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KAS / Ulf Laessing

Niger dumps the West

Turning to Russia and Iran

Niger has reopened a key migrant transit route to North Africa, abandoning a deal with the European Union sealed in 2015 which had curbed migration to Libya and Europa. Niger’s new military ruler also ended military cooperation with the United States, bolstering ties instead with new partners from Russia to Iran and Turkey. Niger was until a putsch in July the Weste’s most important Sahel ally but has since then largely abandoned Europe, which has refused to recognise the new rulers. Especially France has struggled to adjust to the new realities, rejecting the putschists and pressuring the European Union not to engage with Niamey after the ouster of elected President Mohamed Bazoum. The German government has been pretty much paralysed over how to deal with Niger, with the foreign ministry following France’s hardline lead, while the defence and economic cooperation ministries have opted for a more pragmatic approach fearing Russia will exploit the West’s retreat. Now Europe pays the price of its boycott and will have to cope with more migration.

IMAGO / ABACAPRESS

Javier Milei's presidency in Argentina

100 eventful days

On December 10, 2023, libertarian Javier Milei took office as President of Argentina. The anti-system politician was able to assert himself against the traditional political forces and followed up his campaign promises with deeds immediately after being sworn in. After 100 days in power, the panorama is complex in every respect: the problems of governance without majorities in parliament are evident, and despite slow successes in the fight against inflation, the economic challenges remain enormous. Critics fear an explosion in poverty as well as social unrest.

Adobe Stock / PX Media

Senegal in election mood

A path with hurdles

With a delay of one month, the presidential election in Senegal will now take place on 24 March 2024. The original date (25.02.2024) was annulled by decree by President Macky Sall just a few hours before the start of the election campaign. This brings not only a nerve-wracking process to a temporary end, but also one of the most serious domestic political crises the country has experienced in a long time. Amidst all the discussions about the election date, only one thing remained the same, namely the list of possible successors of Macky Sall. In its decision, the Constitutional Council stipulated that all originally validated candidates can stand for election. This report explains which are the most promising candidates and what political programme they stand for.

dpa, picture alliance.

Die Tage der Revolution in Moskau

Ein Erlebnisbericht

Die Auslandsinformationen feiern 2024 ihr 40-jähriges Jubiläum. Vier Jahrzehnte unserer Zeitschrift haben einen Bestand von mehr als 400 Ausgaben entstehen lassen, der so manchen Schatz bereithält. Manche Beiträge zeichnen Entwicklungen vor, die uns Jahre später eingeholt haben, manche Einschätzungen erscheinen – obwohl oder gerade weil sie die damalige Stimmung so treffend spiegeln – heute wie Zeugnisse einer fernen Epoche. Im Laufe dieses Jahres werden wir je einen Artikel aus den verschiedenen „Ai-Dekaden“ online neu aufbereiten.   Hier geht es ins Jahr 1991, als ein russischer Präsident unterstützt von den Moskauer Bürgern die entstehende Demokratie gegen einen Putsch von Betonkommunisten verteidigte.

IMAGO / Panama Pictures

France ahead of the European elections

Right-wing populists on the rise

On 9 March, President Macron's ruling Renaissance party officially launched its European election campaign. The election campaign kicked off under the impression of the current polls, which show significant gains for the right-wing populists in France. The question is whether this trend can still be reversed by the election date on 9 June 2024. Three months before the European elections, the French are particularly concerned about purchasing power and rising food prices. At 55% and 52% respectively, these two issues dominate the concerns of the French and will therefore be decisive for the 2024 European elections. This set of issues also includes the topic of agriculture, which has gained significant momentum with the farmers' protests at the beginning of 2024. Immigration and security are in third and fifth place respectively, which is likely to play into the hands of right-wing populist parties in particular. The war in Ukraine, which only concerned 18% of French people at the end of 2023, appears to have returned to the focus of the French population as a result of the Ukraine aid conference in Paris and the public disputes about France's involvement. In February 2024, 23% of respondents described the war in Ukraine as a key challenge and as significant for their own voting decision in the European elections.

Portugal faces difficult formation of government

Results of the early parliamentary elections in Portugal

Change of power in Portugal: the centre-right electoral alliance Aliança Democrática (AD) wins by a small margin ahead of the Socialists, who have not only lost their absolute majority after losing a third of their seats but are now only the second strongest force in the Assembleia da República. The weakness of the Socialists directly benefited the right-wing populist Chega party, which quadrupled its result compared to the 2024 elections. Neither the right-wing nor the left-wing camp can unite a majority. The most likely option at present is the formation of a minority government under PSD leader Luis Montenegro.

KAS

Regional Program Nordic Countries

Security in the European Arctic

For the five Nordic countries security in the arctic is, now more than ever, of utmost importance. Due to the developments of the past years the aspect of security has become more intertwined, not just with military considerations, but also with socio-, economical- and political aspects. While this interlinkage requires a new perspective on some long-standing believes, the most prominent topics concerning security are Russia´s military build-up in the North, as well as no-arctic nations, such as China and India, who are increasingly influencing the regional governance structures. Finland’s and Sweden’s accession into NATO has contributed to the change in the regional power dynamics. The regional program Nordic Countries strives to actively develop and shape the dialog around the security in the arctic, by means of hosting roundtables, as well as breakout sessions, podium discussions and event series with partner organizations. Additionally we fund the publications of scientific studies and surveys.

KAS

Title: Digitalization as an opportunity for development

Status of the digitalization of the Mongolian administration

Volker Wissing, German Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV), visited Mongolia in early March 2024. It is noteworthy that Mr. Wissing is the first minister to prioritize digital over transport in his name. Although BMDV is not responsible for digitalization in Mongolia, the minister's trip presents an excellent opportunity to explore the topic of Mongolian administrative digitalization. Readers can decide for themselves whether the German administration has become "more digital and consistently citizen-oriented" since the government coalition took office.

IMAGO / USA TODAY Network

Biden and Trump: Unpopular and Unavoidable

The Trend of the U.S. Primaries Continues on “Super Tuesday”

The “Super Tuesday” of the U.S. primary elections is over: Party members and supporters in 16 states and one territory decided on their parties’ candidates for the presidential election. President Joe Biden and Donald Trump still have a good chance of becoming their parties’ candidates. But both have to deal with criticism from within the party - and poor poll ratings.

Adobe Stock / boreala

Representation and reform

Inside Africa’s pursuit of a stronger global voice

Africa has significantly gained importance as a player in the global arena. Meanwhile, African political leaders are grappling with diverging ideas about how this growing importance can translate into actual influence. The author Ueli Staeger examines the different approaches that are being pursued and takes a closer look at the role of the African Union in this regard.

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