⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Merkel rejects Macron’s criticism of Nato: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s assessment that Nato is brain dead, saying Macron had used drastic words that did not reflect her view of cooperation in Nato. She said that despite problems within the alliance, such a sweeping attack was not necessary. Merkel also confirmed Germany’s commitment to its role within Nato. At a press conference with Merkel, Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasised the need for unity in the alliance. Stoltenberg said Nato was strong, and that the US and Europe were working more together than they had done for decades. Macron had said in an interview that Washington was showing signs of turning its back on Europe, as demonstrated by US President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to pull troops out of north-eastern Syria last month without consulting his allies.
theguardian.com, washingtonpost.com, dw.com

Pompeo on visit to Germany: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his German counterpart Heiko Maas stressed the close ties between their two countries on Thursday, batting away talk of transatlantic friction and insisting that the Nato alliance that both are part of remained relevant today. At a joint news conference in Leipzig, where the two were gathered for commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Pompeo remembered his time serving in the neighbourhood as a US soldier in the late 1980s. Maas thanked the US for its contribution to German reunification. In return, the US top diplomat said Germany had been a great partner, particularly in attempts to denuclearise North Korea and to achieve democracy in Venezuela. A State Department press release said the US-German relationship was in many ways the bedrock of the transatlantic relationship, and of course of the Nato alliance, built on shared values — freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law.
nytimes.com, euronews.com, dw.com, washingtontimes.com

Macron criticises euro zone deficit debates: French President Emmanuel Macron has urged European countries to stop focusing on budget deficit rules in order to invest more and compete with China and the United States. He said it was now time for Europe to loosen the purse strings to prepare for the future. Macron warned the cost of under-investing was that Europe was no longer competing in the same league as America and China when it came to cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence.
reuters.com

Eurogroup supports Schnabel’s candidacy to ECB: Euro zone finance ministers support the candidacy of Germany’s Isabel Schnabel to become a member of the European Central Bank’s executive bard for a non-renewable eight-year term. The euro zone ministers’ recommendation to EU leaders will be formally adopted by all EU finance ministers this Friday. Schnabel will then have a hearing in the EU Parliament and EU leaders will formally appoint her in December.
reuters.com

EU Commission: Thierry Breton: I’ll recuse myself from decisions involving former company politico.eu
Euro zone: Moderate growth phase euronews.com
DiscoverEU: 20,000 travel passes available for 18-year-olds to explore Europe next summer ec.europa.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

I urge all EU countries with high levels of public debt to pursue prudent fiscal policies and put their debt levels on a downward path.
EU Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis has urged governments to spend now to boost euro zone growth.
politico.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

German defence minister calls for active military role: Germany greatly benefits from the rules-based global order and should do more to secure its success, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said on Thursday. She noted that allies are increasingly asking for Berlin to play a proactive role in global security. However, she said the target was not because others were calling for it but because it was in the interest of Germany’s own security. Kramp-Karrenbauer pledged to boost defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2031. While it would be well behind the 2024 goal, it could eventually make Germany the third largest defence spender in the world, behind the US and China. Kramp-Karrenbauer will meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for talks at her ministry in Berlin this Friday.
dw.com, reuters.com, politico.eu

Italian Holocaust survivor given police escort: Italian senator and Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre has been placed under police protection after she received threats from far-right extremists. Milan’s prefect assigned a police security detail to Segre because of the 200 threats and insults she received daily. Last month, Segre had called for the creation of a parliamentary commission to investigate hate, racism and antisemitism after she was the subject of a daily barrage of abuse on social media. She has dedicated much of her time in recent years to visiting schools to recount the horrors of the Holocaust and was named a life senator in 2018.
reuters.com, dw.com

French police clear illegal refugee camps: French police have evacuated about 1,600 migrants from two camps in northern Paris, in one of the biggest clearance operations in years. Some 600 police officers escorted the migrants to coaches to take them to reception centres in the Paris area. Charities had warned of appalling sanitary conditions in the camps. Many had complained of rats as well as a lack of water, electricity and sanitary facilities. Conditions have deteriorated even further as winter approaches, with news last week that a 25 year old Nigerian man suffocated after lighting a small fire inside his tent to stay warm. Vowing to take back control of immigration, the government announced it would implement a quota system that would cap the number of immigrants according to job needs in certain professions. On Wednesday, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said 16,000 places would be made available in three new migrant centres, in an effort to prevent migrants from setting up new settlements.
bbc.com, theguardian.com, dw.com, euronews.com

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Czech police investigate sale of Hitler masks: Police in the Czech Republic have launched an investigation into complaints that a mask depicting Adolf Hitler was spotted on sale in a shop in Prague. Christoph Israng, the German ambassador to the Czech Republic, tweeted a picture of the mask the day after Halloween as he passed the shop. The Czech police confirmed that it was dealing with the matter. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed under the Nazi occupation between 1938 and 1945 of what was fomerly known as Czechoslovakia.
euronews.com

Italy: Eleven-year old freed from Syrian Isis camp on way home to Italy washingtonpost.com
Hungary: Turkey’s Erdogan finds ally in visit with Orban dw.com
Germany: Government scraps tampon tax, as menstrual products not a luxury dw.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Berlin gets unwanted Reagan statue: For over ten years, the United States has wanted to honour Reagan with a statue in Berlin. The administration of the German capital had until now rejected numerous applications from US officials and dignitaries. Reagan, who passed away in 2004, became an honourary citizen of the city in 1992. Local officials felt that was sufficient. Despite this, the United States is going ahead with plans to erect a 7-foot statue of the late head of state on the balcony of their Berlin embassy.
dw.com