Forward Thinking travelled to Tunisia to organise a roundtable workshop, as part of our project supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focused on the growing gap between young political activists and Tunisia’s political system and exploring how this might be addressed. The roundtable held over the course of this visit brought together young Tunisians from across the political spectrum with members of the Assembly of People’s Representatives as well as representatives from civil society.
The focused and lively discussions highlighted the numerous challenges facing young people within the context of a lack of communication between the youth and government as well as ongoing economic challenges. Discussions explored youth participation and expectations and gave deputies an opportunity to answer questions and be held accountable. Reflecting on the discussions, one participant shared how valuable they found the opportunity to engage directly with parliamentarians:
“At our last meeting, we discussed many subjects that impact in a direct way the social, political, and economic society issues and specially the youth affairs, and it gave me a clearer vision about the challenges that we should face. It’s the first time that I talk directly to an “MP”, not because I didn’t try to, but because it’s very hard to reach them. Without a friendly support we would struggle to talk to them and discuss about the issues that are threatening us. Thank you for helping us resolving these issues, we do respect your work and the time you’re investing to create this common ground between us and the politicians, allowing us to meet and discuss, improve our communication capacities, and open the door for a constructive and effective dialogue we need, since the government is suffering communication failure.”
In addition to the roundtable workshops Forward Thinking held several bilateral meetings with senior politicians, including several ministers, secretaries of state, as well as other influential figures, in order to discuss the current situation in the country.