Over a year has passed since the revolution in Tunisia and protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square toppled dictatorship regimes, lighting up popular calls for democracy in the Arab world. It is still difficult to foresee where these events will eventually lead, as many challenges still loom ahead of the Arab people and nations: high unemployment rates, drastic socio-economic discrepancies, uncertain future for the majority of youth. But social and political movements and structures are emerging, power is shifting, and there is hope that democratic processes will strengthen and spread across the Arab world in 2012.

Mobilising for Social Justice in North Africa

On 26 and 27 June 2012, SOLIDAR welcomed a delegation of 20 civil society organisations and trade union representatives from North Africa to Brussels for a series of meetings on mobilising for social justice in North Africa to tackle the serious challenges that the region is now facing. At an event at the European Parliament on Wednesday, at which MEPs Marie-Christine Vergiat, Judith Sargentini and Malika Benarab-Attou and Austrian MP Muna Duzdar were present, a new briefing paper proposing recommendations to European decision makers on how to create more social justice in North Africa in the wake of the Arab Spring was launched. Watch the video report or have a look at the pictures below.

The Arab Spring events recall other far-reaching regional transitions, like in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, when the upheavals swept contagiously across countries of the old communist bloc; So, too, stirred the debate about the hopes and expectations of the people, the relative contributions of political and economic factors to popular protest, and the crucial role that civil society must play in the democratic transition.

This is why SOLIDAR members are working together with the civil society in MENA countries around the three themes of Human Rights and Citizenship, Inclusive Developments, and the protection of Labour Rights and Decent Work, to help Arab people defend their rights and develop a fair and just society at the scale of their aspirations.

For more information on the work of our membership in the region please read our new briefing paper: Mobilising for Social Justice in North Africa

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