Reforms in Europe

International Reports 6|2013

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South Africa as part of the BRICS group

The emerging countries’ gateway to the African continent

In March 2013 South Africa hosted the summit of BRICS countries. The focus in Durban was on relations between the five emerging nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and other countries on the African continent. South Africa used the opportunity to portray itself as the gateway to the African continent, in an attempt to change its image as an economic outsider within the group of rapidly growing emerging countries.

Under Pressure

Greece in the Process of Economic, Political and Social Reform

Greece has found itself in the depths of the worst economic, political and social crisis of its recent his¬tory. The economic data is worrying – in its sixth year of recession, the country has seen its GDP shrink by over 25 per cent. More than 27 per cent of Greeks are out of work, and this figure has soared above 60 per cent in the under- 25 age group. And at the same time the “birthplace of the European debt crisis” finds itself facing the need for major fiscal and structural adjustments.

Black Belt Politics

Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė

According to the Board of Directors of the Society for the Conferring of the Charlemagne Prize, the bestowal of the Prize on Dalia Grybauskaitė “pays tribute to one of the outstanding personalities in the Baltic region” roughly ten years after the signing of its membership agreements, which the board called “one of the great moving events of the revolutionary decade”. The president associates the centuries-old tradition of the Baltic nation with the quest for new horizons. Neither she nor her country lack self-confidence, a trait rooted in the past and present.


The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s motto for 2013 is “Prospects for Young People”. What is important to us in this area on the one hand is their views, i.e. discovering more about young people’s attitudes and exchanging ideas with them. On the other hand, our view is toward the prospects available to young people, that is, their opportunities for the future and the political framework required to realise these. Relevant issues in this context include sustainable politics, political participation and future-proofing our social security systems.

Elections in Ecuador

President Correa’s election victory allows for unlimited continuation of the “people’s revolution”

The incumbent president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, won the 17 February 2013 presidential election with 57.17 per cent of all votes in the first ballot with no problems, achieving an absolute majority and clearly prevailing over his seven fellow contenders. At the same, his movement Alianza PAÍS itself won a two-thirds majority in the Asamblea Nacional, Ecuador’s national parliament.

Israel and Climate Change

Compared to other policy sectors, environmental policy in Israel has a tough job. The security situation in the region, the unresolved conflict with the Palestinians, the tensions within society and the socioeconomic challenges overshadow seemingly softer policy areas. It will take valiant efforts to ensure that thinking and acting to further sustainable development will achieve wider acceptance in politics and society. This is where the involvement of numerous environmental organisations and civil society initiatives is of great importance.

Non-Governmental Organisations in Russia

On the Situation One Year after Putin's Re-Election

A year has passed since Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency, but the promised opening up of the political system has not materialised. Instead, the Russian state is making vigorous attempts to extend its influence over society and restrict the scope for democracy for example by complicating the work of NGOs. In doing so, the Kremlin is not only harming Russian civil society and the political opposition but also increasingly isolating itself from its political partners in the west.

The President’s Young Guard

Kirchnerist youth organisation La Cámpora quietly and secretly turns Argentina upside down

The Argentinean youth organisation La Cámpora plays an important role for President Kirchner. In Argentina, any politician who harbours national ambitions needs their own, predominantly young, militant supporters. Yet in this respect, militancy need not be synonymous with violence. Rather, it stands for the absolute loyalty that the members vow to their political leaders.

The Youth Factor

Innovative Election Campaign Methods in the USA and their Transferability to Germany

The strategies chosen by the German parties are understandable when one considers the crucial voter groups in Germany. Even if a party were to use its limited funds entirely for addressing young people using online methods, it would not win the election in Germany even if it was successful in its efforts. Due to the demographic makeup of the USA, young people can tip the balance in the U.S. elections. Due to different demographics, this is not possible in Germany.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



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