public administration in Tunisia?

[img] PDF
Abstract:“This Europe is the one in which I believe, the one of which I am proud, the one where I belong. I hope you as Europeans can share this vision, and I call on our partners in developing countries to keep up the common effort, for the common good.”1 The role of the European Union has become more important in the last years. With the enlargements in 2004 and 2007, its tasks and responsibilities have become also more and thus, the challenges and obstacles in front of the Member States have doubled. But the European Union has been developing and has achieved a lot since 1992. The numerous declarations, regulations, agreements and soon, the European Constitution, which the Union signed and ratified, are a clear proof for that, they represent the instruments through which the EU handle internally and externally, with third countries. Nowadays, development policy is at the heart of the EU’s relations with all developing countries, like Tunisia. The development cooperation is a shared competence between the European Community and the Member States.2 Although the development policy is from great importance for the European Union, the prime responsibility for their own development remains by the developing countries themselves. The EU is the most important economic and trade partner for developing countries. This is also the case with Tunisia, which is one of the most developed African countries, at least economically, because there are still many problems in the area of human rights protection, especially the lack of freedom of expression and transparency in the public administration of the country. Respect for human rights is one of the main aspects of sustainable development and the right of freedom of opinion is obligatory for every state, which considers itself for democratic. Officially, there is no lack of freedom of expression in Tunisia, because the government controls the main information providers, therefore, internally, in the country, there can not be find any political critics towards the President or the authorities and in the press, every article has been proved and read before publishing. The most journalists in Tunisia developed a self-censorship, because they are aware of the consequences which could come after a critical article about the government. In the constitution of Tunisia, there are articles, which are supposed to guarantee the right of freedom of expression, but in practice, the government does not respect them. Tunisia is also a Member of the United Nations and in the last 5 years its role in the security area and in the fight against the international terrorism has become very important. But, although it has signed the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where the freedom of expression is central, the facts show that it continues not to respect this fundamental right. Tunisia has very good diplomatic relations in the UN and peace and security are central for its policy, but one should not neglect the lack of freedom of opinion in the country, because it is crucial for the transparency of the public administration in the country and thus, for a real democratic governance. The EU is the most important trade partner of Tunisia, and Tunisia is also the first Mediterranean country, which signed an Association Agreement with the Union. Their relations are very good, especially between Tunisia and the South EU-Member countries, like Italy, Spain and Portugal. There exists an intensive political dialogue between the EU and Tunisia and it is an important way in which to further development objectives, like respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law. For achieving these goals, the EU supports the broad participation of the civil society through trade unions, NGOs and other non-state actors. The Union has developed different kinds of financial instruments, like the MEDA I and II Programs, EIDHR and recently the ENPI, which could be very helpful for realizing these projects, but this can not happen without the participation and agreement of the government and it is the actor, that hinders all these projects and blocks the funds of the European Commission for non-governmental organizations. The human rights topic has become very important for the EU in the last decade. Therefore, there is almost in every regulation and agreement a human rights clause, which guarantees the respect of fundamental rights like the freedom of expression. Such clauses exist in the Association Agreement between the Union and Tunisia, in the Barcelona Declaration, in the legal basis of the European Neighborhood Policy and in the regulation of every financial instrument of the EU. Despite that, there are still many facts that prove the lack of freedom of expression and transparency in the public administration of Tunisia. The European Union is on his way to “promote democracy, human rights, good governance and respect for international law, with special attention govern to transparency and anti-corruption. The Commission’s experience on democracy promotion, human rights and nation-building is positive and will be further developed”3, which is exactly what Tunisia needs. But whether the instruments that the EU has to influence the freedom of expression in Tunisia and the transparency of the public administration in the country, are effective enough and which are the reasons for that, remains a question which is about to be answered until the end of this thesis.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:European Studies BSc (56627)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page