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Daniel Braun

The citizens of Kosovo now also have the freedom to travel to the European Union

Kosovo is the last country in the Western Balkans to receive visa liberalization with the EU

At the beginning of the year, visa liberalization with the European Union came into force in Kosovo, the last country in the Western Balkans to do so. The freedom to travel, which was achieved after a long wait compared to neighboring countries, is causing much euphoria, especially among the younger generation. However, there is also concern that the freedom to travel could trigger a large wave of emigration of workers and an additional brain drain to the EU states, which would exacerbate the already existing labor shortage in certain economic sectors.

IMAGO / Pond5 Images

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 / One Dragon

Myanmar three years after the coup: where is the country heading?

A landmark year for Myanmar - new dynamics, alliances and scenarios for a "post-war state"

February 1 marks the third anniversary of the military coup (Tatmadaw) against the democratically elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Peaceful protests in the country continue to be bloodily suppressed and the humanitarian situation is catastrophic. Refugee movements, particularly to Thailand and India, and fighting on the Chinese border are turning the conflict in Myanmar into a supra-regional risk that the ASEAN community has so far done little to counter. Armed resistance has formed in large parts with the People's Defense Force. Since October last year, this has been supported by a number of powerful, highly armed ethnic organizations in the west, north and northeast of the country. The military appears vulnerable for the first time. Debates about a "post-junta" state are gaining momentum, although the ideas of the actors involved in the struggle (democratization vs. expansion of territorial claims) could not be more different. Myanmar is facing a landmark year full of dynamics.

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%.

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?


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.

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.

Generation Corona? Youth and (mental) health

The pandemic is drawing attention on pre-existing mental health challenges faced by young people.

Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, a large number of 11- to 17-year-olds were experiencing psychological and psychosomatic problems that significantly impair everyday life. 40 to 50 percent report sleep disorders, irritability, headaches, back pain and abdominal pain. During the pandemic, these symptoms intensified and persisted at elevated levels even after they subsided. In adolescent medicine, there are currently warnings of a consolidation of mental disorders and speak of a "mental health pandemic".

Fachprogramm Frauenkolleg 2024

Frauen gestalten Zukunft!

Das Frauenkolleg der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung ist ein bundesweites Veranstaltungsangebot für Frauen.

Adobe Stock / thingamajiggs

Social market economy - what does it really mean?

The principles and goals of the social market economy explained in ten chapters.

The social market economy is one of the most successful economic and social models that has ever existed. It makes it possible to combine economic growth with social cohesion. The promise made in Ludwig Erhard's programme "Prosperity through Competition" has largely come true. In order to be able to fulfil this promise in the future, it is worth constantly reminding ourselves of the central elements of the social market economy. These include private property, competition, price stability and a fair distribution of income and wealth.

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