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The French Republic chose well when it selected Frances Seymour for this honor. She has been a great asset to us here at CGD, where she leads our Tropical Forests for Climate and Development initiative, which is helping to broaden policymakers’ understanding of the close links between forest protection, successful development and reduced climate change threat. Frances epitomizes the combination of research rigor and practical policy experience that is a hallmark of our work at CGD.
I am looking forward to a reception that will be held in Frances’s honor at the French Embassy on May 1. A few places remain for friends and admirers who have not yet received an invitation. If you are among them, you can send a note to events@CGDev.org to request one.
Yesterday, the German Social Democrats (SPD) voted in favour of pursuing in-depth coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU). Although the chancellor’s battle for political survival is far from over (as the final coalition agreement will have to be backed by the majority of SPD’s 443,000 party members), it is likely that we will see a remaking of a grand coalition. Here we look what that would mean for Germany’s leadership on development.
Germans have given Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor, but once again without a parliamentary majority. It seems likely that Merkel will now try to negotiate a black-green-yellow “Jamaica coalition” (referring to the parties’ colors) with the Greens and the pro-business Liberals replacing the Social Democrats as coalition partners. Despite the gain in vote for nationalists, our analysis suggests the Jamaica coalition could actually strengthen Germany’s role in accelerating global development, as well as benefitting Germany.
Kudos to Finland in 2016 for ascending to the top spot in CGD’s annual Commitment to Development Index, our ranking of how a country’s policies help or hinder development. Other countries of note this year include France, New Zealand and Austria. We just published the latest rankings, and I discuss them, their implications, and the political landscape that could affect them in our latest CGD Podcast with Owen Barder, senior fellow and director of CGD Europe, which produces the Index.