Development & Aid

Digitalisation - Top Priority for the Health Care Industry

Dr. Kai Bindseil from Berlin Partner GmbH provides an overview of developments within the digital healthcare sector in the German capital region Berlin-Brandenburg - one of Europe’s most attractive life science and healthcare locations. While today’s focus is a regional one, it has global implications. View

Improving Elderly Care with Technology

Dr. Oliver Hüfner discusses how sufficient care for the elderly has been a major societal problem for many years. However, with advancements in technology, we have the potential to eliminate this problem. Standard smart home technology can transform an ordinary home into a caring home, helping its elderly inhabitants to stay there longer. View

A Laboratory in Your Pocket

Jennifer M Radin, Eric J Topol, Kristian G Andersen and Steven R Steinhubl discuss how rapid, point-of-care (POC) identification of pathogens could help efforts to control and manage infectious diseases. New techniques have enabled the development of mobile POC genomics-based diagnostic tests, which have the potential to provide faster throughput, simplify use, reduce costs, and improve portability. View

Assistive AI-Technologies Will Help Healthcare Providers Put the Patient First

Florian Bontrup argues that innovation in general and specifically artificial intelligence has the potential to turn the healthcare sector upside down. In his article, he explains how it will make healthcare more individual and personal, enable service providers to help people they have not properly served so far, and improve the lives of millions who suffer every day with new treatments. View

Opinion: Big Data Can Prevent Global Health Crises - It's Time to Make the Most of It

Gary Finnegan, Pratit Samdani, and Kamran Rafiq discuss how the use of wider disease surveillance data can help to build comprehensive pictures of real-time epidemic outbreaks. Every year, more than 1 million people die from vector-borne diseases. Big data and the use of technology can play a vital role in measuring impact and preventing the spread of disease outbreaks. View

The American Healthcare Landscape

Over the last seven years, Americans have debated about whether to keep or repeal the Affordable Care Act, but what are the ins and outs of it? I look to delve into the basis of the US healthcare system, how it compares to Germany’s, and where the controversy lies within Obamacare. View

How Germany and the United States Can Strengthen Cooperation

“Federal governments should no longer be viewed as the sole source for action and solutions both because of the current administration in the US and a continued power shift towards NGOs and local actors. Engagement at the subnational level is ever more critical.” This is one of the key conclusions from the first “Atlantic Expedition”. View

Georgia and Russia: Smoldering Conflict at a Geopolitical Intersection

Georgia can be a strategic pillar of stability in an otherwise volatile region and we should consequently place it much higher on our political agenda. Georgians want nothing more than NATO membership and the West cannot deny the evident successes of democratization and economic reform. The internal logic of realist politics however demands other factors also be considered. Georgia joining NATO would further exacerbate the conflict with Russia. View

NATO's Greatest Mistake was Libya: the Alliance Should Have Nothing to do with R2P

As a collective security organisation for its members NATO overreached its purview and the spirit of its treaty mandate by intervening in Libya. The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle adopted by the UN in 2005 should not partner or utilize with NATO’s operational capability to be able to intervene in states outside of the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO should stay clear of becoming an operational arm for liberal internationalism and re-consider its humanitarian role. View

The Post-Cold War NATO: Decoupling Regime Change and Human Rights Promotion

NATO's biggest mistake in the past 25 years is that in its search for a post-Cold War raison d'être, it has taken on roles as both an instrument of regime change and of humanitarian intervention. Humanitarian work and the protection of human rights is a noble pursuit that NATO should continue to undertake; regime change and the imposition of democracy from above is not. View

Winning Asymmetrical Warfare with Economic Policies and Measures

When facing asymmetric warfare conventional military measures are often highly ineffective. Thus, incorporating well-thought-out market and economic policies and measures into NATO’s politico-military “toolbox” seems essential. Failing to do so, and failing to understand or comprehend market realities might even be directly harmful to NATO’s goals as demonstrated by the case of Afghan drug industry and by the counternarcotic eradication programs in this article. View

EUPOL Afghanistan: What can the EU learn?

