Alexandra Brzozowski

Future EU 15-11-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Incapacity to rule

The replacement hearings for the three rejected European Commissioner-designates were meant to be the beginning of the end of the Brussels job-division saga. However, further delays to the inauguration of Ursula von der Leyen's team may be looming, in what could be taken as a symptom of wider European indecisiveness.
Enlargement 14-11-2019

Hungary’s Commission pick survives enlargement test, deflects on Orban

The Western Balkans must have a credible perspective of joining the European Union as it is in Europe's geopolitical interest, Hungary's Commissioner-designate for enlargement and neighbourhood told his European Parliament hearing on Wednesday (14 November).
Global Europe 12-11-2019

EU expands military cooperation with 13 new joint projects

EU defence ministers on Tuesday (12 November) signed off on the third wave of 13 new proposals under the EU's Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) framework, raising the number of agreed joint military projects to 47 initiatives.
Global Europe 12-11-2019

Europeans ‘extremely concerned’ after nuclear watchdog confirms Iranian breach

France, Germany, the UK and the EU urged Iran to stand by its 2015 nuclear deal commitments on Monday (11 November), after the UN's nuclear watchdog said in a new report that it detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Iran, revealing even more cracks in the accord.
Global Europe 08-11-2019

Question marks over third country participation in EU military projects

The EU is inching towards an agreement on the conditions under which third countries will be allowed to participate in the bloc's military projects, which would allow US and UK companies to take part in joint defence projects, potentially removing a source of friction in transatlantic ties.

France’s Macron decries NATO ‘brain death’ ahead of anniversary

European countries can no longer rely on the United States to defend NATO allies, French President Emmanuel Macron warned in an interview on Thursday (7 November), only weeks ahead of a meeting of NATO leaders in London, supposed to mend the widening cracks in the Western military alliance.

Poland’s 2017 judicial reform broke EU law, bloc’s top court rules

Poland's change to the retirement age of its judges breaks EU law, the bloc's top court ruled on Tuesday (5 November), intensifying a standoff over basic democratic standards between Brussels and the conservative government in Warsaw.

Hungary blocks NATO statement on Ukraine over minority rights row

Hours before a Russian state visit to Budapest on Wednesday (30 October), Hungary vetoed a joint NATO statement about Ukraine because it did not mention the “deprivation of rights” of the Hungarian minority in the neighbouring country's Transcarpathia region.

Europe’s fighter jets of the future on collision course?

The European defence market is looking towards two sixth-generation aircraft programmes – the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Aircraft System (FCAS) and the British-led Tempest fighter project. While pressure is mounting on EU member states to pick sides, the question of whether both projects can ultimately coexist remains.

NATO slams Turkey over Syria, lukewarm reactions to German ‘safe zone’ proposal

NATO defence ministers on Thursday (24 October) denounced Turkey for its military incursion in Northeast Syria, but acknowledged there was little they could do to restrain their strategically important ally.
Global Europe 24-10-2019

EU lawmakers demand sanctions against Turkey over Syria incursion

MEPs condemned Turkey's military intervention in northeast Syria in a resolution which received cross-party support in the European Parliament on Thursday (24 October), urging Ankara to withdraw all of its forces from Syrian territory or expect "economic measures".

US defence secretary says Turkey ‘going in the wrong direction’ in NATO

Turkey’s recent behaviour "has put us all in a terrible situation", US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said in Brussels on Thursday. He said Ankara's "unwarranted" invasion into Syria jeopardised the security gains made as the US-led coalition and allied Kurdish forces battled the Islamic State (IS) in the area in recent years.
Global Europe 23-10-2019

The Brief – How to (not) deal with rogue nations

In Russia’s southern city of Sochi, just hours before a ceasefire deadline - a signal for Turkey to restart its assault on Northeast Syria - Erdogan and Putin trashed out a last-minute deal to ensure Kurdish forces withdraw from areas close to the Syrian border.
Cybersecurity 23-10-2019

‘Political need’ for 5G cybersecurity certification, ENISA head says

Having recently taken up his seat at the head of the EU's cybersecurity table, new ENISA chief Juhan Lepassaar has a number of pressing challenges to contend with over the next few years, including the security of 5G networks, consumer protection in the digital world, and the digital robustness of our everyday products and services in the EU.
Future EU 22-10-2019

Skopje on fire as MEPs slam EU leaders’ failure to open accession talks

Postponing the start of accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania was a "serious mistake" and "grave error", European Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs on Tuesday, as negative effects already started showing in the Western Balkans.
Enlargement 18-10-2019

All eyes on France after inconclusive enlargement summit debate

After a long night of inconclusive discussions, EU heads of state are set to return to the EU enlargement issue today (18 October). All eyes are on France, as Emmanuel Macron's position has so far been the major stumbling block for opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania.
Enlargement 17-10-2019

Visegrad 4, North Macedonia in last-ditch effort to change French enlargement veto

In a last-ditch effort on Wednesday evening (16 October) before a decisive EU summit, the Visegrad Four and North Macedonian officials tried to sway the enlargement mood in Brussels.

France and Germany ink compromise on arms export rules

After struggling to find a common line on arms exports, Paris and Berlin reached  a compromise on Wednesday (16 October) during a bilateral ministerial meeting in the French city of Toulouse.
Future EU 16-10-2019

Visegrad countries slam Finnish presidency MFF paper

Ahead of an EU summit starting on Thursday (17 October), diplomats from the four Visegrad countries harshly criticised the Finnish presidency of the Council of the EU for a paper it prepared to help the leaders’ discussion on the bloc’s...

EU condemns Turkey’s military action, stops short of common arms embargo

EU foreign minister on Monday (14 October) unanimously condemned Turkey’s military action in north-eastern Syria, asking all member states to stop selling arms to Ankara. However, they stopped short of an EU-wide arms embargo that France and Germany had sought.

NATO’s Stoltenberg warns of risks to alliance’s unity over Turkey

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday (14 October) the military alliance should not lose its unity in the fight against Daesh (IS), in light of Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria.
Elections 11-10-2019

The Brief, powered by the Martens Centre – Mind the gap (or lose)

Poland's ruling conservative Law and Justice party (PiS) is on track for a remarkable re-election win this Sunday, in what many call the country’s most fateful ballot in years.
Global Europe 11-10-2019

Greece calls for more NATO ships to patrol Aegean Sea following Turkey’s Syria offensive

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on NATO to increase naval patrols in the Aegean Sea on Thursday (10 October) after a threat by Turkey to open Europe's doors to more than three million migrants.

Loiseau: Without arms exports, there won’t be a European defence industry

A newly created Commission department dedicated to the defence and space industries has given new momentum to the EU's defence union project. Nathalie Loiseau, head of the European Parliament’s defence committee, answered questions about where the sector is heading.

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