Solidarity with the Tunisian Quartet

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Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the Workers' Group, I would like to warmly welcome you and congratulate you on your wonderful contribution in helping to steer Tunisia towards a path of democracy, peace and respect for human rights. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet is recognition of the power of civil and social dialogue in overcoming huge challenges and seemingly unsurmountable obstacles, by bringing people together to work for the greater good. We salute your courage and determination, and that of the Tunisian people, which is an inspiration to us all. We know that there are many ongoing threats to the peace and democratic transition in Tunisia. We must do all that we can to support you to ensure that the progress so far is not undermined.

These are challenging times for our world. Economic instability, social inequality, injustice and intolerance are present in far too many parts of the globe. In Europe, the ongoing fallout from the economic crisis, has led to a resurgence of nationalism and populism and the failure to adequately deal with the refugee situation is adding fuel to those who seek to offer easy solutions to our problems by blaming others, be it the European Union, refugees seeking a safe haven or even trade unionists seeking to defend working people's rights.

Despite the serious difficulties/questions currently facing our Union, your achievements serve to remind us that it is our duty, as representatives of civil society, to show our communities that the solutions to our problems are not to be found in isolationism, scapegoating the weak or giving in to the fear of the other. Instead, we must demonstrate that through our civil dialogue and shared values, we can build bridges, find solutions that work and create a better and more equal world for us all.


Gabriele Bischoff