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On 8 March: Women's Day in Romania

There is still a long way to go for equal opportunities and equal rights

Women's Day is traditionally celebrated in Romania on 8 March. The lack of equal opportunities and equal rights for women in Romanian society is a topic discussed on this day. In addition, this day is also celebrated as Mother's Day. Children paint, do handicrafts and sing for their mothers. There are flowers, chocolates and recognition from family, friends and colleagues. In our report, we focus on the socio-political aspects of Women's Day. Unfortunately, the situation of women in Romania is not rosy.

Reuters / Yves Herman

Parliamentary elections in Estonia 2023: Tailwind for Kaja Kallas - but how stable is the country?

Estonian reform party wins elections with 31.1 percent

At the beginning of March, a new parliament was elected in Estonia. The election campaign was largely determined by the war in Ukraine and security policy issues. The Estonian Reform Party won the elections with 31.1 per cent of the vote. Kaja Kallas, the party's leader and prime minister, was confirmed in office. However, the real winner of the election is Eesti 200, which will enter the Estonian parliament for the first time. Overall, voter turnout increased compared to the 2019 elections. Never before have so many votes been cast online as this year; a new method of calculating votes was also used for the first time. Politically, the result provides a basis for a possible deepening split in Estonian society - especially in the north-east of the country.

Unsplash / Etienne Girardet

Causes of the New Year's Eve riots

The socio-spatial background of street violence

New Year's Eve 2022/2023 resulted in riots and violence in several German cities. Emergency services and police increasingly became the target of violent attacks. These events have reignited a debate about the socio-spatial context of street violence. Especially after Federal Minister of the Interior and Community, Nancy Faeser, publicly commented on specific problems of young immigrants in Germany. This publication addresses the causes of violence and its consequences.

Reuters / POOL New

Israel im Schatten der Justizreform - aktuelle Herausforderungen für die Demokratie

Steht die Gewaltenteilung auf dem Spiel?

„We are no longer in a political debate, but on the brink of constitutional and social collapse“ - Israel am Rande eines verfassungsrechtlichen und gesellschaftlichen Zusammenbruchs - so der israelische Staatspräsident Jitzchak Herzog in einer emotionalen Fernsehansprache vom 12. Februar, die die Dramatik der aktuellen innenpolitischen Situation in Israel verdeutlicht. Anlass dieser - für israelische Staatspräsidenten eher ungewöhnlichen - Rede an die Nation war die andauernde Debatte um die von der Regierung Benjamin Netanjahu geplante Justizreform. Diese hat das Land in eine historische Verfassungskrise und Krise der inneren Verfasstheit gleichermaßen gestürzt und stellt die Demokratie vor große Herausforderungen.

REUTERS / Ahmed Saad

100 Days of the New Government in Iraq

A Balancing Act

In his first 100 days in office, the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, has demonstrated that he can hold his heterogeneous coalition together and navigate with great skill between the complex interests of the various Iraqi parties as well as Iran and the United States. Sudani's course appears professional and purposeful. Nevertheless, the head of government's balancing act shows how difficult it will be for him to implement sustainable reforms in the country. After more than four months, the government has achieved little, despite far-reaching announcements. The German government should continue to support Sudani on his reform course. Baghdad's rapprochement with Berlin also gives cause for hope. 

Reuters / Damir Sagolj

China's Communists before the 14th National People's Congress

People's Republic appoints new government

Growing international tensions, a dramatic real estate bubble and widespread youth unemployment: in this environment, Xi Jinping will be elected President of the People's Republic for a third term at the National People's Congress, which begins in Beijing on 5 March. After his show of force at the 20th Communist Party Congress in October 2022, Xi will now be able to appoint a group of loyal followers to the government of his designated premier, Li Qiang. China's head of state is cementing his power amid current global political challenges and internal crises. Nevertheless, the first session of the 14th People's Congress marks a historic turning point in several respects.

Adobe Stock / Vlad

"The State of Southeast Asia"

In uneasy times, Europe sits among Southeast Asia's preferred partners

In early February, Singapore’s ISEAS - Yusuf Ishak Institute published its 2023 version of their annual State of Southeast Asia Survey. The survey assesses the views of over a thousand Southeast Asian experts, policymakers and practitioners on geopolitical developments, international affairs and how they gauge ASEAN's engagement with its Dialogue Partners. The survey includes good news for Europe. Not only is the EU a desired partner in general, but its particular capacities match up well with the ASEAN region's priorities.

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

The Three Baltic States: Political and Social Impact One Year After the Start of Russia's War of Aggression against Ukraine

Determination and unity

Russia's unprovoked war of aggression on Ukraine has led to great determination and unity in all three Baltic states.

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

Slovakia: Political and Social Impact One Year After the Start of Russia's War of Aggression against Ukraine

A neighbour closely at Ukraine's side

From the first day of the attack on Ukraine, Slovak leaders have unequivocally condemned this act of aggression.

Reuters / Gleb Garanich

Serbia: Political and Social Impact One Year After the Start of Russia's War of Aggression against Ukraine

One Year of Ukraine War in Serbia – “Zeitenwende” in Serbian?

In much of the commentary dealing with Serbia's handling of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine over the past 12 months, many Western observers saw the simple continuation of pro-Russian policies. This analysis is too simplistic and does not do justice to the complex situation in Serbia.