Since the adoption of Resolution 1598 (2008) on Strengthening co-operation with the Maghreb countries, the Parliamentary Assembly has strengthened, to varying degrees, its relations with the parliaments of the three Maghreb countries.
In 2011 the Moroccan Parliament was granted partner for democracy status with the Assembly and committed to different forms of co-operation. These close parliamentary relations have paved the way for a wide-ranging programme of co-operation between the Council of Europe and the Moroccan government.
On its side, Tunisia experienced the “Jasmine Revolution” in January 2011, which the Assembly closely followed. In particular, it helped establish co-operation between the Tunisian authorities and the different Council of Europe bodies in the form of a co-operation programme and forged close contacts with the National Constituent Assembly.
In this regard, far less progress has been made in relations with the Algerian parliament. Admittedly, representatives of this parliament are regularly invited to the Assembly sessions and to specific activities of the Assembly’s committees. However, genuine parliamentary dialogue has not yet been established.
This does not, however, diminish the importance of such dialogue. Algeria is a key player on the southern shores of the Mediterranean and shares many problems with Europe. In addition, the country may face, in the coming years, the need to undertake institutional and political reforms and the Council of Europe’s experience could be useful.
The Assembly recalls that parliamentary contacts have often paved the way for co-operation and decides to examine the possibilities of establishing genuine parliamentary dialogue with Algeria, based on mutual interests and respect for universal values.