EUPOL Afghanistan is amogst the most negatively rated police missions of the EU. While it has been successful in developing strategies for sustainable solutions to civil insecurity in Afghanistan, it has failed to have significant impact. The lack of a cohesive action plan, insufficient resources and inefficiency within the project have hindered its success. Now is the time for the EU to learn from its mistakes. This is crucial if it is to become a key player in international conflict management. View

TTIP's New Global Trade Rules May Be Bad for Development

The secretly negotiated Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and EU, the world’s two biggest economies and leading rule-makers in international trade, is poised to reshape the global trade rules in accordance with developed countries’ priorities and raise the standards developing and emerging economies need to adhere to if they want to reap benefits from preferential access to Northern markets. This may be bad for development. View

Where is Our Responsibility to Protect the North Korean People?

The international legal principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) provides innovative solutions to protecting victims of mass atrocities, such as the North Korean people, so long as its scope of protection is broadened beyond traditional forms of military intervention. However, so far the R2P principle has not been sufficiently applied to the humanitarian problems North Koreans are facing. R2P must be engaged with and applied on its non-military pillars of prevention and re-building. View

Europe's Migration Crisis May Have Spillover Effects for NATO

In the past few months, a hitherto unseen influx of migrants* has caused societal and political upheaval in Europe. Responses are debated on a European Union and an individual member-state level with NATO mainly left out of this conversation, but in light of current events the potential role of NATO will come under increased scrutiny. Migration, which has until now mainly been seen as a socioeconomic question, is quickly becoming a securitized, and in certain cases, militarized, issue. View

Diverging Policies on Iraq/Syria Threaten Peace and Stability

Europe is currently witnessing the highest number of refugees at its borders since the end of WWII. Lacking common borders, the US is widely untouched by this mass exodus from war-prone countries. However, since the US is vastly responsible for the chaos in the region and thus the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, it bares most responsibility for the consequences. Its NATO allies of the EU should claim solidarity, but they must be a lot more committed to forging a common military-political strategy. View

Why the Syrian Refugee Crisis Requires a German-Polish Initiative

The refugee crisis is dividing Europe, and media coverage seems to be exacerbating this division. Sharing not only a border, but also historical experiences of displaced persons in wars previously, Germany and Poland should come together to offer a common solution for the crisis, thus demonstrating the strength, sustainability and, most importantly, the solidarity of the European Union. View

Western European Humanity or Eastern European Egoism

Mankind has an immense capability to create but it equally possesses a great capability to destroy. Looking how Europe deals with its latest crisis of a massive influx of migrants, intuition strikes one's mind that the European Union is going to face a number of challenges which might destroy the Union we once knew and believed in. The migrant crisis reveals the deep divisions in policies between various EU countries as well as their political cultures on which their respective decision making is based. View

Has Mama Merkel Met Her Maggie Moment?

In light of recent events, some Germans and Europeans are truly questioning Angela Merkel’s decisions. The migrants that are coming in crowds to Europe, however, have praised her actions. Yet Merkel’s actions are reminiscent, to some, of Margaret Thatcher and the actions that led to her dismissal from the position of Britain’s Prime Minister after eleven years in power. In Merkel’s case, only time will tell if she will meet the same fate as Thatcher did after particularly controversial actions. View

Western Approach to Migrants Destined to Fail

If there is anybody to blame for the current migration crisis in Europe, it is France and Germany, not Poland nor Hungary. However, not only does Western Europe not understand the mistakes in its short-sighted policy but also, it wants to transform its disastrous approach to Central Europe. These factors have led to a negative representation of Hungary, which is both hypocritical and ignorant. Central Europeans are not feeling "solidarity" from their Western counterparts in light of recent events. View

Western Balkans Migrants Challenge EU Priorities

While the North African and Syrian refugees are vivid and easy to capture in the media, the migrants from the western Balkans represent a steady stream just under the radar. This migrant issue is critically important because by not addressing it with serious policy measures the EU may be ignoring the main stimulus, which is bad governance in the western Balkan countries. View

Lessons from Europe: Civic Engagement Among Youth

The United States would do well to see how EU countries encourage civic engagement among youth. It is essential for the future of democracy to have youth involved in the process. They should understand the policymaking processes and they should have their voices heard by our elected leaders and government officials. Why don't we have an American Youth Congress that gathers in Washington, DC, for three or four days, discussing issues and presenting ideas? View

EU-Latin American Cooperation: An Affair of One?

