Tunisia – A Revolution and its Consequences

On January 14, 2011 the Tunisians won a great victory. Within just four weeks the desire for freedom, democracy and dignity succeeded in toppling a dictator from his pedestal. Many people in other countries have followed the events in Tunisia with interest, sympathy and even excitement. Tunisia’s revolution has started a wave of change across the whole Arab world. Furthermore, the changes in Tunisia have opened the door to new opportunities to strengthen Euro-Mediterranean relations.

Climate Policy in the Chinese People’s Republic – Groundwork for Sustainable Growth?

China is often characterised as being the “spoilers“ during international climate talks because it has not been prepared to accept binding targets for reducing emissions. But it is not always sufficiently recognised that China is actually pursuing an ambitious climate policy on a domestic level and that it has already seen some significant results. The West should offer more support in terms of advice and technology transfers in order to help China shift its economy towards a more sustainable model.


An international climate protection treaty should be put into effect without delay. What is now required is a binding and consistent regulatory framework for environmental and climate protection that must also safeguard individual economic freedoms and so ensure that individual societies can protect the climate while at the same time creating prosperity. Environmental and climate protection is not just a regulatory issue but also a responsibility to protect the whole of creation.

Emerging Powers: The IBSA States as Partners and Leaders in a Future Global Climate Change Regime

India, Brazil and South Africa, the so-called IBSA states, are becoming increasingly significant global actors and strategic partners in global environmental governance. They share similar challenges of dealing simultaneously with energy security, climate change and socio-economic development. As a result of their growing political and economic importance, there is a need to recognize the important contribution of these countries towards a more equitable global climate change regime.

From Climate Economy to Green Economy

In 1992 the largest environmental conference of the UN, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also called “Earth Summit”, was held in Rio de Janeiro. The focus of the conference was the need for a new paradigm for sustainable social development, to stop the unabated overstraining of natural resources. As a result, the concept of sustainability gained worldwide popularity, and a flood of new ideas and approaches from various scientific disciplines penetrated the global society.

From Kyoto to Durban – The European Union’s Climate Policy

„Climate“ and „policy“ – until about fifteen years ago, these two words were never heard in combination. But over the last 20 years, since the “Earth Summit“ in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, international efforts to fight climate change have intensified in view of the global challenges being faced in the areas of food, migration and security. Europe has played a leading role in the talks since the beginning.

From the Driver’s Seat to the Backseat - Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia

For the media the most significant outcome of the meeting of foreign ministers of the ten ASEAN countries was the announcement that they are considering a joint bid to host the football World Cup in 2030. Apparently, the ministers were trying to improve public perception of ASEAN at a time when the regional organisation was not really able to show any great progress on the issue of integration. The announcement of a possible bid to host the football World Cup did at least distract some attention from the current problems within the association and provided some positive publicity.

Harmony as a National Mission: Singapore’s Way of Dealing with Immigration and Integration

Despite its falling birth rate, Singapore has more than doubled its population during the past thirty years. The small island state is world wide the “top destination” for migrants, according to an analysis by the American Gallup Institute published in August 2010. In Singapore, immigration is controlled not only with regard to demographics but also depending on the situation of the economy. Concerning integration, the government has developed a system that reaches out into all areas of life.

Indonesia’s Role in International Climate Policy. Financial Incentives to Preserve the Rainforest

Concerning the emission of greenhouse gas, Indonesia is the third biggest environmental sinner in the world after China and the USA. The destruction of the Indonesian rainforest has wide-reaching consequences for the global climate – 80 per cent of the forest has already disappeared. The REDD initiative (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) is now part of the international approach to climate protection. It holds a lot of promise for countries like Indonesia with large stands of tropical rainforest.

Post-Election Slovakia: The First Half-Year of the Center-Right Government

The new coalition agreement between four center-right parties contains a set of measures aimed at expanding the space for free market economy mechanisms, strengthening the democratic character of the state, keeping the institutions of public power stable and functioning, strengthening the genuine independence of judiciary and increasing transparency in public life. After the first six month of the new government, some changes in several areas are worth noticing.

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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