US Army, via Reuters.


In Retreat? Western Security Policy after Afghanistan

The withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021 was far more than the disastrous end of a mission. Rather, the events raise fundamental questions about how the West perceives its foreign policy and the future strategic direction of security and defence policy. That also applies to the debate about pros and cons of deploying troops abroad and of international interventions.
Clovis Guy Siboniyo, Reuters


No Longer on the Sidelines? Youth and Politics

If you have been following public debate on youth and politics in Germany over the last few years, you may have gained the impression of a generation of young people who are increasingly committed to standing up for their interests while, at the same time, feeling that their concerns are not being adequately heard. Number one among these concerns: climate change. But can this impression be generalized and applied to youth worldwide? The articles in this issue of International Reports highlight the regional differences between young people’s social circumstances, problems, and opportunities for political participation. And yet we can still observe one commonality across boarders: youth from all over the world want to create positive change for their societies instead of remaining on the sidelines.
Marcelo del Pozo, Reuters


Media and Freedom of Expression

“Watchdogs,” “gatekeepers,” or the “Fourth Estate”, whatever we choose to call it, a free media is the indispensable guardian of liberal democracy. But how does this freedom fare in today’s world? What we see is a picture with some light, but many shadows, because authoritarian rulers around the globe have come to understand the formula “no democracy without a free press” and are suppressing critical voices. Find more on this, but also on some encouraging examples of innovative news outlets from Zimbabwe to the Middle East, in this issue of International Reports.
© Dimitris Papamitsos, Büro des griechischen Ministerpräsidenten, via Reuters.


Spielball oder Spielmacher?

Die Verbindung von Freiheit und sozialer Gerechtigkeit, von Fortschritt, Wohlstand und Nachhaltigkeit, von Demokratie, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und universellen Menschenrechten: Sie macht das europäische Modell aus. Doch wie kann sich dieses Modell in einer Welt behaupten, die verstärkt durch die Großmachtkonkurrenz zwischen den USA und China sowie das Erstarken autoritärer Kräfte geprägt wird? Dieser Frage gehen wir in dieser Sonderausgabe der Auslandsinformationen nach, die in Kooperation mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung entstanden ist.


New Approaches in Development Cooperation

This year, both Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee celebrate their 60th anniversary. These six decades have borne witness to many changes with regard to development cooperation: nowadays characterised by its diverse actors, it has become a vital component of how we tackle global challenges – from security to migration and climate protection to pandemic prevention. German and European development cooperation is thereby faced with a double task. On one hand, tackling these challenges even together with actors who might not share our values. On the other hand, not leaving any doubt about the importance of democracy and rule of law, which continue to be essential components of successful development.
Carlos Jasso, Reuters (photo montage)


Global Power Shifts

Power shifts are a fundamental phenomenon underpinning global politics. Today, again, the world finds itself in a phase of major shifts in the international order, of which the rise of the People’s Republic of China to become a great power is just the most obvious expression. These changes reflect the slow tectonic shifts of the earth’s crust – and these shifts create tensions. In such an environment, it is important for Germany and Europe to consistently emphasise what they stand for and what they advocate: a multilateral, liberal world order.


Political Parties – Challenges and Perspectives

Political parties are a pillar of the democratic system. They assume central functions such as promoting citizen participation in political life and shaping public opinion. They have a major impact on our country’s political development and serve as an interface between state organs and the public. Parliamentary democracy is ultimately always party democracy.
John MacDougall, Reuters


Bündnis unter Druck – Ist der Westen noch zu retten?

Die erste Amtszeit von US-Präsident Donald Trump neigt sich dem Ende entgegen. Es ist wohl keine Übertreibung, festzustellen, dass es um das transatlantische Verhältnis schon einmal besser bestellt war. Das Vertrauen der Europäer in die USA ist gesunken, die transatlantische Partnerschaft belastet. Vier Jahre Trump haben ihre Spuren hinterlassen. Die Schnittmengen zwischen den transatlantischen Partnern haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren zweifelsohne verringert. Dies wird in zahlreichen Beiträgen der vorliegenden Sonderausgabe der Auslandsinformationen deutlich, die in Kooperation mit der Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung entstanden ist. Die enthaltenen Texte zeichnen gleichwohl ein vielschichtiges Bild von Zustand und Perspektiven der transatlantischen Partnerschaft.
Karl-Michael Constien


Multilateralism – Is the International Order Hanging by a Thread?

75 years ago, the Charter of the United Nations was signed in San Francisco. It laid the foundation for a new international order based on the ideal of institutionalised cooperation. Cooperation instead of confrontation – that was the lesson learnt from the catastrophes of two world wars. How is international cooperation doing today? Is there any truth in all the gloom, all the voices bemoaning the end of the multilateral world order? Why is it important, despite all difficulties and weaknesses, to continue to defend this policy model?
Mike Blake, Reuters



“It is very important to us that together we find a strong response to the coronavirus. It knows no borders, it knows no nationalities.” These are the words of Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, with regard to the coronavirus crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent sustained pandemic have created a new level of global emergency in early 2020. This includes the closure of borders and introduction of border controls within the European Union.

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

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