The European Union portrays itself as a global actor, but there are still regions in which EU policymakers have not created strong partnerships. Latin America is one of these neglected regions. Progress on the relationship between Latin America and the EU has gotten lost somewhere in all of the rhetoric, and concrete objectives have fallen by the wayside. A summit of EU and Latin American leaders in Brussels is an opportunity for the EU to renew its efforts and get a seat at the Latin American table. View

The EU Eastern Partnership Needs More Attention to Security

On March 6-7, 2015, the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs reached the conclusion that the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) requires transformation and further development. The current situation in the EaP Region, frozen conflicts, and aggression against Ukraine demands more attention to the security dimension of the EU initiative and it is very important for the Eastern partner-countries to find ways to meet these key challenges. View

Book Review: "Want, Waste, or War?"

The authors of this book, Philip Andrews-Speed et al., present a compelling case for taking a resource nexus approach in analyzing global resource use by considering the interconnectedness among natural resources. This approach helps to understand the potential implications across regions. Without a fairer and more effective approach to resource governance, risks for increased waste, want and war will likely become more pressing in the future. View

Counterinsurgency and Tribal Politics

Findings of this research are focused on NATO capabilities in the light of requirement and planning assumptions required to conduct missions tailored to certain operations within tribal society. The key aspects are related to the strategies of the International Organizations and its implementation while facing an unpredictable threat in hostile environment relevant to the hybrid wars and asymmetry. View

When Solving Ukraine Focus on Ukraine, not Russia

When trying to solve the Ukraine crisis, the United States and its European allies concentrated their efforts on punishing Russia. While Moscow is a major stakeholder in the crisis, the keys to peace are in Ukraine. The transatlantic partners must turn to Kiev, Donetsk, and Lugansk in their attempt to bring the country back to normality. There are no more concessions Russia would be willing to make with respect to the crisis, but those are not needed. Instead, the transatlantic partners must exercise their full influence with Kiev. View

The Greek Moment: Facing the Reality

The cradle of democracy has spoken and Greece has a new government. Voters chose a party whose platform promised a more desirable future. However, like elections everywhere, promises and simplistic solutions to complex problems made during a campaign seldom survive post election realities. For Greece, a eurozone exit would devote attention away from fixing its most pressing problems. The ‘must do' options require investment in education, infrastructure, and technology in order to expand the economy. View

What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel

Matti Friedman, reflecting on his years reporting from the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press, discusses the increasingly subjective role reporters play in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, moving from observers to more active players in the region. Friedman also highlights his reasons why international NGOs and humanitarian groups are conspicuously absent from the debate. View

Afghanistan's Best Asset: Its Youthful Optimism

Afghanistan of 2001 is not comparable with the Afghanistan of 2015. With 352,000 strong Afghan National Security Forces, backed by the US and NATO, an increasingly vibrant civil society sector, and a large youth population, Afghans are hopeful that their country will never return to the dark era. For this to remain effective, Afghanistan and its partners must continue to broaden those achievements over the next decade, ushering in a new era of transformation. View

Maths, English, Entrepreneurship: An Education Trifecta

The job market is in a transition from offering stable long-term working contracts, to a new more dynamic era where it is integral to actively create change. The majority of the younger generation lacks knowledge on how to create their own job. Mandatory education regarding how to do so, from secondary school on, will solve the problem. View

