Ten years after the 2013 Lampedusa shipwreck killed an estimated 360 migrants, state-led search and rescue operations are persistently absent in the Mediterranean — despite the continuously high number of distress cases of persons attempting to cross in unseaworthy boats. In response, over the past 10 years, various non-profit actors have set up civil search and rescue operations. However, their operability and effectiveness fluctuate to a considerable degree depending on state actions. This is because European governments have been restricting and hampering civil search and rescue activities in various ways over the past years. In light of this, the present study examines the options for the German government to support civil search and rescue operations at the national and European level.
The EU will host a Donors’ Conference for the victims of the Kahramanmaraş earthquakes next Monday, 20 March. Check out our new factsheet by Onur Bahçecik to learn more about the background of the high-level conference. What do international donations cover? Through which mechanisms are they distributed? And how are they monitored?
For at least three decades, the EU and its Member States have engaged in a process of “externalisation” – a policy agenda by which the EU seeks to prevent migrants and refugees setting foot on EU territory by externalising (that is, outsourcing) border controls to non-EU states. This report aims to contribute to public and political debate on the transparency, accountability and legitimacy of the externalisation agenda, based on case studies on three key target states for the EU – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco and Niger.
As we write this in March of 2022, our review of the year 2021 is overshadowed by Russia’s brutal war of aggression against Ukraine. Because of this, not only foreign policy, but also domestic politics have now entered a new era.
This policy paper assesses the effects of the EU Turkey Refugee Agreement for Greece, Turkey and the European Union. It provides an overview of the 2015 context and the development of the agreement and analyses its repercussions in the region as well as for the EU as a whole. It concludes that the EU needs a strong alternative to the current agreement with Turkey, which is rights-based and sustainable.
Young advocates for democracy are campaigning against the surveillance state and the internet "gateway" to control inappropriate websites and the flow of information from the rest of the world to Thailand. The election win of the Future Forward Party (FFP) shows how Thailand's active young generation is moving from the Internet to the ballot box.
Feminist foreign policy is emerging as a new paradigm in international relations. The concept raises expectations of a more peaceful and just foreign policy, but its theoretical dimension and practical implementation are often not clearly defined. This toolkit tries to close this gap and clarify key terms of feminist foreign policy, as well as outline the practical application of the feminist approach to international diplomacy, to security, environmental, development, trade and migration policy.
This paper provides an overview of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)’s close alignment with China and examines the AIIB’s policy provisions on transparency and disclosure as the institution positions itself to enter a dynamic growth phase.
Urgently addressing the growing impact of climate change in developing countries, especially on the most poor and marginalized people and communities, requires a better understanding of what constitutes adaptation, how it applies in local contexts, and how to increase the quantity and quality of financing provided for such measures.
In this time of triple crises, the global community and its leaders face a turning point at a critical time for action. The choice is whether to continue with failed policies that have brought the world to this perilous juncture or to retool global economies and systems.
The increasing data-driven nature of societies raises concerns about how to prevent data misuse and abuse that may harm individuals and communities, particularly marginalized groups. A feminist critique of the model law on data protection of the Southern African Development Community and the EU’s GDPR, however highlights the dangerous gaps that place women and gender-diverse people at risk.
The Debt Relief for Green and Inclusive Recovery initiative of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University London and the Boston University Global Development Policy Center presents its current refined proposal for concerted and comprehensive debt relief at the global level to promote a just transition to a low-carbon economy.
Populism, nationalism, and an intensifying rivalry between the United States and China are testing the cooperation within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As its 10 member States battle the effects of Covid-19 amid political and territorial crises, the group has struggled to overcome internal differences and address profound external challenges.
Turkey and multilateral institutions alike, including the European Union, were already struggling with political and economic crises in the years before the pandemic multiplied the sense of catastrophe. As they seek to pull themselves out of the depths of Covid-19, it is time to set aside the divisions that have long stalled progress for all of them, and seek recovery in cooperation and mutual benefit.
