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Newsletter April 2020

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Our Dossier
  • Focus on Covid-19 pandemic

Ecology
How Transparent and Inclusive is the Design Process of the National CAP Strategic Plans?

After the first steps made towards designing the National CAP Strategic Plans, this article analyses transparency and stakeholder inclusivity in six selected Member States: France, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland. 

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A turning point for Ukraine: full-scale energy transition or re-established gas dependency?

For the Ukrainian energy sector, the beginning of the year was marked by the “Ukrainian Green Deal” proposal developed by the Ministry of energy and environmental protection. But when it comes to near-term plans, further investments of public funds in nuclear and gas projects are still being considered by the government.

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Gender
How does the Covid-19 pandemic affect LGBTI+ community in Turkey?

Covid-19 in Turkey and the implications for LGBTI+ people who are among the most vulnerable groups in the country and who had already been struggling with challenges in accessing rights and facing systematic rights violations, including those related to the right to life. In addition to inequalities in enjoying the right to health and the right to employment, as well as soaring reports of domestic violence under isolation, the LGBTI+ community has been targeted by a recent wave of hate-motivated campaigns.

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COVID-19: What will be the impact on gender inequality in Senegal?

On 2 March 2020, Senegal reported its first case of coronavirus. This new form of COVID-19 has spread around the globe, with the declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11 March. The public health crisis is wreaking havoc upon all social and economic aspects of people’s lives in every corner of the world, including a notable impact on gender inequality. 

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Democracy
10 ways of thinking about crisis resilience

It is still too early to learn lessons from the coronavirus crisis. However, there is one term that comes to mind when addressing the inevitable directions of political thinking after the crisis: resilience. But what exactly does it mean and how will it influence the political agenda?

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A Patient at Risk

We are living in difficult times and while the number of human COVID-19 infections continues to be on the rise, there is one patient that should not be forgotten: our parliamentary democracy. Judging from what we have seen in the past few weeks, the patient is in a serious condition and the prognosis is unclear.

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Leave no One Behind

Erik Marquardt got a first-hand impression of the inhuman conditions in the Moria refugee camp, where more than 20,000 people live in the most miserable conditions. An outbreak of coronavirus would be devastating. In order to draw more attention to this issue, he has co-created the Leave no One Behind campaign.

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Orbán’s pandemic authoritarian grab

Viktor Orbán uses the Covid-19 pandemic as a pretext to complete his authoritarian regime. These moves are not purely the domestic political problems of Hungary – an authoritarian state within the EU could be deadly dangerous for the entire project. Germany has a very important role to play in the current situation. 

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A British crisis of confidence

In post-Brexit Britain, the coronavirus crisis comes amid a crisis of confidence in its political leadership. The British public is now watching the National Health Service (NHS) trying to rise to the challenge after a decade of austerity.

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Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on rule of law in Central Europe: Turning Crisis into opportunity?

The ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 disease has brought about an extraordinary situation. Although the past decades have brought numerous challenges like terrorism or the climate change, the global spread of a disease for which there is neither a cure nor vaccination available is something that political leaders have no experience in tackling.

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Coronavirus - The situation in Italy following the EU summit

Italy was the first country in Europe to be affected by the Covid-19 virus. It was also the first democratic state that took measures to contain the epidemic – as it was still being called at the time, before it mutated into a pandemic. 

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A state in danger - special legal order introduced in Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament passed a new act on Monday, which gives an already authoritarian government extraordinary, dangerous powers. 

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Digitalisation
EU struggles to reconcile contact tracing with high privacy standards

As European countries turn to apps to contain the pandemic, the EU must weigh the public health emergency against its own data protection rules. Policymakers and experts on data protection and privacy in Brussels warn that tracing and monitoring technology can undermine fundamental rights.

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Will Big Tech emerge as the big winner in the coronacrisis? Not so fast.

Big technology companies are getting a break from the “techlash,” but this does not mean that the monopolists are permanently off the hook. The crisis has highlighted privacy and security concerns and well as subpar labor standards in the industry. Social media face additional scrutiny for how they deal with COVID-19 related disinformation.

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Digitalisation and the coronavirus in Morocco: From care to control?

With a series of digital measures introduced in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Morocco is creating a trade-off between ways to provide rapid support and the parallel development of digital control.

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International Relations
The social dimension of the coronavirus crisis in the USA

The coronavirus crisis is leading to massive social distortions in the US. It is increasing the existing structural inequalities and discriminations in the US economy and society. 

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The CARES Act - the economic response to the upheaval caused by coronavirus in the United States

The coronavirus pandemic has ruthlessly laid bare the faults in the US social welfare system. Congress has put together a support package worth more than $2 trillion, aiming to put relief in place quickly. But as it won’t be able to solve the structural problems, there will be limits to its implementation.  

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Lack of privacy law complicates US debate over Covid-19 tracking

App developers and state governments in the United States are churning out new technologies for tracking the spread of the coronavirus. In the absence of a national privacy law, experts raise concerns about surveillance and scramble to define the boundaries for data collection during the pandemic.

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Syriaʹs crisis within a crisis – coronavirus could hit hard

The corona pandemic has reached Syria. Anna Fleischer, Program Coordinator for Syria, explains why the virus could hit the country extremely hard and above all endanger those imprisoned. 

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Russia: Pechenegs, Polovetzians and the coronavirus

President Vladimir Putin is facing the greatest challenge of his political career: the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Russia is expected to peak in the next few weeks. Johannes Voswinkel, Head of our Moscow office, reports on timid action, an unexpected crisis manager and the fears of breaking into the reserves.

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Nigeria: A Dual Challenge

Nigeria stands at the very brink of its own COVID-19 epidemic. However, the country has been in the grips of serious crisis for weeks: the collapse in oil prices has led to brutal budget cuts and provokes a recession in the country, which depends heavily on oil exports. The timing could not be worse in view of the forthcoming pandemic challenges.   

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Coronavirus crisis in Israel: A lifeline for Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu could not even win the third election held within one year. Now, he is using the coronavirus crisis to profile himself as an indispensable statesman and secure his power – to the detriment of Israeli democracy.

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Corona crisis in South Africa: Hand-washing in townships?

With only three day notice, South Africa went into full lockdown on the night from 26 to 27 March. What happened in the three days leading up the lockdown is highly impressive. Instead of everyone following the instinct of making provision for themselves, neighbourhood solidarity networks sprang up spontaneously.

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Prof. Wangari Maathai - A Birthday Tribute In Memory of Africa’s Most Famous Green Politician

Prof. Wangari Maathai would have celebrated her 80th Birthday today, April 1, 2020. Together with the global social and “green” movements, we remember one of our Heroines and pay tribute to our Green Icon, the Kenyan 2004 Nobel Peace Laureate and winner of the Petra-Kelly Prize of Heinrich Boell Foundation.

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Covid-19 in the South Caucasus – fast reactions and authoritarian reflexes

All three countries of the South Caucasus have weak social systems. Many people work in precarious jobs in the service sector, tourism and agriculture. 

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