Commissioner Piebalgs in Timor-Leste to sign four strategic programmes (07/03/2011)
Timor Leste is one of the "success stories" of development, whose President Ramos Horta received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. The European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will visit Timor-Leste from 7 until 10 March 2011 to confirm EU support to the country. Together with the Minister of Finance of Timor-Leste, he will sign a package of four strategic programmes for a total amount of €39 million, to support development of the rural areas, governance and the role of civil society. The Commissioner will also meet with the President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ramos-Horta, key government members, the President of the National Parliament, the leaders of the main opposition party, the United Nations representatives and the civil society organisations. The Republic of Timor-Leste is the youngest country in the world since it gained independence in 2002 after a 24-year period of conflict under Indonesian rule. In overall, the country has managed in only a few years since its independence to overcome dramatic challenges, establish good relations with its regional neighbours, build a rather stable democracy, manage its oil/gas revenues prudently and achieve important progress namely as regards poverty reduction, although it is still a fragile state and faced with several difficulties (poverty levels remain very high (40%), mainly in rural areas).