About: The Brief


The Brief: What Macron should tell Trump

Americans have never been good at following other countries' protocols. Donald Trump will have lunch in Brussels tomorrow with Emmanuel Macron and then dinner at NATO. But nothing of the sort with EU leaders Juncker and Tusk. All they get is a coffee.


The Brief: Greek debt delay hurts real people

Greece’s lenders and eurozone partners disappointed Athens once again last night. Despite Alexis Tsipras securing reforms that have made him less popular than Donald Trump, his country has been left to deal with the financial and social costs.


The Brief: Portugal, country of miracles

Portugal was very much in the headlines today. Last week Pope Francis was in the Portuguese town of Fatima to honour two children whose visions of the Virgin Mary 100 years ago marked one of the most important events of the Catholic Church.


The Brief: English is here to stay, even if UK isn’t

Jean-Claude Juncker thinks the English language is losing importance in Europe. Maybe the Commission president wanted to annoy Theresa May or maybe he really believes it. But he’s wrong either way.


The Brief: Trump to set foot in Brussels hellhole

When he was campaigning, Donald Trump called Brussels a “hellhole”. As president, he will make his first official visit to the Belgian capital on 25 May, before leaving for Sicily and the 43rd G7 summit.


The Brief: The decline and fall of Manuel Valls

The political career of former French Prime Minister Manuel Valls continued its murky descent into obscurity this week.


The Brief: Singapore slings EU more trading influence

EU trade policy was given a hefty dose of clarity today, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said the Commission cannot finalise its Singapore deal without member state involvement. But Brussels will be happy nonetheless...


The Brief: Juncker and the two big destroyers

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker boasts that he has met “the two big destroyers” of his time, Russia’s Mikhail Gorbachev and the UK’s David Cameron. But he clearly sees one in a more positive light than the other.


The Brief: The Great British Wake-Up

Whisper it quietly but there is a wave of realisation sweeping the United Kingdom, as the hard truths of Brexit gradually take hold.


The Brief: Time for Juncker to reshuffle his Commission

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will need to carve out a portfolio for his new Bulgarian colleague. Mariya Gabriel is expected to take office next month, replacing Kristalina Georgieva, who departed last year giving the impression she was desperate to quit.


The Brief: Germany is EU socialists’ last chance

Germany’s September elections could be the last chance for Europe’s socialist parties. They have to seek a new raison d'être or simply admit their glory days of ideological purity are over, all thanks to their own self-destructive instincts.


The Brief: Happy Europe Day to you too, from France

How long should a honeymoon last? Maybe a few months is pushing it, given we live in a world where marriages longer than one year are considered a curiosity. But surely a few weeks or a few days at the very least isn’t too much to ask for?


The Brief: Macron victory gives Europe five-year respite

Never has the election of a French president been so warmly welcomed across Europe, for several reasons.


The Brief: A House for Europe

It’s a year of celebration. Europe blew out the candles on its Treaty of Rome birthday cake and the less feted Treaty of Maastricht. The gift the EU bought itself in this remarkable 2017 is a new museum, which opened just in time for Schuman day.


The Brief: Losing touch with the Western Balkans

Russia has clearly said it can offer an alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration for Macedonia and other countries, including those in the Western Balkans.


The Brief: An ‘entente cordiale’ with the UK after Brexit?

Silver fox Michel Barnier faced the press today in one of those formidable moments that the EU’s history is made of. He tabled the Commission’s recommendations to the Council to open the Brexit negotiations and answered a decent number of journalistic questions.


The Brief: EU press for sale

Tomorrow is World Press Freedom Day. Every year, 3 May provides the opportunity to take stock of press freedom around the world, defend media from attacks on its independence and pay tribute to colleagues who have lost their lives in the service of our profession.Time then to say a few words about the media covering …


The Brief: Cold Turkey on EU summit menu

For tomorrow's summit, the main course was meant to be Article 50. Council President Donald Tusk convened the extraordinary summit of EU 27 leaders to adopt the guidelines for the Brexit negotiations.


The Brief: French election descends into tyre fires and dolphins

Last Sunday, it became clear that the second round of the French election would be fought over Europe. At EURACTIV, we were quick to announce this “clash” between the Europhile and the Eurosceptic. Now it seems we were a bit hasty.


The Brief: Council of Europe in hunt for relevance

The Council of Europe is in disarray. Its president has been told to resign, its members have been accused of corruption and there are doubts about its relevance in the modern world.


The Brief: The Commission grasps for its ‘social Triple-A moment’

The European Commission is selling its stack of social policy announcements tomorrow as a “social Triple-A moment”.


The Brief: Macron didn’t need Juncker’s poison kiss

Brussels sighed with relief when the results of the French election's first round came in. But from the big three EU institutions only Commission President Juncker openly congratulated Emmanuel Macron and wished him good luck.


The Brief: What a wonderful world this would be…

Juncker said that even President Le Pen cannot destroy the EU. We don’t buy that, because she can.


The Brief: Has democracy become too dangerous?

“If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal". This quote attributed to Emma Goldman, a Russian feminist and anarchist, no longer does the trick.