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Bogota street

The Colombian Peace Pact is setting new standards in international peace-building (despite its defects)

The peace pact between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), agreed upon on August 24, 2016, to put an end to their 52-year conflict is a unique example of successful international peace-building. In a world seemingly tumbling back into the dark past of national egoism, it is a welcomed reminder […]

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Ciénaga monument

Ciénaga, Colombia’s sleeping colonial beauty on its way forward

Squeezed in between Colombia’s Caribbean capital Barranquilla and the coastal resort of Santa Marta lies the city of Ciénaga, a forgotten and largely malgoverned colonial beauty. At last, a new (tweeting) mayor may turn matters around.    A city with a population of roughly 100,000 and a mean annual temperature of 34°C, Ciénaga’s traditional economic base is banana production, managed […]

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EU flag Arsenal

Three unconventional lessons from #Brexit

Britain will be the first member state to walk away from the European Union, a not-even-close-to-perfect political project that nonetheless has been highly beneficial for Europe. As the dust settles, the ugliness of the entire Brexit campaign, its destructive scaremongering and willingness to bring about economic and political disaster become even more apparent. It has effectively […]

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bsuiness card Kosovo

A follow-up on Kosovo: Projects that make a difference

Following up on a political delegation trip is no trivial task: Members of Parliament (MPs) return to their daily routines and (very) different political agendas, are again caught up in parliamentary skirmishes, and their tight schedules might simply not allow for time-consuming follow-up meetings. This time was different. The aforementioned visit to Kosovo, Europe’s youngest […]

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The Economist St. Pauli

A letter to The Economist: RB Leipzig and football’s imagined East-West tensions

Dear Editor, Your humorously headlined article on the rise of drink maker-funded RB Leipzig to the top-tier of German association football (“Red Bull gives you wingers”, The Economist, May 14th-20th 2016) claims to shed some light on the East-West tensions that are, according to your subhead, “very much alive”. As much as I appreciate your newspaper providing some […]

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Taxi Düsseldorf

Alle sind für ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen (BGE) … sie wissen es nur nicht

Das Bedingungslose Grundeinkommen (BGE), die Idee eines fixen Betrages, der allen Bewohnern eines Landes ohne Gegenleistung monatlich vom Staat überwiesen wird, ist mal wieder in aller Munde. Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung hat im Frühjahr 2016 eine Netzdebatte dazu initiiert und die Pro- wie Contra-Seite zu Wort kommen lassen. In der Schweiz findet im Sommer […]

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Idomeni police 2016

Idomeni: a tool of deterrence

There is not much hope left in Idomeni, the refugee encampment of 10,000 something people. Everyone in Idomeni was expecting some kind of positive outcome from the first EU-Turkey summit, all in vain. Officially, there was no clear decision, although the infamous “Balkan route” seems to have finally been shut down for every refugee. A […]

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Cash money and credit cards on a table

No money, no problems? German cash limit is just another surveillance tool

The German federal government, currently made up of a troubled Grand Coalition, has recently floated the idea of setting up an upper limit on cash usage. A limit of 5,000 euros on cash transactions is being discussed. Supposedly, the aim is to fight illegal money transactions, first and foremost terror financing and money laundering. A recent study commissioned […]

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