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An image of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Change or Crumble! Germany Needs to Reposition its International Cooperation

As Angela Merkel’s 16 years at the helm of the German government come to a close, Germany’s international cooperation for sustainable development seems, at first sight, to be in good shape. During her tenure, German official development assistance (ODA) more than tripled, reaching $28 billion in 2020 and putting Germany second only to the United States ($34 billion) and well ahead of the United Kingdom ($19 billion) and the EU Institutions ($17 billion). 

British Union Jack flag flying in front of the Bank of England in the City of London financial center

The UK's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office One Year In

A year ago, the UK Government announced the integration of the Department for International Development (DFID) into the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which became the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Soon after the merger, the UK’s development budget was cut by £4.5 billion and reduced from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of gross national income (GNI). The cuts—which disproportionately hit bilateral spending and some UN agencies—have seen steep reductions in support for some of the world’s poorest countries.

An image of a woman with a Covid vaccine band aid.

Germany’s Role in Global Health After the September 2021 Election

Germany has stepped up as an important player in global health in recent years, rising to become the third largest government donor to health in 2019. Notably, Germany has played a key role in WHO reform efforts; it is the largest donor to WHO for the 2020-21 budget period, and one of the largest WHO emergency fund donors. Germany has also played a leading role politically, placing health on the agenda of the G-20 for the first time in 2017 and trying to tackle increasing global health fragmentation as co-initiator of the Global Action Plan.

An image of the Reichstag building in Berlin.

Germany’s Upcoming Election: How the Next Government Can Take on Global Leadership in Development

On September 26, Germans will be called to the polls to elect a new parliament. Its members will in turn choose a successor for Angela Merkel, whose chancellorship ends after 16 years in power. The end of this era presents a unique opportunity to reset some of Germany’s political priorities and implement new policies aiming to boost Germany’s leadership on development issues.

An image of the European Union flag

A New Global Connectivity Strategy: The EU’s Response to the BRI

Foreign ministers from the 27 European Union (EU) member states have agreed to set in motion work on a new global connectivity strategy to rival China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Council Conclusions adopted in mid-July define a new “geostrategic and global approach to connectivity” for the EU and call on the European Commission and the High Representative to work on a joint EU global connectivity strategy by spring 2022 at the latest.

Close-up of a French passport

Good News: Africa Needs More Jobs While Europe Needs More Workers

We look at the challenges that Europe faces with an aging population, and ask if the challenges that Africa faces with a burgeoning working-age population might be a mutually beneficial part of the answer. We think they might, but not under “business as usual” immigration policies. Current forecasts as well as some we make ourselves suggest migration will fill only a small part of Europe’s looming labor shortage, and African migrants will be a comparatively minor component of that migrant flow. That’s a huge lost opportunity for both continents.

Chart showing where Team Europe Initiatives are concentrated: a wide range, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America

Getting to the Bottom of the Team Europe Initiatives

In early 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage the world, the European Union (EU) sprang into action with its member states and financial institutions to deliver a collective global response, laying the foundations of more unified European approach to international development that has been termed “Team Europe.”

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