London, UK: Human rights campaigners protest against arms sales to Saudi Arabia. | Photo: Campaign Against Arms Trade via flickr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Why the Future German Arms Export Control Act Goes in the Right Direction—But Not Far Enough

On 13 October 2022, the German Ministry for Economics and Climate published draft key points for a future German Arms Export Control Act (referred to hereafter as ‘the draft’). Establishing such a law is one goal that the government defined in the coalition agreement. The draft contains several good points that can help make German arms export policy more restrictive and more closely aligned with peace, human rights and security policy goals. At the same time, the draft reveals some serious gaps that must be remedied to fully live up to this claim.

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Flaggen verschiedener Länder in einem Camp in Niger und zwei Soldaten, die gerade weitere Flaggen heraufziehen.
Policy coherence for peace should be strengthened at the national level, but also internationally. | Photo: US Africa Command via flickr | CC BY 2.0

Coherent Peace Policy: It’s the Content that Counts

That inter-ministerial competition doesn’t make for more successful foreign policy is a commonplace observation. However, it isn’t enough that all parts of government pull together, they must move together in the right direction.

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Treppen im Europäischen Parlament und zwei Personen, die sich in unterschiedliche Richtungen bewegen
The EU might pave the way for measures that do more harm than good to democracy. | Photo: European Parliament via flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Responding to Foreign Interference in the EU: Beware of Unintended Consequences

The EU’s emerging response to foreign interference, as it is currently debated in the EU Parliament, contains striking similarities to arguments put forth by some governments around the world seeking to justify harsh restrictions on foreign funding and “foreign agents.” This risks producing serious ramifications for civic spaces and international civil society support—both within and beyond the EU.

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Vladimir Putin's Face on a TV-Screen
September 21, 2022, Vladimir Putin, Delivers a Speech on Russian TV, Photo: Adrien Fillon, picture alliance | ZUMAPRESS.com

Putin’s Mobilisation, Annexation and Nuclear Threats: Last-Ditch Effort or More of the Same?

Just as leaders from across the world gathered in New York to address challenges to global peace and stability, the Russian president Putin declared mobilisation in Russia for the third time in its history. This step, which had formerly was ruled out by Russian officials, indicates that the Kremlin does not have any viable options but to escalate. Even though Putin still prefers to call the war a “special military operation”, he has virtually introduced martial laws across the entire spectrum of Russian economy and society, doubling down on the only gamble that he thinks can still pay off.

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