Task Force Tunisia in action – in Bratislava

That The Netherlands and Slovakia lead a working group supporting the democratization process in Tunisia, is a fact which has been known since last year. Our two countries established a group of people who are helping the Tunisians with the process of transition to democracy after the Arab spring revolution in early 2011. And now the representatives of both states had a working meeting in Bratislava which I attended with them.

The Netherlands was represented by Mr. Bob Hiensch, Ambassador at Large who is in charge of the Task Force and by his assistant Jan-Jaap Gerards. We met with the Slovak Director General for International Organizations and Development Aid Mr. Roman Buzek, with the director for Development and Humanitarian Aid Mr. Peter Hulenyi, with his desk officer Mrs. Lujza Richterova and also with Mr. Michal Slivovic who is the desk officer for Tunisia. The meeting was very constructive and passed in a friendly atmosphere as our two counties have been co-operating in North Africa for some time already. The main goal of the Task Force is promoting the rule of law and human rights. This is the basis for a good transition to full-fledged democracy.

Slovakia and The Netherlands are not alone in this. The working group is part of the Community of Democracies, a network of over a hundred countries devoted to fostering democracy within their own borders, in their region and all over the world. In Tunisia, the local NGOs and other civil society organizations are also playing an important role and our countries are helping them. Tunisia can be a great example of how to come from a dictatorship to a democracy. The country which first sparkled the revolution in the Arab world can be also the first to conclude successfully the transition and show the way to its neighbors. And Slovakia has recent experiences with this process and offers thus a great help and assistance to the Tunesians. We Dutch are glad we can co-operate with our Slovak colleagues in this matter. I sincerely believe that we will be successful in the end. 

Kind regards,

Daphne Bergsma 



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