What the West Should Do About the BRICS

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (the BRICS) launched the New Development Bank and the Contingency Reserve Arrangement, challenging World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. If transatlantic leaders don't act both decisively and with humility in the years ahead, the institutions they created 70 years ago at Bretton Woods are doomed to lose a lot of their might in international affairs. Giving the BRICS a bigger role in the IMF & World Bank could be a necessary step for preserving these institutions. View

Twitter Highlights: July 2014

With over 4,990 followers on Twitter and counting, we're very close to our summer goal of reaching 5,000 followers. continues to use its social media platforms to share stories relevant to transatlantic relations and to promote published member articles while engaging with the community on both sides of the Atlantic. Our July tweets cover a range of issues, from the foundations of the transatlantic partnership, to ISIS, to energy policy and European security. View

Event Report: The Cost of Peace and Freedom

The Atlantic Initiative held a public event in Berlin in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation on The Cost of Peace and Freedom: What is security worth to us today? The panel included a security expert and a member of the Bundestag's budgetary and defense committees. Panelists discussed Germany's role in global defense alliances in light of the Ukraine crisis and security issues in the Middle East and Africa. View

The EU Must Look Inside & Out to Deal with Climate Change

Two high-level ministerial events take place this week at the Bonn Climate Change Conference. The European Union should focus on change at two levels: at the global climate summit level and internally within member states. The EU must take into consideration developing countries' concerns over the issues of technology transfer and historical responsibility over burden sharing before passing its own agenda. It must also overcome divisions among its members to lead by example. View

Playing the Long Game in Ukraine

Europe and the US must use a long-term strategy to reverse Russia's moves in Ukraine. Helping Kiev to make a democratic Ukrainian state, whose politics and economy contrasts favorably with life in any occupied Russian zone, will play to the soft power appeal of Europe over Russia's military dominance. Since neither Russia nor NATO want a shooting war over Ukraine, the "winner" of this contest will instead be the side which can fulfill the aspirations of Ukraine's heterogeneous population the best. View

A Stormy Journey: Europe must Steer Away from its Impervious Immigration Policy

Since the Arab Spring began a flood of human trafficking vessels have attempted to land on the tiny island of Lampedusa, lying just 70 miles north of the North African coast. The United Nations estimates more than 32,000 migrants would have journeyed to southern Italy in 2013 by using this area. On October 3rd 2013 an overcrowded fishing boat capsized, killing 366 people. This tragedy should keep illegal immigration at the forefront of discussion within the EU. View

Civil Society a Catalyst for Democratic Development of Hungary

Communism was not kind to Hungary. Basic freedoms enjoyed by the West were all but nonexistent under Soviet rule. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), few as they were, depended on the state for funding. Even today, Hungarian CSOs have yet to fully establish themselves. Their vital role in ensuring the success of the country's free market reforms still depends, somewhat ironically, on the private sector's ability to secure their financial independence from the state. View

Reaping the Democracy Dividend in Former Soviet Satellites

Despite the tremendous progress made since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many Central and Eastern European (CEE) nations do not yet have fully-formed democracies. Under the region's former communist regimes, much of the pre-war intelligentsia was eliminated, enabling corruption while simultaneously hindering civil society. CEE has yet to fully recover. Only by sowing the seeds of accountability, morality, and trustworthiness can CEE overcome its negative legacy and reap the democracy dividend. View

Only Western-Russian Cooperation Can Stop Ukraine From Fracturing

Only through cooperation can Russia and the West prevent the fragmentation of Ukraine. By teaming up to provide economic aid, resist the advance of ultranationalist forces, and protect nuclear power plants, Moscow, Brussels, and Washington can help avoid the division of Ukraine along cultural, spiritual, ideological, and linguistic lines. Failure to do so may well bring about a “wave of fragmentation,” effectively transforming Ukraine into the next Georgia. View

