Jean-Claude Juncker, the new President of the European Commission and his “winning team” start to work officially on 1 November 2014. The former Prime Minister of the small state and fiscal paradise Luxemburg (500,000 inhabitants) is trying to spread the sentiment of breaking new ground for the European Union after five years of financial, economic, and increasingly, political, crisis. Peter Wahl reports
Unlike his predecessor, Juncker made some self-critical remarks and admitted what critics had been saying for years: There ‘was a lack of social fairness’ and ‘democratic legitimacy had suffered’ in the EU. Hence, he promised ‘a new start’ as well as ‘jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change.’ Of course, it is too early to judge whether this is more than a rhetorical facelift, or neo-liberalism with a human face. But looking more closely into the selection of commissioners and the structural changes in the Commission, there is little reason for optimism ...
Weakening of workers' rights in most regions is being aggravated by severe crackdowns on freedom of speech and assembly, according to the 2016 Global Rights Index. Restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, including severe crackdowns in some countries, increased by 22%, with 50 out of 141 countries surveyed recording restrictions.
The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the European Union (EU) to emerge from the crisis, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states.
The world economy stumbled in 2015 and only a modest improvement is projected for 2016/17 as a number of cyclical and structural headwinds persist, says the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2016 report. Global growth is estimated at a mere 2.4% in 2015.
Within a few weeks leftwing governments in Latin America have experienced a breath-taking decline. The Latin American (centre-) left forces suffered several strategic defeats. They occurred in the biggest Latin American economies. First in Argentina, than in Venezuela, and also in Brazil the days of an uncontested majority of left forces are definitely over now.
14 years after their previous strategy on gender mainstreaming, the WBG has decided to develop a new Gender Equality (GE) Strategy. This briefing document presents WIDE+ critical reflections and key recommendations to enhance the new World Bank Group's (WBG) strategy on Gender Equality.