Tunis (TN), 14 June 2012
Michèle Sabban, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER), has placed training at the heart of her three-day official visit to Tunisia, the third since the beginning of the Jasmine Revolution.
During a meeting with Moustapha Ben Jaafar, President of the National Constituent Assembly, she emphasized the importance of training for young people as a means of fighting against unemployment, encourage the return of growth and ensure the sustainability of democratic developments resulting from the revolution. “Since its creation, the Assembly of European Regions has made it a priority to support young people, especially non-graduates, in their integration into the labor market.” stressed Michele Sabban.
“The current tensions spanning Tunisia should not stop us from considering its great potentials, its youth being one of them,”she added. “The European regions have a lot to offer the Tunisian authorities and civil society, especially its young trainee exchange programme, and AER intends to maintain its presence on the ground.”
President Ben Jaafar, who praised AER’s early commitment to Tunisia, said that in 2011 the country experienced its first negative growth and training was essential to boost employment in 2012. Among the sectors mentioned, the training of public service executives has emerged as a priority to ensure a reliable economic environment and a successful decentralization. AER has already contributed its expertise on this topic, and intends to continue its work with the support of the European Union delegation in Tunisia.
The importance of tourism, which accounts for nearly 6.5% of Tunisia’s GDP, was also discussed. The Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) has entrusted AER’s President with a report on sustainable tourism. Today Mrs Sabban is meeting the Tunisian Minister of Tourism in order to address the needs of Tunisia’s regions in this field.
Training of women candidates was at the heart of the last visit by AER’s delegation in Tunis in September 2011. During a meeting with the Chief of Staff of the Minister of Women, Michèle Sabban supported the Minister’s efforts to enhance the place of women’s personal status in the constitution, while recalling that they had joined AER’s fight for gender equality in Europe.
Today Michèle Sabban is equally meeting with Touhami Abdouli, Minister of European Affairs, and Hamadi Jebali, the Head of the Tunisian government, while on Friday 15 June she will participate in a forum dedicated to foreign investments in Tunisia.
The Assembly of European Regions (AER – aer.eu) is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe. Bringing together more than 250 regions from 35 countries and 16 interregional organisations, AER is the political voice of its members and a forum for interregional co-operation.
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