Monday, March 04, 2024

Germany’s Council presidency: A herculean task

Germany’s Council presidency: A herculean task
By Detlef Prinz

Anyone in 2020 with a pair of eyes or ears cannot help but recognize the enormity of the tasks and challenges confronting Germany’s current presidency of the EU Council. At stake is nothing less than the internal reconciliation of Europe and the fortification of our continent in the eyes of the world, so that it can again play an important role in international affairs and speak with a united voice …

Don’t forget the climate crisis

By Petra Pinzler

We are facing “the greatest challenge in the history of Europe.” When Angela Merkel uttered these words in the Bundestag only a few days before Germany assumed the presidency of the EU Council, the chancellor was not referring to the climate crisis. Nor was she talking about the massive and ever-increasing destruction of the environment or the ongoing extinction of countless species of plants, fish and insects. Merkel was speaking, …

The EU has to become a stronger foreign policy actor

The EU has to become a stronger foreign policy actor
By Wolfgang Ischinger

For more than a decade, the European Union has been in constant crisis mode – from the financial and the refugee crises to the seemingly never-ending Brexit negotiations. The COVID-19 pandemic is more than just the newest addition to this conglomerate of challenges that former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has dubbed Europe’s “polycrisis.” The economic and political repercussions of the pandemic are so severe that European leaders cannot resort …

Brexit: Breakup therapy

By Derek Scally

Anyone who grows up with conflict, as I did looking in on 1980s Northern Ireland from Dublin, learns not to trust calm.

The push for peace in Northern Ireland ahead of the 1998 Belfast Agreement was marred, and almost derailed, by the ghosts of 3,500 dead over the previous 30 years – and fears over unpredictable hardliners.

So, too, on Brexit: the common will for success in the transition process …

Hungary, Poland, and the battle over democracy

Hungary, Poland, and the battle over democracy
By Eric Bonse

Where do you stand on the subject of democracy and the rule of law? This was a popular question during the run-up to the European elections in May 2019, and none of the top candidates was able to avoid it. Politicians everywhere, including in Germany, were calling on the EU to rein in Viktor Orbán and Jarosław Kaczyński. Even French President Emmanuel Macron vigorously encouraged German Chancellor Angela Merkel to …


By Juliane Schäuble

Donald Trump wants one thing above all others: unconditional victory. Everything he does revolves around the consideration of whether the move will benefit him personally.

He pulled off a surprising win in 2016. As the 45th US president, he has since busied himself with smashing the legacy of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and setting the course for his reelection on Nov. 3, 2020.

The fact that his prospects for success …

US and China: Rocky road ahead

By Theo Sommer

For almost a decade, China’s relentless rise has been feeding fears that, under the leadership of Xi Jinping, Beijing was steadily tiptoeing to world domination. The most remarkable economic transformation in the history of mankind went hand in hand with China’s burgeoning ambition to regain the position it lost in the early nineteenth century as the center of the world, with the Middle Kingdom ruling “all under heaven.”

China has …

Putin forever

By Gemma Pörzgen

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting all areas of our lives and, much like a concave mirror, exposing a number of unresolved problems and unacknowledged grievances in astonishing ways. This is precisely what happened in the case of Russia’s recent nationwide vote on 200 constitutional amendments, which took place over several days and ended on July 1.

When the election commission announced that 78 percent of eligible voters had voted in …

Discriminating minds: Three perspectives on racism, part I

By Mark Terkessidis

After watching thousands of young Germans take to the streets in solidarity with US protestors demonstrating against the violent death of George Floyd, it looked as if some people in Germany were coming to understand – for the first time – that racism might also be a problem “over here.” For decades, racial discrimination was seen as something that plagued the United States, not Germany. Post-war West German society thought …

Discriminating minds: Three perspectives on racism, part II

By Naïla Chikhi

I was still a child when I eye-witnessed racist behavior for the first time. It was in Algeria, the country of my birth. A “white” schoolmate of mine was harassing another schoolmate because of the darker color of his skin. I was also confronted with anti-Semitism in my childhood. I myself experienced discrimination several years later during my first semester at university in Paris, when a lecturer of mine suggested …