In the 1990s, many observers questioned whether Germany, having tackled the challenge of reunification, could become a “normal country” (The Economist). This formulation evoked a Germany willing to pursue its own interests at home and abroad, no longer forced to bury them in multilateral garb or to accompany each assertion with a qualifier about the consistency of its interests with those of Europe and the wider world. By Mark Vail
With some exceptions, most held that the new, post-reunification Germany would behave much like the old, “remain[ing] committed to multilateralism” and, when forced to choose, making its interests subordinate to the trans-Atlantic and European structures to which it owed its post-World-War-II rehabilitation and its successful return to the community of nations. Germany’s reactions to the post-2007 economic crisis, and particularly to the so-called European “sovereign debt crisis,” show that these predictions missed the mark, but not in the ways that some in the 1990s had feared...
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.