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Mexico 2024

Outlook for the super election year

The global super election year 2024 will also see the largest elections in the history of the world's most populous Spanish-speaking country: In Mexico, 97.6 million eligible voters will decide on more than 20,000 mandates at all levels of government. This includes a new legislature and the office of head of state, which will be held by a woman for the first time. But the political cards are also being reshuffled in many of the 32 federal states, with governorships (cf. prime minister), state parliaments and municipal office holders across the country up for election. The heightened election temperature has been clearly noticeable since the end of last year.

Adobe Stock / lensw0rld

German-Austrian Collaboration: Climate Change Solutions for the EU

Outcome paper of the Vienna Dialogue 2023

The outcome paper of the Vienna Dialogue 2023 emphasizes the need for an expanded European climate policy that focuses on adapting to the already noticeable effects of climate change. Societal challenges, in particular distributional conflicts, require pan-European cooperation. The text emphasizes the importance of systematically recording adaptation costs and damages and calls for preventive and reactive measures. The Vienna Dialogue proposes concrete policy recommendations, particularly in the areas of the European Green Deal, economy, currency, finance and foreign, security and defense policy. Germany and Austria should intensify their cooperation, promote research, make agricultural policy climate-friendly, make optimum use of EU funds and strengthen the security policy discourse in order to meet the challenges of climate change.

IMAGO / Pond5 Images

New defence strategies for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

Baltic Bastions

"[...] they will be treated like pigs in their own country". This sentence comes at the end of a long series of blatant threats by Russian President Putin against the three Baltic States, in this case Latvia. The statement was made in response to the alleged mistreatment of Latvia's Russian-speaking population. Such statements cause great fear of attack in these states, which had to fight hard for their independence from Russia. Faced with the feared reduction of Western support for Ukraine and the resulting sharp increase in the potential threat from Russia, the three Baltic States published new defence strategies in 2023. But how do the Baltic States intend to secure their independence, and are these concepts a blueprint for other states?

IMAGO / Lehtikuva

Finland Relies on Popular Politicians in Times of Crisis

Alexander Stubb in first place after the first round of the presidential elections

Finland has enjoyed special attention in the security policy context at least since the country joined NATO in April 2023 and due to its comprehensive strategy of defensive democracy ("total defense"). Hybrid attacks from the Russian side have increased since Russia's attack on Ukraine. Finland recently had to close its border posts in the east due to migration controlled by Russia. The Finnish president, who is directly elected every six years, is the commander-in-chief of the army and is responsible for enacting laws, appointing ministers and foreign and security policy. Sauli Niinistö, who is still in office, negotiated the path from his country's application to NATO membership prudently and purposefully with an overwhelming vote of the Finnish population and thus also received a great deal of international recognition. Alexander Stubb, like Niinistö from the conservative Rally Party, is now likely to succeed him. He received 27.2% of the vote on election night, but was closely followed by Pekka Haavisto, former Green Foreign Minister in the Marin cabinet, with 25.8%.

Senegal elects a new president

On the way to a new era

On February 25, 2024, Senegal will elect a new president. It is the twelfth election since Senegal's independence in 1960. Four presidents have been in office so far, now the fifth will be elected. This is the first time in Senegal's history that an incumbent president is no longer standing as a candidate. Although Macky Sall can look back on 12 successful years, there are many voices - especially among the predominantly young population - who would prefer to see a different generation of politicians as future rulers. The controversial opposition politician Ousmane Sonko himself has not been admitted. It remains to be seen whether the weakened but still very present opposition will be able to assert itself.


China's powerlessness in the Red Sea

Houthi attacks pose a strategic dilemma for Beijing

Washington has asked Beijing for support to curb attacks by Yemen's Houthi rebels on merchant ships in the Red Sea, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing US government circles. China's own interest in de-escalation and securing trade and supply chains appears to be obvious. However, why China is holding back in the conflict, even though it is economically heavily dependent on exports, raises questions.

Media Lens King,

AI in Subsahara-Africa – Afrofuturism without African languages?

The challenges for large language models

As a technology, AI has enormous potential to make many processes simpler, faster and more efficient. AI would therefore be suitable for so-called leap-frogging. If AI were integrated quickly and well, especially the global South could benefit from it. However, large amounts of data are required for the development of large language models (e.g. ChatGPT). This could slow down the spread of AI on the African continent. Liberal and transparent data policy should therefore play a central role in the political discourse there.


How important is Iowa?

On the Outcome of the First Primaries for the U.S. Presidential Election.

Donald Trump wins the Republican primaries in Iowa by a large margin. This consolidates his role as the favorite for the presidential nomination. However, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley remain in the race.

IMAGO / Bestimage

Smaller, bourgeois-conservative, constant

France has a new government.

President Emmanuel Macron and the new Prime Minister Gabriel Attal presented a streamlined and largely conservative government on 11 January, which is characterized by the retention of several political heavyweights and the unexpected arrival of former Sarkozy minister Rachida Dati in the culture portfolio.


Indonesia in Super Election Year 2024

Indonesia faces the biggest elections in its history in 2024.

Indonesia faces the biggest elections in its history in 2024. In the third largest democracy in the world, more than 204 million voters will not only elect a new president and the composition of the national parliament, but will also elect governors and regional parliaments in all 38 provinces, as well as all county councils and mayors in the country. The incumbent president, Joko Widodo, is no longer allowed to run after two terms in office. But even if the election campaign for his successor is fiercely waged, all signs point to continuity. For Germany and the EU, this means that Indonesia will continue to be an important, albeit not always easy, partner.