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Iraqi Presidency Office, Zuma Press, picture alliance

Looking in All Directions

NATO Mission Iraq and the Alliance’s Role on Its Southern Flank

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO is once again focusing its attention on classic alliance defence on the eastern flank. While this shift is right, NATO should not lose sight of other threats. Above all, this applies to fragile states on the alliance’s southern periphery. With its advisory mission in Iraq, NATO is looking for ways to stabilise the region with a moderate use of resources – and to define the role the alliance itself wishes to play overall in the southern neighbourhood in the future.



More than (just) the North Atlantic

NATO was founded on April 4, 1949, by twelve countries from Europe and North America.
Since then, 20 additional countries have joined NATO in various rounds of enlargement.

KAS / Maximilian Hedrich

The world is looking for Brazil

Why Europe would do well to meet Brazil on an equal footing

Brazil is preparing for the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro in November. Now the ninth largest economy in the world, Brazil is a key partner for Germany and Europe, is aware of this role and is acting in an emphatically self-confident manner. Relations between Brazil and Germany, as well as Europe, can look back on a long and positive history. Nevertheless, it is hard to shake off the feeling that the two sides have grown apart or become estranged. It remains to be hoped that European voices are right and that the strategic association agreement between the South American economic bloc Mercosul and the EU is not "dead" after all.

IMAGO / Le Pictorium

New president with an absolute majority

Senegal has great expectations of Bassirou Diomaye Faye

Senegal has elected a new president: Political newcomer Bassirou Diomaye Faye will be the country's youngest president to date. He was the strong favourite in this election and, according to provisional figures, won 57% of the votes. This election result represents a dream come true for the young Senegalese. A man of the people, without the potentially burdensome vita of an experienced politician, has now been entrusted with the fate of the country for the next five years. Faye's programme stands for a replacement of the establishment, more opportunities for young people and social and economic inclusion. After the election, the vision will now meet political reality.

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.


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.

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