⊂ EUROPE ⊃
EU Mediterranean migrant mission at risk of collapse: Italy called for immediate changes to the EU’s Operation Sophia during the EU-wide summit of defense and foreign ministers in Vienna on Thursday. Rome, which currently commands the naval effort, wants other EU states to open their ports and allow migrants to disembark on their territories. German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen appealed to Italy not to hijack Operation “Sophia”. At the heart of the issue are the EU’s so-called Dublin rules on asylum, under which migrants must register asylum claims in the EU member state where they first set foot. Efforts to reform the rules have so far failed. However, this row must not take place at the expense of Operation Sophia, which has an important task, von der Leyen said. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Thursday that there was no consensus on practical solutions to migration at the moment and urged member states to show more responsibility towards migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.
dw.com, ednh.news, euractiv.com
Regulators could bring in emergency measures in a hard Brexit: Regulators could enact emergency measures in the case of a so-called hard Brexit to minimize chaos, the president of Germany’s financial market watchdog Bafin said on Thursday. If Britain leaves the EU at the end of March without an exit agreement that would clarify numerous outstanding legal questions, Bafin could bring in temporary measures, Bafin president Felix Hufeld said. Hufeld also said that Germany was processing more than 25 banking licenses in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU. Panasonic will move its European headquarters from the UK to Amsterdam in October as Brexit approaches.
EU says it is willing to scrap car tariffs in US trade deal: Brussels is willing to scrap tariffs on all industrial products, including cars, in its trade talks with the United States, EU trade chief Cecilia Malmström said Thursday. Speaking to the EU Parliament’s committee on Trade, the Swedish commissioner said the bloc was willing to bring down the car tariffs to zero if Washington does the same. Brussels and Washington are holding preparatory trade talks to define the scope of a potential future agreement. Malmström insisted that the discussions are not about restarting TTIP but aiming for a more limited trade agreement.
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EU drought assistance for farmers: In light of the difficulties faced by European farmers affected by drought this summer, the European Commission continues acting to provide practical support to the sector. Additional flexibility will be granted to help farmers provide sufficient feed to their animals. The EU Commission presented on Thursday an additional package of actions aimed at increasing the availability of fodder resources for livestock, one of the main challenges faced by farmers dealing with the impact of drought. This package complements the measures already announced early August.
Manfred Weber: EPP Group Leader prepares candidacy as head of the EU Commission spiegel.de
Refugee policy: EU Commission checks Hungarian penalty tax for refugee NGOs spiegel.de
Bundesbank president: Weidmann says Greece has not yet turned the corner handelsblatt.com
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Saxony politicians face voters after far-right Chemnitz violence: Saxony State Premier Michael Kretschmer traveled to Chemnitz on Thursday as part of a statewide election campaign tour. At the same time, a far-right rally, this time unopposed by an anti-Nazi counterprotest, took place on the streets. The previously-scheduled event, designed to give Kretschmer the chance to speak to ordinary citizens, became a particularly sensitive gathering in the wake of the killing of 35-year-old Daniel H., apparently by two men of Syrian and Iraqi origin, and subsequent far-right violence in the city on Sunday and Monday. A German correctional officer was suspended Thursday over allegations that he illegally leaked an arrest warrant for the Iraqi homicide suspect, which was then spread by extremist groups linked to anti-immigrant violence in the city of Chemnitz.
France will not pay for anti-EU member states: Foreign policy chief Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned Paris was not prepared to pay for countries that violate the EU’s founding principles in a clear swipe at eurosceptic leaders in Hungary and Poland. Le Drian said France and Germany were the “engines” of Europe, adding that the two would align their asylum rules ahead of an upcoming summit on migration.
Merkel’s Africa tour arrives in Ghana as migration a concern: German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Ghana on Thursday during a three-nation West Africa visit aimed at boosting investment in a region that is a major source of migrants heading toward Europe. Merkel is traveling with nearly a dozen German CEOs to help promote business ties. A memorandum of understanding was signed for Volkswagen South Africa to build an assembly plant in Ghana. The German leader first stopped in Senegal, another of Africa’s fastest-growing economies, and will continue on to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and one of the world’s top oil producers.
Dutch Mohammad cartoon contest sparks protests in Pakistan: Thousands of Pakistanis have demonstrated calling for the country’s Dutch ambassador to be expelled over a controversial Mohammad cartoon contest. The contest is organized for later this year by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders. Several thousand protesters called for the expulsion of Dutch ambassador Ardi Stoios-Braken and demanded that new Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government withdraw Pakistan’s ambassador and cut diplomatic ties with the Netherlands.
Migration policy: Hungary summons Swedish ambassador over criticism of its migration policy reuters.com
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
politjobs.eu: Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)
⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
Macron under fire for saying French are resistant to change: Opposition politicians in France took aim at President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday for describing his countrymen as “Gauls who resist change.” The French president made the controversial quip during a diplomatic visit to Denmark on Wednesday. Commenting on the Danish system, which combines social protection and economic flexibility, he said that this structure was partially rooted in the Danes’ history as a “Lutheran people who have lived through the transformation of the last decades.” He then compared Danish and French mentality, referring to his compatriots as “Gauls who resist change.” The ancient Gaulish tribes are believed to be ancestors of the modern-day French.
⊂ EUROPE ⊃