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adobeStock / jivimages

Political panorama in Panama four months before the general elections

On 5 May 2024, general elections will be held in Panama every five years.

It is already clear that the population is anxiously and impatiently awaiting these elections, which will be very different from those held in previous years. Their uniqueness lies in the participation of two former presidents of Panama, who are competing for the presidency with six other candidates, regardless of the parties they belonged to during their previous terms in office.

IMAGO / Xinhua

Kuwait Before a Generational Change

A new era might dawn after the death of Emir Nawaf

Following the death of the Emir of Kuwait, a new ruler of almost the same age takes power in the Gulf emirate. The late Sheikh Nawaf ruled only briefly and will go down in history for his reconciliatory efforts with the opposition. The term of his successor Mishal is slated to mark a transition. After it, Kuwait will see a shift that could overcome years of political standstill: the passing of power to a new, younger generation of rulers, which has already taken place elsewhere in the Gulf. Thus, all eyes are already on the selection of the next crown prince. With the sons of the former and new emirs, two promising candidates are in the starting blocks - or will a third one win the race in the end?

Geneva Barometer

Developments among Geneva-based international organisations from October to December 2023

The ‘Geneva Barometer’ takes an occasional look at selected developments among international organizations based in Geneva.

Nathan Cima / Unsplash

The German Supply Chains Act and the EU's CSDDD: Catalyst or Brake?

An analysis of the implementation and impact of the LkSG and the CSDDD on the Vietnamese economy

Since the beginning of the “China+1” policy, Vietnam has played a key role in the ASEAN region. Vietnam, which has enjoyed unparalleled economic growth of an average of 6-8% for three decades, is particularly interesting for foreign direct investment. German companies want to invest in the with the objective of diversification. Since January 2023 at the latest, with the introduction of the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) and now the most recent EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), it is no longer just the economic attractiveness of a country that matters. Rather, binding commitments to compliance with human rights, social standards and environmental protection play a central role for companies. Can the Vietnamese economy meet these requirements?

IMAGO / Pond5 Images

Presidential election 2023 in Liberia

Peaceful change of power and hope for progress.

Opposition candidate Joseph Boakai replaces incumbent President George Weah in office and becomes the new head of state of the Republic of Liberia. Hopes for the new government are high.

The White House

India and the USA

From "alienated democracies" to global shapers?

The partnership between the world's two largest democracies, India and the USA, is one of the most strategically important of the 21st century. Until recently, it was at an all-time high. However, this was not always the case. It was only at the beginning of the 1990s that both countries gradually emerged from the constraints of the bipolar world order. From a relationship of convenience, a promising working relationship has emerged that extends to many strategic areas - from trade and defense to joint space missions. How did this change come about and what potential do Indo-US relations hold for each other and for the preservation of a free and rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and beyond?

Reuters / Rodrigo Garrido

Chileans reject a new constitution for the second time

55% of voters again vote against the draft constitution in the plebiscite

More than four years have passed since President Sebastián Piñera's message at the end of 2019, in which he announced the start of the process to draft a new constitution. Since then, Chile has gone through two of these processes, with a total of four elections and two draft constitutions rejected by the citizens - a unique situation by global standards.

IMAGO / Panthermedia

Korea's parties in turmoil

Generation change or carry on as before?

The next regular parliamentary election in South Korea is just under four months away. The conservative People Power Party (PPP) of ruling President Yoon Suk-yeol is hoping to win back the majority from the opposition Minju Party after several years of drought. However, unrest reigns on both sides: resignations, departures and rumours of mergers and new formations. A large proportion of the electorate is still undecided as to who they should vote for on 10 April. The race remains undecided.

Adobe Stock / zimmytws

German Universities in International Comparison

Challenges and Need for Action

The modernisation of teaching and research as well as increased financial support and structural reforms are essential in order to further improve the international competitiveness of Germany as a university location. High-quality education and excellent research play an outstanding role in promoting innovation and creating economic prosperity in Germany and Europe. Investments in this area must therefore be seen as long-term, non-negotiable investments in the future, even in financially difficult times.

Europäischer Rat - Dezember 2023

Feuerwerk zum Jahresende: Der komplizierteste Ratsgipfel seit Covid

Beim letzten Ratsgipfel des Jahres 2023 sollte es nochmal um viel gehen. Bereits im Vorfeld wurde darüber spekuliert, dass dies der komplizierteste Gipfel seit der Pandemie werden und mitunter in die Verlängerung gehen könnte. Es ist nicht ganz so dramatisch gekommen, wie zunächst angenommen. Gleichwohl mussten die Staats- und Regierungschefs, unter denen sich nun auch erstmals wieder der frischgebackene Ministerpräsident Polens, Donald Tusk, und der luxemburgische Premier Luc Frieden befanden, einige Themen in den Januar schieben. So konnte der Ukraine zwar mit dem Beschluss zur Aufnahme von Beitrittsverhandlungen eine konkrete EU-Beitrittsperspektive eingeräumt werden, jedoch wurden weitere Finanzhilfen mitsamt dem mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen erstmal in den Januar vertagt. Ähnlich ging es auch beim Thema Nahost zu, wo die Fronten verhärtet scheinen und daher keine gemeinsame Position gefunden werden konnte. Das Thema wird ebenfalls im Januar wieder aufgegriffen werden. Fortschritte konnten hingegen bei den Themen Sicherheit und Verteidigung und der Strategischen Agenda gemacht werden. Der große Durchbruch kurz vor Weihnachten blieb somit aus, wenngleich der Gipfel wohl aus ukrainischer Perspektive historisch sein dürfte.