The objective of the conference was analyzing the conditions for the success of the processes of decentralization in a country like Tunis which is experiencing a democratic transition. In this framework, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero held a meeting with Habid Essid, Prime Minister of Tunisia, in which they exchanged views about democracy and shared societies in the region.
Earlier in the day, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero opened the first session of the conference “Decentralization and Social Cohesion”. As an ex-President, he shared the Spanish experience in decentralization, which came as a result of a democratic transition similarly to the current situation in Tunisia. As a member of the Club de Madrid, an organization that is comprised of ex-Presidents and Prime Ministers of countries from all around the globe in which social inclusion is a fundamental priority, he reflected on the best practices and recommendations the project Shared Societies that has been working for the last 9 years to promote social inclusion.
The conference focused on the social dimension, economic (in particular, the fiscal scope of municipalities) and the ordinance of the territories, all fundamental elements for the optimal and beneficial local development, particularly for the least favored regions of the country.
Club de Madrid has given support to the democratic transition in Tunisia since 2007 through three different projects: Freedom of Association in North Africa and the Middle East (years 2007-2009), Political Leadership for the Democratic Transition in North Africa and the Middle East (2012-2013) and INSPIRED (Integrated Support Program for Inclusive Reform and Democratic Dialogue, end of 2012-2014). With this José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero visit Club de Madrid, continues its efforts to support democracy in Tunis, a key country for the future of democracy in the whole region, through the Shared Societies Project and more particularly, through the local dimension of this program.