The new defence minister Kramp-Karrenbauer will not repeat the mistakes of her predecessor Ursula von der Leyen, notes the Neue Zürcher Zeitung: “When Kramp-Karrenbauer's predecessor accused the troop of having 'an attitude problem' her reputation with many soldiers was ruined - not because worrying far-right incidents had not yet occurred, but because she openly criticised the attitude of the entire Bundeswehr. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer demonstrated in her first short speech on Wednesday that she is aware of this danger. She talked almost exclusively about the soldiers, whose well-being, she said, was her top priority. 'In this moment, in this hour, my thoughts are particularly with those men and women who are on duty,' she said. If the minister is able to heed these words over the next weeks, she will not run into many difficulties.” … [Read more...] about How good is AKK as defence minister?
Angela Merkel’s favoured successor as chancellor has been appointed Germany’s new defence minister in an unexpected and potentially risky move after Ursula von der Leyen’s confirmation as European commission president. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, widely known in Germany as AKK, formally took over the role during a ceremony on Wednesday, a day after MEPs narrowly backed Von der Leyen’s nomination, and will swear her oath of office in the Bundestag next week. Kramp-Karrenbauer, 56, narrowly won the leadership of Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) last year and had no cabinet role, a reason given by some opponents for objecting to her as a candidate for the chancellorship. But the job of defence minister is widely seen as a poisoned chalice. Germany’s armed forces, which critics maintain have long been chronically underfunded, are consistently accused of inefficiency and of having inadequate or defective equipment. Originally … [Read more...] about Merkel protege AKK given defence job seen as poisoned chalice
German CDU leader, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, has come under fire from YouTube stars after calling for more discussion about regulation of political opinions in the digital sphere around election time. She spoke after a European election video by YouTuber Rezo urged voters to shun the ruling parties over their failure to act on climate change. YouTubers have now launched a petition calling for an end to attacks on free speech. Read and decide Support quality EU news Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial. … [Read more...] about [Ticker] German YouTube stars criticise AKK over ‘censorship’
Both leaders converge, however, on their emphasis on a classical inter-governmental approach and on conservative issues like increasing European competitiveness, EU border protection and the ability to act jointly on issues of mutual security and foreign policy interests. The major difference comes with the letters' audiences. While Macron's main intension is to unite pro-European progressives in France and beyond in order to place En Marche as a decisive political force in the next European Parliament, AKK's top priority is to position herself to the right from Angela Merkel, to win back significant numbers of voters her party has lost to the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in recent years. In a domestic German context, AKK's European 'reply' adds up to a series of recent speeches and initiatives, in which she focused on classical conservative demands like how to restrict migration to Germany or questioned the future of the Schengen agreement, if the EU will not boost resources for … [Read more...] about [Opinion] Don’t believe the AKK hype
Nick Pickles, Twitter’s senior policy strategist, is our main guest in the brand-new episode of POLITICO's EU Confidential podcast. He responds to heated criticism of Twitter’s handling of free expression, misogyny, disinformation and transparency. “Increasingly, problems have tech components, but often societal problems can’t be solved by technology alone,” he says. Our podcast panel discusses this week’s Syria conference in Brussels — and debates the response from Germany’s Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance vision. And following up on a recent promise, we crunched the numbers to determine the balance between men and women featured on the podcast. Over the last year, 68 men were featured guests, compared to 44 women. Although it's not an exact science, we also had a shot at measuring total air time. Factoring in our podcast panelists Lina Aburous and Alva Finn, women accounted for 60 percent of speaking … [Read more...] about EU Confidential episode 90, presented by Naftogaz of Ukraine: Twitter replies — Syria conference — AKK’s answer