The Nobel Peace Prize, which rewards those who contribute to the peoples' rapprochement and the spread of progress for peace, has just been awarded to four organisations that have led the Tunisian national dialogue and thereby saved the democratic transition in Tunisia after the revolution from December 2010 to January 2011.

The National Dialogue Quartet comprised four key organisations in Tunisian civil society: The Tunisian General Labour Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, who have together claimed the Nobel prize from a pool of 205 individuals and 68 organisations that were also candidates.

The 'national dialogue' initiated by these four organisations – then called the Quartet – began in October 2013 when the Troika (Ennahda, CPR and Ettakatol) was in power, the constitutional process was in deadlock and the transition to democracy was threatened, especially after the political assassinations of Chokri Belaïd and Mohamed Brahmi.

At this time, Tunisians went back on the streets to save their revolution, supported by the parliamentary opposition, especially the Popular Front.

The Quartet played a decisive role in the resumption of the dialogue process which led to the adoption of the new Constitution on January 26, 2014 and the election of the first democratically elected head of state in December 2014.

The Nobel Committee thus wished to reward a “decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011”.

GUE/NGL MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat expressed congratulations: “I have no words to express my joy and satisfaction to see this democratic process rewarded. It continues to offer, if not an example, at least a ray of hope for many countries with authoritarian regimes and dictatorships.”

“This example shows how civil and political dialogue, in which civil society should play a major role, and consensus beyond the differences is, and must always be, the way to overcome deadlocks and reestablish the path to peace and democracy.

“Beyond these four actors who played a major role in this process, it is the Tunisian people as a whole that have been rewarded.

“There are few occasions on which this Prize has been so well-deserved, so symbolic. It matters not only for the present, but also for the future, because nothing is absolutely achieved in Tunisia, a country which is still facing hardships – as demonstrated by the Bardo and Sousse attacks – and in which the social crisis is still prevalent.

“More than ever alongside the Tunisian people, I say a big bravo and thank you! and I extend my congratulations to the four winners,” Ms Vergiat concluded.

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