Major multilateral institutions have long claimed that their market-oriented trade rules reduce poverty and advance development. Instead, they hold back the developing world from a more human-centric, social-justice approach that it needs to reach its potential. South Africa has the potential to set an example of how a global “middle power” can drive change. The Covid-19 pandemic has provided extra impetus – and a test.
The need for cross-border data sharing throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that the future of multilateral threat management will hinge on steady yet flexible open-data publishing norms and multilateral data-transfer agreements. In many ways, India typifies the perspectives and needs of emerging economies related to data sharing, data flows, and related commercial regulation.
Georgia remains a developing country even three decades after its independence from the Soviet Union and despite its strategic location and abundant natural resources. It has benefited to a limited extent from foreign investment and relatively recent free-trade agreements with the EU and China. But its full emergence as an economically and politically resilient State has been hampered by modernization driven development agenda and neoliberal policies with too little regard for their social and environmental impacts in Georgia, as well as highpressure, counter-productive trade- and lending policies imposed by global powers such as the IMF, the EU, the United States, and China.
The absence of an integrated digital market and a unified political vision for tech policy in Latin America and the Caribbean puts the countries of the region at risk of dependency on a foreign private sector for their digital transformation. The investment that will be required to recover from the pandemic offers a unique chance to break out of the current market logic and treat technology as critical social infrastructure that must be sustainable and requires citizen participation.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has hit Colombia strongly. This article presents an overview of the vaccination programme in Colombia and some recommendations for international actors to speed up the process and guarantee equitable access to vaccines.
After the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia last spring, the three countries embarked on very different courses of action to tackle the virus.While Georgia moved to quickly close its borders and initiated a strict lockdown, Armenia and Azerbaijan were slower to respond, though both eventually instituted lockdowns of their own.Over the last year, other events in the region have overshadowed the pandemic to some extent.
The outbreak of the pandemic could have spelled disaster for Venezuela, already two decades into a political, social, economic and health crisis. The combination of a collapsed national health system and economy, a complex humanitarian emergency, a continuous stream of migration, an internal political conflict with international ramifications, a population with high levels of malnutrition, has seriously hindered the development of a successful vaccination programme. Thus far, Venezuela has administered the fewest number of Covid-19 vaccinations in relation to its population size of all the countries in South America.
Health inequality increased sixfold in South Africa under COVID-19, suggesting that the crisis affected the health of the poor far more than the relatively well-off. Race is not a significant predictor of vaccine hesitancy, but trusting social media as an information source is positively correlated with vaccine hesitancy. South Africa has pushed hard against opposition to the proposal for a waiver of IP for COVID-19 technologies at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The rate of COVID-19 vaccination in Israel is one of the highest in the world. However, vaccine rates are not evenly distributed among the different population groups. Arab citizens and the Ultra-Orthodox population, who have suffered the most from the pandemic, are vaccinated at lower rates than the general public. Moreover, social media disinformation campaigns that have characterized the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel, in general, and the vaccine, in particular, has been one of the causes of vaccine hesitancy.
The Covid-19 pandemic has become Chile’s most consequential public health challenge in a century. Chile’s measures included guidance regarding, among other items, education, health (sick leaves, diagnoses, hospital capacity, partial and spatially targeted lockdowns), mass events, border controls, supply and transportation. Since then, the evolution of the disease in the country has been similar to that of other countries around the world, with periods when cases increased followed by periods when cases declined, yet without ever declining to a point when one would assume the emergency was over.
Although political debates were for the most part overshadowed by the Corona crisis at the beginning of 2021, this E-Paper wants to address the question of how the European Union could find its place in a more competitive world. The buzzwords of this debate were the concepts of strategic autonomy and strategic sovereignty of the EU.
The undeniable connections among the multiple crises that humanity faces today -- climate change, biodiversity loss, inequality, poverty, and the Covid-19 pandemic -- demand interconnected, rather than segmented, macro solutions. Responses must be systemic and address the structural dynamics and shortcomings of governance, economics and finance. A feminist and decolonial framing provides a lens for proposed reforms.
