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  • Author: Frank Meixner, Pia Figge
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The German Legislation on Improving Law Enforcement in Social Networks (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz – NetzDG), which came into force on October 1, 2017, is the legislative response to how social networks handle complaints about illegal content. It does not advocate the implementation of new duties but concerns the enforcement of existing law. Its aim is the prompt removal of illegal content from the internet. This paper examines the intentions of the German legislator, the structure and implementation of the NetzDG, as well as first results. Regierungsdirektor Frank Meixner is Head of the German Federal Office for the Protection and Protection of Abroad (Bundesamt für Justiz) in Bonn. Regierungsrätin Pia Figge is a consultant to the Network Enforcement Act (Consumer Protection) of the Bundesamt für Justiz in Bonn.
  • Topic: Crime, Science and Technology, Internet, Social Media, Networks
  • Political Geography: Germany, European Union
  • Author: Nele Katharina Wissmann
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: The term "refugee crisis" is not uncontroversial in Germany; it is indeed accused of presenting the refugees as being responsible for the crisis. The events that have occurred since the summer of 2015 should rather be called "crisis of the authorities", given that Germany could have anticipated the massive increase in the number of refugees. The use of the term "refugee crisis" in this article is axiologically neutral and reflects its present common use in politics, the media and specialised literature. The term "refugee", which does not reflect the heterogeneity of immigrant situations in Germany, is less common in France than in Germany. When used in France, it is to facilitate the understanding of the reader. The definition used here is that of the Geneva Convention: "the term "refugee" will apply to any person who is outside their country of nationality and who is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country". There will be a distinction between "tolerated" refugees and persons enjoying subsidiary protection and asylum seekers, in accordance with Article 16a of the German Constitution. The refugee crisis in Germany was first mentioned in the light of the events in the summer of 2015; at the time, the chroniclers established a direct link between the refugee crisis and the "open door policy". Admittedly, this characterisation is not entirely false, given the prolonged absence of reliable statistics on immigration, which can be explained by, among other things, double registration and the fact that some people have continued their journey to other EU countries without declaring it. Nevertheless, this phenomenon reflects more the shortcomings of the authorities concerning refugee registration than a real political orientation of the government in response to the increase in the number of refugees. Germany has, on the contrary, reacted by progressively toughening its asylum rights, and seems to be permanently closing its doors to many groups of migrants.
  • Topic: Immigration, Governance, Refugee Crisis, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Germany, European Union
  • Author: Eileen Keller
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: This study analyses the joint efforts by France and Germany to bring about a comprehensive reform of the European currency union. These efforts culminated in the joint Meseberg Declaration adopted in June 2018. The article contextualises these efforts with respect to the reforms realised so far and the different reform options at hand. Besides questions of economic viability and institutional deficits, the article tackles issues of political feasibility. “From Meseberg to nowhere” was the prognosis given by Werner Mussler, economic correspondent for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Brussels. Commenting on the outlook for the joint declaration by the French President and German Chancellor on 19 June, following protracted negotiations at the German Government's official guest house at Schloss Meseberg, near Berlin, the journalist was critical of both the compromises it contained on strengthening the euro area and the chances of these ever being implemented. There is no question that the negotiations on the development of the euro area come at a difficult time. However, there are still good grounds for reaching a different conclusion. Both valid economic and political reasons can be found for the reforms proposed in the declaration, the details of which have yet to be developed. Anyone broaching the subject realistically knows that negotiations on economic and monetary union have always been challenging, due to differing concepts of economic policy and divergent economic needs and interests. At the same time, the two figures responsible for the Meseberg Declaration are both exceptional political personalities whom have shown in the past that they can cope with difficult negotiations, and can achieve remarkable results – on condition that Angela Merkel remains in office.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, European Union, Economy, Negotiation, Currency
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany