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On 29 and 30 October 2019, the IRZ, together with the Tunisian consumer protection authority, organised the first exchange of experiences on consumer protection in the Tunisian and German legal systems. The event was aimed at Tunisian consumer protection workers. It took place within the framework of the institutional funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
Werner Kannenberg, Head of the Consumer Rights Enforcement department at the BMJV, and Iwona Husemann from the Consumer Organisation for North-Rhine Westphalia, represented the IRZ as experts at the talks. They discussed the following topics, amongst others, with the participants:
Consumer protection mechanisms in Tunisia and Germany
The role of civil society in consumer protection
Innovations in legal and economic consumer protection
Consumer protection and food safety
During the talks, the significant differences between standards of consumer protection in Germany and Tunisia soon become clear. In Tunisian consumer protection, food safety and the implementation of health standards are currently given a very high priority. The participants were therefore very interested in the structures of consumer protection in Germany and the possibilities that are available in Germany for exercising consumer rights. The new model declaratory action in Germany was also the subject of lively discussions.
This first exchange of experiences on consumer protection was a great success. The many participants from regional offices of the Tunisian consumer protection authority will share knowledge gained from the event far beyond the capital city. They also made the most of the opportunity to network with one another.
The subject of consumer protection will be discussed further next year within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on a working programme for cooperation between the BMJV and the Tunisian Ministry of Justice.
On 22 and 23 October 2019, the IRZ, together with the Tunisian National Anti-Corruption Authority (INLUCC), organised a two-day exchange of experiences on “Combating Corruption – Mechanisms and Prevention”. This event took place within the framework of the institutional funding provided by the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV).
Whilst Tunisia has already ratified all the relevant international and regional conventions on combating and preventing corruption, this subject continues to be relevant and it affects many areas of society, including politics, public administration, justice, health care and civil society. The exchange of experiences was therefore directed at various professional groups:
People working for INLUCC and various ministries,
representatives of civil society
trade union representatives,
The event was opened and moderated by Naima Boulila, Vice-President of INLUCC, and Mahbouba Boulaabi, legal adviser at INLUCC. The IRZ experts taking part in the event were Dr. Helmut Brocke, a lawyer and former Senior District Manager, and Jürgen Maurer, former Vice-President of the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Police Office).
On the first day of the event, the focus was on the issue of fighting corruption and the second day was devoted to preventing corruption. The following topics were discussed, with a view to the situation in Tunisia and Germany:
Combating corruption: the legal and institutional framework, shortcomings and implementation problems
Preventing corruption: the cornerstones of corruption prevention, legal framework, shortcomings and implementation problems
Parties involved in the fight against corruption: the role of civil society
The event led to many discussions and animated exchanges. The diversity of the participants meant that various points of view were put forward and discussed. The Tunisian participants seemed very interested and asked a lot of detailed questions. The German experts also learned more about the structures in Tunisia, leading to intense and wide-ranging exchanges of experiences throughout both days of the event. The event marked the start of a continuing cooperation with INLUCC.
During a study visit to Berlin from 16 to 19 July 2019, organised by the IRZ in partnership with the Berlin Senate Administration, directors of Tunisian prisons discussed the “Involvement of businesses in prisons and the adjustment of available training schemes to the needs of the German employment market” with German experts.
During a visit to the Plötzensee prison, the delegation was welcomed by the Head of Training and Qualifications, who informed the Tunisian guests about the training and qualification opportunities in the Berlin prison system. He stressed the legal requirement of prisoners to work, as set out in the law governing the Berlin prison system.
During a subsequent tour, the delegation visited the various training facilities within the prison. The Tunisian guests were particularly interested in the partnership with the private company Booh Outfit, which has its T-shirts printed at the Plötzensee prison. The partnership between a private company and a prison and the legal basis for this were the main topics of conversation at expert talks between the delegation and employees of the Plötzensee prison.
On the second day, there were expert talks followed by a tour of the Tegel prison, with the Head of the Department of Training and Qualifications, Lars Hoffmann. An employee at the German Federal Employment Agency also took part in the discussions. He presented the cooperation between the Agency and the prison. Prisoners in Berlin’s prisons have the possibility of receiving support from the German Federal Employment Agency for training supplied by external parties (e.g. The Helmut Ziegler Foundation). There is also the possibility for prisoners serving a term of less than 3 years to complete training modules, which can then count towards training schemes after release.
The three-day study visit gave the Tunisian prison directors a deeper insight into the German prison system and into the various partnerships with different parties involved in training and qualifications for prisoners. By taking a committed part in discussions and asking their German partners questions, the Tunisian guests made it clear that they want to use the information gained to inspire them to continue to develop the Tunisian prison system.
The study visit was organised as part of the project running from 2017 to 2019 to support legal reform in Tunisia, which is being supported by the German Foreign Office.