On the EU’s periphery, Serbia has deployed enough biometric surveillance technology from China’s Huawei for law enforcement and “Safe City” solutions to cover practically all of Belgrade’s public spaces. Public pressure has raised the bar for turning on the technology, but the alarming project illustrates the need for transparent regulation of such systems everywhere, to ensure the protection of fundamental human rights.
Trade agreements have become an important battleground for tech companies to fight the regulatory pressure they are finally facing in the Global North. But allowing tech companies to capture digital trade talks to defang domestic regulation creates serious risks for privacy, fundamental rights, competition, social and economic justice, and sustainable development.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shown that countries can marshal significant resources quickly and at scale in an emergency. The climate crisis requires no less. First and foremost, that means resolving longstanding issues of climate finance -- definitional disputes, access to financing, the obstacle of indebtedness, and underneath them all, trust that rich nations will deliver on their outstanding and new climate finance commitments. Only then can the international system ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable people, communities, and countries can make the necessary changes the whole world needs.
Expanding on the United Nations Women’s Rights Convention, Tunisia became the first Arab country to incorporate into its laws the notion of gender-based political violence. Can this concept now be incorporated into international instruments to benefit more women across the globe, starting with UN Women’s 2021 Generation Equality Forum?
The momentous African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which went into effect on 1 January 2021, demonstrates the continent’s desire to carve its own economic destiny. But as Africa’s biggest trading partner, the European Union’s actions will have a strong impact on the project’s chances of success. The EU’s historical record suggests it would benefit from more serious listening to what its African partners want on trade.
Les pays africains ont de plus en plus accès à l’Internet haut débit, les questions liées à la neutralité de l’internet, à la régulation et à l’interopérabilité adéquate se posent, il est nécessaire de veiller à ce que les citoyens puissent exercer librement leurs droits. En tant qu’intermédiaires, les plateformes numériques peuvent mettre en relation, faciliter l’accès à l’information, à la liberté d’expression et de communication. Ce qui fait que la force des plateformes tient en grande partie à leur capacité à multiplier les flux d’informations collectées auprès de leurs utilisateurs.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to an informed dialogue on the most appropriate forms of development finance. In view of the critical debt situation of African countries in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, and of the longer-term ambition to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, this discussion is more vital than ever.
While the election of Joe Biden to the U.S. presidency presents an opening to restore the transatlantic relationship after Donald Trump, the real question facing U.S. and European officials is whether they can successfully manage to advance a new transatlantic agenda for the coming decade.
This scoping paper compiled by focuses on the potential risks for the EU from enshrining rights for Chinese investors in Europe in an inter-national investment treaty. It emphasises these “defensive” interests, because investment treaties by their very nature restrict the ability of a state to regulate or even restrict foreign investment.
The Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil comes in the wake of the political polarisation that was accentuated in the 2014 presidential elections and the scientific denialism used by the current government of President Jair Bolsonaro. Experts estimate that the way the president handles the most serious health crisis in recent decades is a reflection of this scenario.
In Ukraine, especially vulnerable groups were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The situation has become even more challenging, considering the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the unstable political system.
In Nigeria, the healthcare system was not prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more about how the pandemic affected a country where more than half the population lacks access to primary medical care while Nigerian doctors seek employment abroad.
What are the impacts of the pandemic in Morocco? The main challenge ahead is economic recovery: getting the economy back on track, regenerating jobs, and attracting investments are at the top of the government’s priorities.
More than half a century ago, France tested its first atomic bombs in the Algerian desert. This E-Paper examines the environmental and political legacy of these tests: a story of post-colonial injustice and radiological irresponsibility.
This study shows that port closures are governed not only by the law of the sea and human rights law, but also by WHO law and that non-refoulement obligations continue to apply even in emergency situations while a derogation is not permissible under international law.
