East Timor 2012

Elections in the Tenth Year of Independence

Many people in East Timor approached the election year of 2012 with unease. They feared a new eruption of violence if their country’s fragile stability was once again put to the test. But apart from a few incidents, both the two rounds of the presidential elections and the parliamentary elections passed off peacefully and were properly conducted. The new president is José Maria de Vasconcelos, alias Taur Matan Ruak. The post of prime minister continues to be held by Xanana Gusmão. In the tenth year of its independence East Timor is therefore taking a further step on the road towards democracy.


It was a year ago that the German Federal Government was taking decisions intended to accelerate the energy transition. Today, people are discussing its practical implementation. The desire to move away from nuclear power is getting lost in political squabbling. And the energy transition indeed has its price. Efforts should be made to strive for a balance between security of supply, competitiveness and climate protection. However, all parties must realize that these objectives cannot be reconciled immediately

Impending Paradigm Shift

International Climate Negotiations and their impact on EU Energy Policy

For many years, energy policy in Germany and in Europe has focused on the triangle of objectives comprising sustainability, security of supply and competitiveness as a consensual formula, which provides the basis for a constructive dialogue between all stakeholders. During the next few years, European energy politics will be characterized by disputes about interpretational sovereignty, which will focus on the future importance of the sustainability principle. There are a number of indications of an impending paradigm shift in European climate and energy politics.


A Summit That Left Nobody Feeling Happy

The results of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro were relatively modest. The summit was overshadowed by other issues and events on the international political agenda. A predominance of controversial topics, inconvenient timing and Brazil’s somewhat unusual approach to negotiations resulted in a final conference declaration that was lacking any real ambition. However, the many initiatives and voluntary commitments that were announced during the course of the conference did generate a certain amount of hope.

Seven Megatrends in Energy Policy

Throughout history, energy has been the driving physical component of change; few other industries can claim to have had a more wide-ranging impact on society. Thus, critical questions revolving around the supply and demand of energy as well as its sustainability will continue to represent one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century. Seven megatrends in particular will determine the global energy landscape and energy policy agenda in the coming decades. The only true hope lies in technological innovation and a well-functioning market economy.

A Fragile Peace

What Does the Future Hold for Côte d’Ivoire One Year After President Ouattara Took Power?

More than a year after the end of the civil war that cost the lives of around 3,000 people, the situation in Côte d’Ivoire remains tense. Its economic development suggests that the country is heading in the right direction. However, unless it can fully restore security and begin a process of reconciliation throughout the country, this goal is still a long way off. In the first year of Alassane Ouattara’s presidency, great strides have been made in rebuilding economy and infrastructure. But people are still worried about the security situation and the rising cost of living.

A Referendum or a Choice of Direction

U.S. President Obama Will Have to Work Hard to Get Re-elected

After a long drawn out nomination campaign, we now know that the Republican candidate who will challenge President Barack Obama in the coming presidential election is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Romney still remains a somewhat unpopular candidate - for many Republicans, he is just not conservative enough. Nevertheless, they all share a common interest in seeing President Obama voted out of office. But whoever wins in November will have to face the fact that the U.S. is going to face huge challenges for a long time to come.

Between Common Interests and National Egotism

The Role and Potential of the Visegrád Countries in the EU

Over 20 years ago, Poland, the former Czechoslovakia and Hungary formed the Visegrád Group (today known as the V4). Their goal was to integrate themselves into Western structures. Since that time, the original motives for cooperation have changed and the goals have shifted. For the future, a limited and realistic agenda should be pursued in the EU context. Examples of this are the Eastern Partnership, energy security and the Western Balkans. But these will only achieve success if mature, realistic proposals are put forward and unilateral action is avoided.


Week after week, Europe finds itself faced with making decisions that will set the course for the future of the eurozone and beyond. While Spain, Italy and France are convinced of the need for the rapid introduction of financially strong mechanisms to combat the crisis in the eurozone, other countries such as Germany are more focused on budget consolidation, structural reforms and improved coordination. It may be protests and demonstrations that dominate the news headlines, but one thing is clear: Europe’s citizens are ready to play their part when it comes to taking difficult decisions.

Ireland’s Referendum on the Fiscal Compact

A Lifeline after the Rise and Fall of the Celtic Tiger?

In the referendum held on 31 May 2012, 60 per cent of the Irish people voted in favour of accepting the European Fiscal Compact, thus agreeing that Ireland should in future be legally bound by its rules. For Ireland and the other countries in the European Union, the “Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union”, agreed by 25 of the 27 heads of state and government on 9 December 2011, is vital if we are to preserve the EU and the euro. In terms of financial and economic policy, the government is on the right track.

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.

Ordering Information

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung publishes four issues of International Reports per year. For more information please contact:

Subscribe to magazine and newsletter for free

You can subscribe to the German and English versions free of charge, either via our German-language newsletter or as a print product. If you would like to be informed for free by e-mail about the publication of new issues and contributions, please use our registration form.


Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388

Gerrit Wilcke

Gerrit Wilcke

Desk Officer for Communication and Marketing +49 30 26996-3933

Fabian Wagener

Fabian Wagener

Desk Officer for Multimedia +49 30-26996-3943