Facts & Findings

aus der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

The federal election of September 24, 2017

Despite severe losses the two Christian democratic parties attained important strategic goals. They remained as the strongest political forces in Germany. There is no winning coalition without them possible and Angela Merkel will be Germany’s next chancellor. The Social democrats gained 20.5 per cent of the votes. This is the worst result the Social democrats got in an election since the foundation of the Federal Republic. Largest gains got the Alternative for Germany (AfD). The party received 12.6 per cent and will form the third-largest group in the 19th German Bundestag.

Germany’s “Islampolitik”

Old problems, new challenges, current debates

For decades, Germany has struggled to give Islam equal legal status to the established religions. Recent challenges and developments brought back some dynamism to the present immovable state of affairs. Most notably, the legal situation of Islam and Muslim organizations is currently in a process of reassessment. Additionally, politicians, academics and commentators have brought up several proposals about the strengthening of loyalty of Muslims towards state and society in Germany. These debates demonstrate the need for a major restatement of Germany’s “Islampolitik”.

A New Dynamic in European Security Policy

Thoughts on the European Commission’s Reflection Paper

The European Commission's Reflection Paper on defense and security is an example of the new dynamic in the European Union's Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). This analysis describes key elements of the Reflection Paper in the context of other current initiatives designed to strengthen CSDP, explains the reactions from various players, and outlines what remains to be done to improve European security through more effective EU cooperation.

Disruptions to political opinion

Political debate in the age of echo chambers and filter bubbles

Our society is in the midst of a digital revolution, the effects of which on our future are far from predictable. People can get information about political issues without too much effort, including via foreign media or activists’ websites. Even private political communication has been liberated, inciting debate with others via the various social media platforms. Does the current wave of online misinformation mean a threat to the principles of democracy? Does the filter-bubble exist? Do we need a new infrastructure for political debate?

Business as Usual in Brussels? NATO’s strategic outlook under Trump

In response to Russia's aggression, NATO has re-emphasized territorial defense and has strengthened its deterrence posture in Europe's East. Questions remain, however, regarding the credibility and durability of that posture. Further, the unstable situation in Northern Africa and the Middle East creates anxiety for European allies. With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, a dose of uncertainty about the viability of the transatlantic bond has been introduced into alliance affairs. This paper analyzes NATO's strategic situation and gives recommendations on how to proceed.

Lessons from the stress test

What the EU has learned – and still needs to learn – from the refugee crisis

Over the last 20 months, the EU has come under a great deal of criticism regardingits response to the refugee crisis. From outside of Europe, the EU has been accusedof a lack of political will and common purpose. However, the external criticism wasexceeded by far by the opposition from some of the Member States and its exaggerateddepiction as a policy of non-compliance by some of the media.Contact to the authors: Christina.Krause@kas.de; Olaf.Wientzek@kas.de

Christians in Syria

Current Situation and Future Outlook

Syria is said to be a secular country which guarantees religious freedom. While that has never been the case, the country’s Christians were able to live their faith without experiencing any serious problems up to 2010. Many church leaders hope that situation will return, as do many Christians. The civil war has already cost over 500,000 lives, 6.5 million Syrians are now internally displaced persons and there are almost 5 million refugees. The number of Christians has dropped by half. They have fled the war, the regime and the Islamists. Will they return to Syria once the conflict is over?

Glimmer of hope for the Common Security and Defence Policy

One of the priorities of the EU is a commitment to enhanced cooperation in the area of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The process initiated in September 2016 to further strengthen the CSDP includes pragmatic measures. In view of the security policy challenges the EU is facing, the proposals only represent a small step in the long run. Further steps in both institutional and operational terms are required to turn the CSDP into an effective instrument.

Zika and Ebola: What we should learn from health crises

Health crises such as Ebola and Zika will be the rule rather than the exception. The international community should adapt to this reality and implement the far-reaching reforms developed after the Ebola crisis. It would be a mistake to orient reforms in global health policy too strictly on an Ebola-specific scenario. Zika has shown that every health crisis presents different challenges. Germany has assumed a leadership role in global health policy in recent years and can make a significant contribution with its partners to strengthen the international health architecture.

Beyond Deterrence

NATO’s Agenda after Warsaw

The landmark decision the Summit will be remembered for is the establishment of the Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP), which establishes a constant rotational (and thus “persistent”) presence of a total of four multinational allied battalions in Poland and each of the Baltic republics. With its decision, NATO closes the military gap between “old” and “new” allies by establishing a credible deterrence posture for its Eastern members.

About this series

This serial informs and merges major issues of current topics the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is dealing with.

The editions present:

  • Results and recommendations
  • Offer short analysis
  • Illustrate future plans and
  • List contacts within the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung

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