It is time to upgrade the current debate on multilateralism, to make it greener and more global. We tried to do just this at our 20th Foreign Policy Conference, which took place in Berlin on 30-31 January 2020. This reader provides some insights into our major topics, from trade to climate to security policy, with perspectives from South Africa, India, Brazil, the US and the EU.
Technical standards have been a driving engine behind globalisation. In recent years, they run the risk of turning into a core subject of great power competition over high technology. While Europe has benefited from technical standards, it may suffer if standards turn into a matter of power rivalry.
It is of vital importance that rescuees are brought to a “Place of Safety”. The study analysis to which extend third countries can be considered "safe" and NGO rescue vessels can be obliged to disembark rescued migrants and refugees in places which are unsafe.
The “Strategy Group for a political, societal and economic European integration of the
Western Balkans Six” is a group of legal, historical and political researches from all WB6
countries organized by Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s Belgrade, Sarajevo and Berlin offices.
Its aim is to credibly advocate for a more effective European integration of the Balkans
in European as well as Balkan capitals.
While Asia is home to some of the fastest growing economies and some of the world’s top polluters, it is also one of the regions worst hit by climate change. Erratic weather patterns, extreme floods and droughts destroy people’s livelihoods, creating an increasing number of climate refugees. Climate change is not a distant problem; it is right at the doorstep of many Asians.
The new consensus in international development circles focuses on private finance as the solution to pressing sustainability Securitization is at the core of international efforts to encourage private finance to invest in SDGs and other sustainability-related activities. This paper maps potential strategies that would guide the agenda of securitisation for sustainability.
Although the European Union is facing enormous political challenges, Germany has shown little initiative in European politics in recent years. Proposed reforms of other member states, such as France, have been mostly opposed on the grounds that «the German taxpayers» must not be even further burdened. This study investigates the factual and popular basis of this narrative.
Civil society is identified as a key partner for the European Union (EU) and receiver of financial support in the European Neighbourhood Policy, as civil society is closest to the citizen’s needs, for example in terms of human rights. However, the existing body of research questions whether such aspirations for human rights are compatible with the EU’s main priority in neighbourhood, stabilization.
The EU-Africa migration summit in Valletta in November 2015 gave birth to a new European funding instrument: the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). This study comes to the conclusion that the implementation of migration policy projects supported by EUTF funding primarily benefits the (wealthier) member states of the EU.
While the pace of the present day can cloud the vision, casting out our gaze to the future allows a bigger picture to emerge. This edition of the European Green Journal looks forward to imagine the Europe(s) to be in 2049.
Despite the presence of migration in the discourse of politicians, media and the general public in recent years, there is a persistent lack of facts about the life situations and motivations of newcomers to Europe. With this book the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Institute for Public Affairs aim to contribute to a fact-based debate on the politics and policies of migration in Central Europe.
Two years after President Trump's election we have a look at the political, social and economical landscape, the changes in multilateral relations in the fields of trade, security policy as well as climate and energy. President Trump is at the same time a symptom and a cause for the divide that splits the US. But which position can the EU adopt in transatlantic relations?
How can the EU deal with global conflicts? With the European Union Global Strategy (EUGS) of 2016, the EU has presented its latest foreign policy approach, including security policy and its role in conflicts. But what does it mean in practice?
Six months before the election to the European Parliament in May 2019, the prospects are bleak. If politicians can show that they are willing to respond to the real needs of the people and are able to connect local issues with the European level, there might still be hope for the European elections.
In June 2018, the transformation of the political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one has become effective. The Turkish Parliament has been weakened and the political hierarchy with the President as the highest standing has been further strenghtened. But suspending accession talks would also suspend European support for more democracy.
There are many reasons to migrate: This publication provides a forum for scientists from Pakistan, Somalia and El Salvador, people, who had to flee from Syria, Burundi and Malawi as well as migrants and activists from Niger and Senegal to emphasise how little we know about "causes of migration and flight".
Authoritarian rules in Hungary and Poland and corruption and criminality in Slovakia and the Czech Republic make Eastern Europe a problem child. What are the reasons behind the worrying developments and what are the main differences and similarities between political trends in Central Eastern and Western Europe?
