Just as Important as Tanks and Submarines: Promoting Diversity in the German Armed Forces 

Find the original article, in German, at PEACELAB.
© https://tinyurl.com/qnua5kc

 

In its new action plan for the implementation of the agenda “Women, Peace and Security”, the German government should set a target of 50% women in the medical service and 15% in all other branches of the Bundeswehr as well as announce diversity commissioners for the armed forces. This is not about image cultivation, but about ensuring the operational readiness of the German Bundeswehr. Continue reading

Pangolin Instead of Panda for Prague? – Turnaround in Czech-Chinese Relations 

The capitals of the Czech Republic and Taiwan, Prague and Taipei, signed a partnership agreement on Monday last week in the city of Moldova

 

The Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib and his Taiwanese counterpart Ko Wen-je signed a partnership agreement on joint economic and cultural cooperation between the two cities last week. The agreement comes just three months after the cancellation of the partnership agreement with Beijing, which failed due to the Prague city government’s opposition to the One-China clause in the previous agreement. China is angry and threatens the Czech capital with retaliatory measures. It also seems that President Miloš Zeman, Beijing’s strongest supporter in the Czech Republic to date, is gradually deviating from his strict pro-China course. Continue reading

Giving Europe’s Citizens a Voice 

Belgian Liberal Guy Verhoftstadt to chair conference on the future of Europe

 

The course is set: Last Wednesday the European Parliament adopted its position paper on the Conference on the Future of Europe by a large majority. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had already announced this in her political guidelines for July 2019. Continue reading

From Poland With Love – December 

 

Topic of the month

Balance of Powers Under Serious Threat (Again)

Sejm has passed a law allowing the government to fire judges opposed to judicial reforms, despite widespread opposition including protests in cities across the country. Under draft legislation, the government aims to prevent independent judges from ruling that their peers, nominated by a politicized body appointed by PiS, are not independent. Continue reading

Orbán’s Move Towards Putin 

For the seventh time since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

 

Hungary’s national conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is one of the most vocal critics of Western sanctions against Russia. The relationship between the two countries has a strong economic foundation, especially in the form of a gas supply contract. On the 30th of October Hungary and Russia signed several agreements on social security, sport and the economy during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Budapest. According to Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, the consultations with Moscow did not jeopardise Hungary’s loyalty to its NATO and EU partners. How is the EU dealing with these split tendencies? Continue reading

Culture War in Poland: PiS fights for “LGBT+-Free Zones” 

In Poland, the Church and the State are working together to create a hostile environment for the LGBT+ community.

 

Anyone who openly defines as gay, lesbian, bi- or transsexual, or rejects sexual or gender norms for other reasons (LGBT+) in 2019 Poland, needs some serious mental and sometimes even physical strength. Both the Catholic Church and the Polish state are working together to create a hostile environment for the community. The political campaign against the LGBT+ community is not only reminiscent of propaganda against migrants, but could also inspire right-wing radical forces in other European countries. 

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