German EU Presidency: Coronavirus Challenges Focus on Climate
Action on climate change was long slated as a priority for Germany’s six-month presidency of the European Union which starts in July. As European nations struggle to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, is Germany really going to maintain momentum on climate?
COVID-19 Preparations: Europe Braces for Coronavirus Spread
As the COVID-19 gets a foothold in Europe, health services are being put through their paces. Are they up to the job dealing with the unpredictable enemy?
Pre-election campaign USA: A Stress Test for US Democracy
The Democratic pre-election campaign is entering its decisive phase. March 3, 2020, or "Super Tuesday", will determine almost a third of the delegates who will take part in the summer Democratic national convention to decide who will challenge Donald Trump in November. The election campaign takes place against a backdrop of extreme party-political polarization in the USA.
Involuntarily Freelance: Social Justice and Labor Market Policy
The creation of better jobs is one of the U.N.’s demands to mark World Justice Day on February 20. Non-standard forms of employment are on the rise in the industrialized countries and the growing precarity is threatening the future of social welfare.
International Women’s Day: Odds Still Stacked against Working Women in Europe
International Women’s Day on March 8 is around the corner again, offering Europe’s decision makers a fresh chance for Europe to admit that women still lag men in the workplace. Childcare provision is often in short supply and women are still much less likely than men to sit in the boss’ chair - but is Europe moving in the right direction?
Climate Goals: Wind Power Slump Blows Germany off course on Climate Targets
Germany has forged a reputation as an energy transition pioneer, with its “energiewende” (energy transition) policy to flip over to renewables. But as construction of new wind energy turbines stagnates, can it still strike its ambitious climate targets?
SGI: The Ranks of the Working Poor
The simple equation of the past that reducing unemployment is poverty alleviation is no longer true. Despite rising employment figures in many Western economies, poverty is not declining. What’s wrong with labor market policies?
Social Justice Index: Bleak outlook for young generations in OECD countries
Data on employment have reached levels above those of the peak of the financial crisis in nearly all EU and OECD countries. Nevertheless, the share of people at risk of poverty has shown little decline. Stagnation is also evident with regard to intergenerational justice.
Ahead of U.N. Climate Action Summit: “A Race We Must Win”
Public pressure is ratcheting higher on the climate crisis, with a series of global climate strikes planned for September. But can the upcoming United Nations Summit in New York galvanize change despite international clashes?
G7 summit: French Meeting Takes Aim at Rising Inequality
The next Group of Seven meeting is around the corner and the French President Emmanuel Macron is shining a spotlight on economic polarization. But will the world’s leading politicians be able to tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time?
Economic Regulation: Avoiding a Repeat Performance of the Financial Crisis
As economists predict that another global recession is in the wings, have international leaders done their homework in the wake of the last global financial crisis?
Romania's Referendum: A Bid to Combat Corruption
This month's referendum will test Romanian tolerance of corruption. But will it be enough to stall the epidemic of political graft and impunity?
European Elections in France: In the Shadow of National Politics
President Emmanuel Macron's call for a "renewal of Europe" made a splash in the media but got a muted reaction from other national leaders. Is his European political offensive in fact a tactical move, aimed to resonate within France as well as beyond its borders?
Democracy in Hungary: First Signs of Waning Support for Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán’s nativist rhetoric and attacks on the constitution and the independent media have triggered international censure, but he has retained his strong standing in Hungary – until now. Has a turning point been reached?
Poor Polity, good Policy?: Central and Eastern Europe Before European Parliament Elections
New populist leaders from countries in Central Eastern Europe gain support in the European Union. Contrary to expectations, their countries perform better in policies than their governance quality would suggest. What does that mean for the forthcoming European Parliament elections?
Brussels Caught in Italian Catch-22: Italy's Populist Government
Italy's government, especially the populist Five-Star Movement (M5S), is on a collision course with the European Union. Where is the communication breakdown headed?
State Election in Bavaria: Political Parties Race to Spend More
Everyone's keen to spend, as long as they don't foot the bill. A lack of tax autonomy in Germany's federal system means that better-off states are vying to spend more.
