Europe in the World

EUSpring | The new Tunisian Constitution and citizenship rights

8 May 2014
Fadhel Blibech (Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies) and Ahmed Driss (Director, Centre des Etudes Mediterreennes et Internationales, Tunis)

On 26 January 2014, a new constitution was adopted in Tunisia. This is the fourth fundamental law of the country's history. The new constitution represents a compromise negotiated between the Islamist party Ennahda – which has a plurality in the Constituent Assembly - and opposition forces, led by a quartet from civil society.[1] The new constitution contributes to the consolidation of citizenship rights in a number of ways. It enshrines important freedoms, sets up a dual executive, commits to constitutional justice and, without precedent in the Arab world, promises gender parity. Ahmed Driss and Fadhel Blibech analyse what the new constitution means for Tunisia, and what the future may bring for the country.

This paper is published in the framework of the EUSpring project on Democracy and Citizenship in North Africa after the Arab Awakening: Challenges for EU and US Foreign Policy ( The project is carried out by a consortium of organisations, including the European Policy Centre, University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights, the Centre for Mediterranean and International Studies in Tunisia and the Centre de Recherche sur l'Afrique et la Méditerranée in Morocco and coordinated by Università degli Studi L’Orientale in Naples. The project is supported by the Compagnia di San Paolo.

[1] Composed by the main Labour Union: the UGTT, (who led the quartet), the main Trade Union: the UTICA, the largest association for the Defense of Human Rights: the LTDH, and the National Council of the Order of lawyers.


In this programme


Programme Team

Head of Europe in the World programme and Senior Fellow

Giovanni Grevi

Researcher in EU energy and climate policy, Institute of European Studies, Free University of Brussels

Marco Giuli

Senior Policy Analysts

Paul Ivan
Amanda Paul

Junior Policy Analyst

Ivano di Carlo

Programme Assistant

Marco Zeiss