Rethinking German Foreign Policy: The Long Road Ahead

In Munich, Federal President Gauck initiated the debate on the scope and depth of Germany's international role. It was high time. Germany is ready for it, but it needs to do its homework. Above all, a broad and inclusive discussion within German civil society and with international partners is necessary. When Germany finally learns how to employ all instruments of international politics at its disposal, pursuing primarily non-military options, it will become an even better partner to the world. View

Call for Articles: Striving for a Bold Civil Society in Central and Eastern Europe

The Atlantic Community is pleased to announce its first Theme Month of 2014, raising the issue of civil society in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). We cordially invite you to submit short op-ed articles and join in our discussion on the current strength, roles, and future prospects of civil society in this region. View

Germany's Responsibility in South Sudan

New year. New government. Same old indifference. In South Sudan thousands of people fear for their lives. We Germans send some food and medicine and recommend they settle their conflicts peacefully. With that, we think, we have done enough. This however, is far from the case. Not only do we have a moral responsibility to protect the thousands of South Sudanese in grave danger, it is in Germany's own interests to contribute more. View

German Parties' Foreign Policy: More Aligned Than Apart

With the upcoming German federal election on September 22, it is necessary to evaluate the stance each party is taking on pressing foreign policy issues. Included in this discussion are the platforms of the five main parties: the CDU, SPD, FDP, the Greens, and the Left, on issues ranging from exiting Afghanistan to Turkey's accession to the EU. While there's more cohesion in German politics than one might find across the pond, splits can still be seen on issues like TTIP and NATO. View

Delegates Seek Innovative Solutions at Y8 and Y20 Summit

Policy Innovation e.V. and Atlantic Community collaborated in May 2013 for a Theme Week on the Y8 and Y20 summits that would take place in June. Through Atlantic Community members' commentary on the policy papers of the German Delegation to the Y8 and Y20, Atlantic Community had the unique ability to help shape the positions of the delegation. Policy Innovation's Press-Delegate Matthias Kaspers presents an overview of the experience and recommendations yielded by the summits. View

US Still Needs EU for Developing Nascent Strategic Relations

Despite any uncertainty about the future of the EU, the United States still needs this partnership. While the economic strength of the EU may be shaky, its strength lies in its enlargement policy, as EU membership has kept politically unstable countries from backsliding into dictatorial regimes and kleptocracies. The EU's proven success in stabilizing nascent democracies has been an asset to the US, as the US is then able to develop strategic partnerships with these emerging democracies. View

Yemen: Sustaining Humanitarian Aid

International humanitarian assistance in Yemen has been seriously constrained by safety, under-funding, and lack of cooperation between multilateral and bilateral aid delivery agencies, particularly between the EU, North America, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait. Such cooperation has been undermined by an over-reliance on international frameworks for humanitarian aid, based on rights-based terminology that can be perceived as overly confrontation or antithetical to local values. View

Countering Terror with Trade: The Silk Route to Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan is critical to China’s push to control sea-lanes in the Indian Ocean and it has the potential to become the locus of various anti-American forces, including the Taliban. Sole reliance on militaristic strategies has led to closed borders, a weakened regional economy and the emergence of safe havens for militants. A winning solution for both the people of the region and the United States is to reduce the military’s footprint and replace it with economic development and trade. View

Gilgit-Baltistan Holds Importance Beyond Kashmir

While it may be a lesser-known region, Gilgit-Baltistan serves as a buffer between Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. The development of water resources flowing from Gilgit-Baltistan could improve the livelihood of rural Pakistan and thus lessen manpower heading towards extremist groups. Empowerment of the region could be accomplished through development assistance and encouragement of the local population by the transatlantic community. View

Looking South: A New Direction for Transatlantic Relations

Transatlantic relations are in transition. Where once Europe dominated US concerns, Asia now occupies center stage. Moreover, the Obama administration’s increasing reluctance to lead in times of international crisis has forced Europeans to take on greater responsibility and independence in foreign policy. If they are to successfully confront future challenges, the transatlantic partners must reevaluate their alliance and bring it up to date with current global realities. View