Murad Sezer, Reuters

Of Bridges and Gateways

Turkey’s Regional Power Aspirations

The bridge to Asia. A gateway to the Middle East and Europe. For centuries, Turkey has been considered a country linking the Western and Eastern worlds. Whether that be due to Turkish military bases used by ­NATO as bridgeheads to the Middle East, or the threats made by its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to “open the gates” to Europe for the millions of refugees accommodated by Turkey, ­NATO member and EU candidate Turkey has been increasingly presenting the Western alliance with a fait accompli over recent years.

Ramzi Boudina, Reuters

Outdated Elites, New Sense of Identity

Leaderless Revolutions and the ­­­Crisis of Arab Authorities

Ten years after the onset of the “Arab Spring”, cracks are appearing again in the autocratic façade of the Middle East and North Africa. However, the struggle to find an alternative to the ruling elite has failed due to the lack of organised political parties capable of translating anger on the streets into constructive political participation.


Security Policy in the Indo-Pacific

How Can Germany Turn its Words into Deeds?

In its new “Policy guidelines for the Indo-Pacific”, the German government commits to assuming greater responsibility for foreign policy to address shifts in the global balance of power and regional challenges. But what exactly could an ambitious Indo-Pacific policy look like? And what does the region expect of Germany? An analysis based on the examples of India, Japan, and Singapore.

Guadalupe Pardo, Reuters

The Art of Making Friends

How the Chinese Communist Party Seduces Political Parties in Latin America

China is increasingly turning its attention to Latin America’s political parties. Beijing is using lavish official visits and ­diplomatic pressure to yoke Latin American party officials ­to its geopolitical ambitions. Without critical public debate, the rhetoric of bilateral “friendship” threatens to undermine democracy in Latin America. Any belief that the Chinese Communist Party will engage in an equal dialogue with Latin America’s democratic parties remains a dangerous illusion.

Baz Ratner, Reuters

Will ­COVID-19 Accelerate a Global Power Shift?

China’s Growing Ideological Influence in Africa

The fight against the ­COVID-19 pandemic is not only a fight against ­SARS-CoV-2 but also part of the rivalry to dominate the global narrative and to exert political and economic influence. Particularly in light of the worsening relations between China and the US, management of the pandemic and respective policy successes or failures are becoming political issues. Accordingly, the Chinese Communist Party (­CCP) is using the pandemic on an ideological level to drive the shift in global power – with a particular focus on Africa.

Edgar Su, Reuters

“A New and Less Benign Strategic Area”

Australia as a Strategic Power in the Indo-Pacific Region

When Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled his country’s new defence strategy in 2020, he announced a shift towards “a new and less benign strategic area”. With the dawn of a new era, defined by the end of the unchallenged hegemony of the US and the seemingly unstoppable rise of China, Australia is starting to view itself as a regional power and the guardian of a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific. The geoeconomic and geostrategic balance of the Indo-Pacific has perhaps shifted more rapidly and dramatically than in any other region of the world. With its key position in the South West Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean, Australia is taking on a proactive leadership role – together with like-minded partners in the region and around the globe.

“The International System Is under Serious Pressure”

Germany’s Two-Year Term as a Member of the United Nations Security Council

For the past two years, Germany has been a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. For International Reports, Andrea Ellen Ostheimer, Head of the Konrad-Adenauer-­Stiftung’s New York office, talks to diplomat Christoph Heusgen about the challenges and achievements of this period, the role of China ­and Russia, and Germany’s foreign policy compass.

“Sovereignty of the EU”

External and Internal Dangers of an Unfulfillable Promise

Sovereignty – often supplemented with attributes such as “strategic” or “European” – is currently being called for by many different political actors across Europe. Those, like the German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who take a differentiated or reserved stance towards this can expect to meet with criticism at the highest levels; for example from the French President Emmanuel Macron. At the same time, sovereignty is the key concept underpinning nationalist movements, which certainly do not see Macron as a role model. So, what is at stake here? Can we even achieve “European sovereignty” in the various policy fields? And is there a “good” (European) and “bad” (national) sovereignty?

Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters


Politische Strategien und globaler Wettbewerb

Die strategische Bedeutung der Blockchain-Technologie nimmt zu, obwohl sie aufgrund ihrer breitgestreuten Anwendungsvielfalt politisch und sachlich schwer zu greifen ist. Die aktuellen Entwicklungen im Bereich digitaler Zentralbankwährungen und die damit möglicherweise einhergehenden währungspolitischen Machtverschiebungen sowie ihre Bedeutung für die Industrie 4.0 lassen die Politik aufhorchen. Die EU hat die Entwicklung erkannt und damit begonnen, den Bereich aktiv zu fördern. Inwieweit das aber ausreicht, um die Spitzenreiter ­USA und China einzuholen, bleibt abzuwarten.

Yves Herman, Reuters

Can EU Trade Foster Sustainable Development?

EU Efforts to Enforce Trade and Sustainable Development Chapters in Free Trade Agreements with South Korea and Vietnam

By integrating chapters on Trade and Sustainable Development (­TSD) in Free Trade Agreements, the European Union highlights its commitment to a “values-based trade agenda”, which fosters economic, social, and environmental development simultaneously. Tackling non-compliance and fostering the implementation of ­TSD commitments is crucial to achieving high labour and sustainability standards through trade tools.

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