The new Belgian Employment Minister Monica De Coninck, the ILO Office and tripartite delegations of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia launched on 8 December 2011 in Brussels a partnership on promoting and reinforcing social dialogue in Maghreb countries (see background note). The Belgian Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation services, the European Commission services, the EESC and the International Association of Social and Economic Councils (AICESIS) participated in the event. The promotion of bipartite and tripartite social dialogue in Arab States and North Africa, both at national and regional level, is part of the ILO response to the Arab Spring and of the renewed EU neighborhood policy.
Belgium and the ILO build on their historic cooperation on social dialogue in Africa based on the successful PRODIAF programme (promotion of social dialogue in francophone Africa) initiated in the nineties. The new partnership is open to other interested countries and partners.