About: The Brief

27-03-2017

The Brief: Fear and loathing in the Eternal City

We bought the ticket and took the ride. Saturday’s March for Europe brought together pro-Europeans from every corner of the continent.

24-03-2017

The Brief: When the EU is 64

Our resident bard has penned this lyric to mark the weekend’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome.

23-03-2017

The Brief: A treaty is just a treaty

The European Union is, we are regularly told, based on the treaties. But who really cares about treaties?

22-03-2017

The Brief: The day the Brussels Bubble burst

A year ago today the Brussels bubble burst. The 22 March terror attacks reminded us that the city is not just an EU policymaking machine but, first and foremost, home.

21-03-2017

The Brief: EU’s ticking trade timebombs

The European Commission needs to deliver free trade agreements (FTAs). Every deal it seals strengthens the EU but any failure will raise serious questions about what exactly the bloc is for.

20-03-2017

The Brief: What happens next with Brexit

The UK today said it will fire the starting gun on Brexit by triggering Article 50, the legal process taking the country out of the bloc, on 29 March.

16-03-2017

The Brief: The right kind of populism

The European Commission wasted no time in hailing Geert Wilders’ defeat in the Dutch elections as a “vote for Europe, a vote against extremists”.

15-03-2017

The Brief: Responsible consumers, irresponsible voters

The European Commission has finally presented its proposal on nutrition labels for alcohol. After a two-year delay, it handed the alcohol industry an extra year to come up with a “self-regulatory” proposal.

14-03-2017

The Brief: The EU and Russia, much happier together than it seems

On the face of it, EU-Russia diplomatic relations appear to have reached a new low, following suspicions of meddling in elections around Europe and the continued deadlock in eastern Ukraine. But when it comes to energy, Gazprom and Rosatom are doing more business with the EU than ever before.

The Brief: Brussels’ Balkans balancing act

The European Union must perform a delicate balancing act as it seeks to win the tug of love over the Western Balkans with Moscow and Ankara.

Global Europe 09-03-2017

The Brief: Polish psychodrama casts shadow over summit

A Polish psychodrama has cast a fratricidal shadow over today’s EU summit. The Poles want their former Prime Minister Donald Tusk out of his job as European Council president. So much for Solidarity.

08-03-2017

The Brief: Tusk will be elephant outside EU summit room

The one nailed-on certainty about tomorrow’s EU summit is that Donald Tusk will still be European Council president on Friday.

07-03-2017

The Brief: Fake news is old news in Brussels

Fake news is big news but in Brussels it is also old news. Tactical leaks ahead of legislative proposals are a well-worn tool to heap political pressure on internal opponents in the Commission.

Global Europe 06-03-2017

The Brief: Could ‘more Europe’ heal Brexit wounds?

More integration among the remaining 27 member states of the European Union could have the unintended consequence of laying to rest some of Britain’s long-held grievances against Brussels.

03-03-2017

The Brief: Jean-Claude est mort

There’s something fishy going on in Brussels. Jean-Claude is dead.

Global Europe 02-03-2017

The Brief: Europe enters new Dark Ages

The EU is, perhaps, the modern heir to the Holy Roman Empire. Like the Empire 700 years ago, it is in decline – sinking into an uncomfortable middle age.

The Brief: White Paper brings back bad memories for Cameron

David Cameron has probably had enough of politics. After all, it turned out he wasn’t very good at it.

28-02-2017

The Brief: Habemus White Paper!

Habemus Paper! Will a puff of pontiff-white smoke billow from Brussels tomorrow when Jean-Claude Juncker presents his vision of post-Brexit Europe?

27-02-2017

The Brief: EU cash scandal could strengthen Le Pen

Populist is an over-used and abused word in Brussels. Too often, it just means “someone I disagree with”.

Global Europe 24-02-2017

The Brief: Right to stay must be first priority of Brexit talks

The status of EU citizens in Britain and British workers in the EU should be resolved as soon as possible.

23-02-2017

The Brief: A Space Oddity

The European Commission served up a Space Oddity at today’s midday press briefing.

Politics 22-02-2017

The Brief: Britain is not ready to take back control of its borders

Taking back control of Britain’s borders is not going to be as simple as painting a slogan on the side of a big, red bus.

21-02-2017

The Brief: FrankenGreece haunts Merkel

Old habits die hard in Brussels. Eurozone finance ministers proved that yesterday by once again kicking the can down the road rather than tackle Greece’s financial problems head on.

Global Europe 20-02-2017

The Brief: Mike Pence’s promises to the EU are meaningless

Today brought the US vice-president’s first official visit to Brussels and the first taste of the Trump Tea Party for presidents Juncker and Tusk.