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The Drug Cartels of the Assad Regime

Terrorist Financing and Organised Crime: The Hybrid Threat of the Captagon Business

In the shadows of the global drug trade, the Captagon business has evolved into an empire intricately linked with the Syrian Assad regime. This flourishing organisation not only funds the rulers in Syria but also significantly contributes to the support and financing of terrorism throughout the entire region. This paper analyses how hybrid actors and cartels have expanded the production of Captagon on an unprecedented scale. Additionally, it examines the consequences and assesses the implications for Europe and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.

Zypern auf dem Weg zur Inklusion

Inklusion weltweit – Aktueller Stand aus Zypern

Ein Teil der Insel Zyperns ist immer noch besetzt. In dem Maße, wie sich die politischen Führer bemühen, eine Lösung in der Zypernfrage zu erreichen, ihren Bürgern wirtschaftlichen Wohlstand zu verschaffen und die europäischen Werte zu unterstützen, bemühen sie sich auch, gesellschaftliche Veränderungen in die sich ständig verändernde Agenda aufzunehmen. Dabei gewinnen die Bedürfnisse und das Alltagsleben von Menschen mit Behinderungen für die Gesellschaft immer mehr an Bedeutung. Hier geben wir einen ersten Überblick über die aktuellen Vorhaben, die das Leben von Menschen mit Behinderungen auf Zypern erleichtern sollen.

Adobe Stock / butenkow

The Art of Crisis Management

The Pandemic Agreement – An Opportunity for Health for all

The pandemic agreement responds to global coordination deficits during the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to improve preparedness for future pandemics by promoting cooperation without jeopardizing national sovereignty. However, national dissatisfaction could have a negative impact on the negotiations. Fears that national sovereignty or the protection of human rights could be undermined by the pandemic agreement or the World Health Organization (WHO) are unfounded, as national legislative and decision-making processes will remain crucial. Concluding the negotiations by May 2024 is the declared goal, although there are still some points of contention. The realistic concern is that the WHO will end up with insufficient powers and resources and will not produce an effective framework for preventing and responding to future pandemics, rather than becoming a "global health police" with far-reaching powers of intervention. The pandemic agreement should be seen as an opportunity to positively transform lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic into clear and transparent rules to defend against future pandemics.

IMAGO / CHROMORANGE

Local elections in Bulgaria

GERB Strongest force, but with losses

Local elections were held in Bulgaria on 29 October and 5 November. The influential on the local level EPP party GERB (Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria) suffered losses, but was able to maintain its positions in many places. Its main opponent, the PP-DB coalition ("We Continue the Change" and "Democratic Bulgaria"), in which the left-liberal PP took part in local elections for the first time, received the most votes for the city council in the capital Sofia and will also provide the mayor, but lost votes compared to the parliamentary elections in April 2023.

KALUZA+SCHMID Studio

EU-Kazakhstan Green Hydrogen Partnership

Mapping Barriers and Establishing a Roadmap

Striving for the transition to climate neutrality, the EU plans to import 10 million tons of green hydrogen annually by 2030. To this end, the EU is looking for hydrogen exporters globally. Kazakhstan has significant potential for developing renewable hydrogen, due to its abundant solar and wind resources. Yet significant obstacles and challenges remain. The policy paper illustrates key problems in the production of green hydrogen in Kazakhstan and develops policy recommendations for an EU-Kazakhstan Green Hydrogen Partnership.

IMAGO / Agencia EFE

A nation loses its patience

Controversial mining contract in Panama triggers mass protests across the country

In recent months, Panama has been involved in a controversial debate about a controversial mining contract with far-reaching implications. The contract, which was approved by the Panamanian Congress on October 20, grants Minería Panama, a subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals from Canada, the right to operate the largest open pit copper mine in Central America for a period of 20 years. This mine covers approximately 12,000 hectares in Donoso, Colón province. The agreement promises significant economic benefits for Panama and ensures that at least USD 375 million in license fees will be paid annually. President Laurentino Cortizo emphasized at the approval of the contract on 24 October: 'We have made the right decision, not the easiest one. Nevertheless, nationwide protests broke out, reflecting public dissatisfaction with both the agreement itself and current government policy.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V.

Der lange Weg zur Inklusion in Namibia

Inklusion weltweit – Aktueller Stand aus Namibia

Nach der letzten nationalen Datenerhebung der Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) aus dem Jahre 2016 machen Menschen mit Behinderungen rund 5 Prozent der Gesamtbevölkerung in Namibia aus. Der tatsächliche Anteil dürfte jedoch weitaus höher sein. Diese Annahme fußt auf den Mangel an verfügbaren aktuellen Daten, Stigmatisierung, Diskriminierung und kulturellen Vorurteilen, mit denen Menschen mit Behinderungen (PwD: People with Disabilities) in Namibia noch immer konfrontiert sind. Der Schwerpunkt dieses Berichts aus der Reihe „Länderbericht mal anders“ liegt darin, die fortschrittlichen Bemühungen von diversen Interessengruppen in Zusammenarbeit der KAS Namibia-Angola sowie die wichtigsten nationalen Institutionen im Behindertensektor in Namibia vorzustellen.

wikimedia / Gary Todd from Xinzheng CC0

Minimizing the Human Factor

Mongolia's search for the "perfect system"

Is there a "perfect system of government"? How should it be designed to prevent corruption and illegitimate political influence? Can the human factor be eliminated through sophisticated checks and balances? Can a free press and an independent judiciary be replaced by an optimized electoral system and a balanced composition of parliament? Mongolia is trying to answer these questions by once again adapting the election and party laws and amending the constitution. Thirty-three years after the peaceful democratic revolution, the fine-tuning of the Mongolian system of government has still not been completed.

The public domain of the Government of Montenegro

Montenegro’s 44th government sworn in

Comprehensive reform agenda in difficult times

After several months of negotiations, Milojko Spajić, Chairman of the Europe Now movement, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Montenegro. A total of 46 parliamentarians voted in favour of the 36-year-old shooting star - more than ever before in an election of a prime minister in Montenegro. With his 19 ministers, Prime Minister Spajić must now tackle many challenges quickly.

Fiscal opportunities and risks of migration in the context of demographic change

On the potentials and challenges of managed migration

Demographic change poses enormous challenges for the German welfare state. In addition to the discussion on how domestic potential for the labour market can be promoted, there is also a debate on the extent to which migration can contribute to mitigating or even overcoming the negative effects of demographic change on the welfare state. Managed labour migration in particular could be suitable for this purpose. This study addresses this question using the internationally established method of generational accounting.

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