The Come-Back of Portugal; Greece’s Attempt to Stand on its own Feet again; Macron’s Reform Proposals and Germany’s Lukewarm ResponseThe Come-Back of Portugal; Greece’s Attempt to Stand on its own Feet again; Macron’s Reform Proposals and Germany’s Lukewarm Response
The future international security landscape will be critically impacted by the military use of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics. Meaningful human control over weapon systems and the use of force must be retained.
On 18 March, the Russians went to the ballot boxes to elect a new president. There was not the slightest doubt about Putin’s re-election. But whilst Putin is settling in for another six years, the question emerges what will happen in 2024
Le Mali était un pays classique de grands récits, des mythes du Moyen Âge au socialisme africain de la jeune république en passant par le panafricanisme des pères et des mères de l'indépendance. Le Mali est aujourd'hui dépourvu de tout récit. Cinq années d'intervention militaire internationale n'ont apporté aucune sécurité à la population malienne. Les zones d'insécurité ne cessent de s'étendre à l'intérieur du pays.
The grand coalition which had governed Germany for four years suffered serious losses in the parliamentary election of 24 September 2017. Finally, almost five long months later, the outcome is a new grand coalition between CDU and SPD. While for Germany a new edition of the grand coalition might mean more of the same and could lead to more frustration among the voters and a growth of right-wing populism, what does it mean for a European Union ?
Populism seems the new power of modern democracies. It is tricky to define and argue against it since it takes profit from democratic structures but at the same time is its fierce enemy. How to define populism? What are causes and possible solutions? How to act against it?
2017 was another bad year for the European Union even though it should have been celebrated a year of celebration 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome. Many of the serious problems Europe had been wrestling with over the last years remained unsolved.
How to redesign the Eurozone in order to enhance its chances of survival? There are many alternatives that can and should be considered. A contribution on how to change the European Union's economic policy.
The Dutch parliamentary election results were discussed with Dutch politicians and journalists as the beginning of the European election year. We analysed potential coalition governments, the international media coverage, the influence of populism during the elections as well as the impact of Brexit and Trump on the election campaign.
The 2016 Presidential election results have been hard to predict but the Republican Donald Trump had been able to convince more than 50% of the electoral delegates. At our event we analysed the outcome and its impact on Europe.
After the ‘Leave’ vote in last June’s Brexit referendum, the European Union is shaking on its foundations. Our office invited young Europeans to debate about the Europe they want with EU veterans, Members of the European Parliament, EU experts from think tanks and representatives of civil society.
The results of the Russian parliamentary election in September 2016 were predictable in many ways, But is the situation as clear as it seems and what does this recent election tell us about the political situation in Russia?
The EU-Turkey refugee deal attracted much criticism. This paper discusses whether the deal can be considered as a success or a sell out on European values, taking its impacts on migration flows, the EU asylum law and the European Convention on Human Rights into consideration.
On 21 June 2016, the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union hosted a 'Workshop for the Future' for young Europeans. Questions such as how to deal with the after effects of the Paris and Brussels attacks and the fear and insecurity they have caused among the young have been raised and discussed.
Only three months after the devastating terrorist attacks in Brussels, a strange silence has fallen over Europe. Terrorism has disappeared from the headlines; think tanks and politicians have found other subjects to focus on but many questions remain.
A new ‘trilogy’ of referendums started with the Danish European Union opt-out referendum in December 2015, followed by the Dutch Ukraine-referendum in April and Brexit coming up in June. Paired with the recent terror attacks and the still ongoing refugee crisis, what does this mean for the future of the European Union? Is there still hope for a multi-cultural unified Europe?
Over five million Iranians are in exile – about 120,000 of which live in Germany. They are influencing political and cultural debates in Iran on a daily basis. The aim of this publication is to promote a process of reflection within the diaspora and provide an input concerning the role and potential of the diaspora community.