Tunisia, the Arab Maghreb Union, and Regional Integration

January 2009


The survey shows that in Tunisia, the regional integration project in the Maghreb remains, as is the case in Algeria and Morocco, a promising project that personally appeals to a large majority of Tunisians. Although few projects have been developed since its launch in 1989, the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) is still seen as necessary for the development and future of Tunisia. The reasons for the blockade are clearly identified: leaders’ inability to reach an agreement due to the climate of distrust that reigns at the regional level, the absence of EU investment in the AMU, and finally, the ongoing Western Sahara conflict.

For many, the Maghreb region has the assets to really take off, but in order to achieve such progress, democracy is needed. The idea of creating a democratically-elected Maghrebian parliament is one espoused by most. The survey also reveals that the democratic deficit is a central factor in understanding the stalemate in the region.   

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