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Paper Research

1086 words - 5 pages

Role of the US in Achieving Democracy
It is important that the United States makes significant efforts to encourage the progression of the road to democracy in the Maghreb. That is especially so for Tunisia, which “has made it farther down the road to democracy than any other Arab Spring country” (Coleman Apr. 2014). For that reason, it merits close and urgent support from the West, to serve as a demonstration model for the other Maghreb states and for the Arab world at large. Tunisia’s new constitution, embodying the principles of the rule of law and placing emphasis on freedom and equality, deserves that support to help it through the early stages of the new democracy. Both the U.S. and ...view middle of the document...


Another area that could significantly benefit Tunisia and its economy is by a deepening of trade and investment relations between the U.S. and Tunisia. As well as helping to consolidate the democratic institutions, that process can encourage adherence to the rule of law and assist with easing the process of regulatory and tax reforms. Because the U.S. regime is not supportive of free trade agreements, Coleman suggests that Washington should instead work towards greater depth in the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), the basis for setting the strategic framework on which discussion of such issues is grounded. Within those discussions, agriculture is a vital element. So far, funding support for the farmers has been limited, and much more sustained investment is needed in this sector of high unemployment in Tunisia. There is also a need for the U.S. and the European Union to use their influence to modify the Tunisian investment laws to create “a level playing field” for more of the population.
A further aid to Tunisia’s economy could come from increased trade with other Maghreb states. At present, that intra-region trade is at a very low level, in part due to past political tensions in the region. Tunisia now has a not-to-be-missed opportunity to change that situation, and to establish itself as a “gateway” to its neighboring states and to other growing markets such as sub-Saharan Africa. Coleman suggests that the U.S. could accelerate progress in that respect by taking trade delegations to Tunisia to hold joint meetings with other Maghreb states and with other African countries, too. That increased trade would also help to reduce youth unemployment in Tunisia, particularly in the interior where it is highest. Although there are already programs funded by the U.S. to promote entrepreneurship and youth training, they are under-resourced and have not so far achieved sufficient penetration in Tunisia’s interior, where the need is greatest.
Another important aspect that the U.S. needs to focus on to help steer Tunisia’s democracy to a longer term success is the support for the establishment and organization of a civil society that would in due course then be in a position to hold the government accountable. Coleman sees sustained support for that and for an...

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