Bavarian State Election: Conservatives Gird Themselves for a Bruising
The Bavarian state elections are just around the corner and the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) looks about to wave goodbye to its absolute majority. But what would that mean for Bavaria and beyond?
Study: The quality of democracy is declining in many industrialized states
Globalization, social inequality and climate protection – given the enormous challenges facing OECD and EU countries, more vigorous reforms should be expected. Yet as our findings show, eroding standards of democracy and growing political polarization are hampering the implementation of sustainable reforms.
Swedish General Elections: Forging New Alliances under Duress
Ahead of Sweden’s autumn general elections support for the populist, far-right Swedish Democrats is surging, and traditional patters of party collaboration are in flux. Is Sweden in danger of becoming ungovernable?
Greek Bailouts: Moving into a New Era?
Nine years of European bailouts have left Greece reeling from painful reforms and investor anxiety. But, with bailouts due to end soon, can Greece make a clean break from the turbulent chapter?
NATO Summit: Tensions Among Allies
In the run-up to the NATO summit in Brussels on July 11 and 12, the mood within the alliance is frosty. There is hardly any aspect of transatlantic cooperation where the U.S. and its NATO partners still see eye to eye.
Trying to Keep Pace with the U.S. And China: Europe's Tech Race
Being a leading tech innovator is vital to secure global influence in the future. But can Europe catch up with the U.S. and China?
: Talk of inequality looms large ahead of G7 Summit
At the upcoming G7 meeting in Canada all eyes will be on Justin Trudeau as he at-tempts to sidestep potential political pitfalls. On June 8-9, 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will host leaders of the world's most powerful democracies for the annual Group of Seven (G7) summit.
Analysis: Poland's disoriented EU policy
Poland's political landscape has been in flux since 2015, reflecting a mindset shift by a disillusioned population. Its declining democratic credentials have sparked a growing distance with the rest of the European Union. And there is scant sign that bridges will be built any time soon.An analysis by Piotr Buras.
Analysis: Is Viktor Orbán a sure winner even though he is weaker?
Under Viktor Orbán, Hungary has long been an enemy of democratic values and acted as an impediment to the deepening of the European Union. Will the parliamentary elections on April 8 change that? An analysis by Anton Pelinka, professor of political science and nationalism studies at the Central European University in Budapest.
Italy at the Polls: Heading towards a Badly Hung Parliament?
The Italian parliamentary elections on March 4 are expected to yield no easy results, as no party is likely to be able to form a government alone. Which government will take charge and what policies will it adopt?
Commentary: Czech Politics Between General and Presidential Elections: Stalemate and Chaos?
The clear winner of the Czech general elections, populist Andrej Babiš, is a lonesome man. Despite some ad hoc cooperation with extreme forces, the political class positioned itself united against the new Prime Minister. Now the Chamber of Deputies voted no-confidence for his cabinet. Furthermore, the Czech parliament lifted his immunity to allow the prosecution of PM Babiš in a case of a potential EU subsidy fraud. But the wall of resistance is brittle.
Social Justice Index: Nosedive halted: recovery on the labour market improves social justice in the EU
Rising poverty, youth unemployment and impending sovereign bankruptcies – Europe has been undergoing a stress test almost permanently since the financial crisis began in 2008. For a number of years, the opportunities for people to participate in society worsened considerably in most EU states. But now a new trend is emerging.
Study: Sustainable policymaking at risk due to rising political polarization
Despite many global challenges more and more industrialized nations are unable to solve problems in a constructive way. And: Whether Trump, Erdogan, Orban or Szydlo - an independent parliament, judiciary and media doesn't count much for them. Instead they agitate against minorities and other countries. With partners like that international cooperation is getting more complicated.
By Mi Ah Schoyen and Are Vegard Haug: The Worries of Wealth: Setting the Right Course for the Future of Norway
On September 11, 2017 the Norwegian population will be heading to the polls to elect a new government. Apart from the choice between centre-right or centre-left, the country has to make important strategic decisions.
Comment: Macron's first 100 days: Convincing, but problems are already in sight
After a hard-fought election, many people in France are hoping that their new president will be able to unify the country. Tuesday marked Emmanuel Macron’s 100th day in office, and he is off to a convincing start – writes Prof. Henrik Uterwedde, our Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) expert for France. Yet a crucial test awaits Macron at summer’s end.
