In many aspects, Tunisia stands at the forefront of political developments in the MENA region. However, while making remarkable progress in terms of the democratic process and transition over the last years, Tunisia is still a marked by a strong asymmetry of the state, which exacerbates social injustice: Most investments, the best schools and hospitals and most job opportunities are concentrated in the country’s costal areas. Tunisia’s interior regions stay neglected. Successive governments have emphasized decentralization, but real change has still not yet happened. The project aims to support Tunisia’s civil society to better address and advocate for the necessary changes.
At the same time, economic development after the uprising of 2010/11 has been slow, and many Tunisians are still waiting for some “dividend of democracy”, to compensate for the hardships of instability and political change over the last years. One possibility to develop the country’s economic potential is the Social and Solidary Economy (Economie Sociale et Solidaire, ESS). Discussions on this subject have started, but still need to be taken up by the larger society and decision-makers to have impact. FES is cooperating with Tunisian stakeholders to achieve this goal.