Analysis: Snap election in the UK: From "Hard" to "Hostile"?
The forthcoming general election in the United Kingdom will to a large extent centre on what sort of exit from the European Union the country might be able to achieve. How could an enhanced mandate for Prime Minister Theresa May affect the negotiations of Brexit?
Analysis: France before the election: Where is the country headed?
Who will take up residence in the Élysée Palace? The French are choosing their next president in a two-step process, with a first-round election on April 23 and a runoff on May 7. The results of the vote in one of Europe's most populous and economically important nations will send a signal to the entire continent. We take a look at the country's economic and social situation and its global ties.
Analysis: French Elections: Economic Stagnation, Political Revolution?
The rise of Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron in the run-up to the French presidential elections reflects a wider dissatisfaction with the country's political system. Is France on the verge of a political breakthrough that will replace the old Conservative-Socialist divide by one between nationalists and internationalists?
Analysis: Fact Check: The Netherlands goes to the polls
Parliamentary elections are being held in the Netherlands on March 15. The right-wing populist PVV party has repeatedly succeeded in infusing the campaign with anti-Islamic sentiment and prospects of the Netherlands leaving the EU, also known as "Nexit." But what about the facts? How is Germany's neighbor doing in terms of its economy, social situation and global ties?
Social Justice Index 2016: “The Upswing isn’t Reaching Everyone”
We spoke with the authors of the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s 2016 Social Justice Index about growing opportunities for social participation in Europe and why many people are in danger of poverty despite successes on the labor market.
Study: Upturn on EU's labor markets does not benefit everyone
Three years after the economic and financial crisis reached its peak in Europe, the employment rate has increased. Yet major challenges remain: 4.6 million young Europeans are without jobs, many people cannot live on what they earn despite working full time, and the risk of poverty is acute for parts of the population in several EU member states.
SGI 2016: Challenges for OECD and EU countries increase, while problem-solving abilities are in decline
Reform capacity of the government, quality of democracy and rule-of-law or level of social inclusion – every year the Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI) examine the future viability of the OECD and EU member states. The Nordic countries are still best equipped for the future, but their top position is wavering. The consequences of the economic and financial crisis are still drastic, especially in the Eurozone. With national populism on the rise in several countries, the refugee challenge poses a real test for the EU.
: The Bertelsmann Stiftung at the Global Economic Symposium 2015
Social Justice Index: European economic and debt crisis: Children and young people are hardest hit
In the EU, some 26 million children and young people are threatened by poverty or social exclusion. The social justice gap in Europe runs most strongly between north and south and between young and old. These are the central findings of our Social Justice Index 2015.
SGI 2015: How fit for the future are the OECD and the EU countries?
Many OECD and EU states are recovering from the crisis. But in Southern Europe the social situation remains critical. Again Greece brings up the rear of the country comparison. These are the results of the new Bertelsmann Stiftung's "Sustainable Governance Indicators 2015" (SGI).
Social Justice: Greece: how to prevent a permanent social divide?
The debt crisis in Greece has escalated dramatically. German-Greek relations have reached rock bottom. It was before this political backdrop that the Bertelsmann Stiftung presented their project “Social Inclusion Monitor Europe” for the first time, in the Greek capital.
SUSTAINABLE GOVERNANCE INDICATORS: How fit for the future are the OECD and EU states?
We believe good governance and sustainable development go hand-in-hand. We also believe in mutual learning. As a cross-national comparative survey designed to identify and foster successes in effective policymaking, the SGI explores how governments target sustainable development.
Series on Russia: Special Feature: Russia – Did you know that …?
The 2014 Winter Olympics are just around the corner, and Sochi is getting ready for the big event. A few days before the first starting gun sounds, everyone in the Russian city on the Black Sea is focused on sports. We, however, are taking a closer look at the country located in northeast Eurasia that will host the games.
Interview: "Making Governance Innovations Travel"
The SGI project will enter phase three and publish new indicators in 2014. Daniel Schraad-Tischler and Najim Azahaf of SGI talk about the upcoming release of the SGI, the creation of a Learning Network for Governance Innovations and what the financial crisis reveals about governments' capacity for reform.