Alexandra Brzozowski

Future EU 15-07-2019

Polish FM: Council was right to kill federalist Spitzenkandidaten

In the game of thrones for the EU’s top job, it was right to distance from the federalist goal of choosing Spitzenkandidaten and instead return to the intergovernmental concept of deciding in the European Council, Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz told...
Future EU 10-07-2019

Von der Leyen endures day of grilling by MEPs ahead of confirmation vote

German nominee for Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, continued her charm offensive with European political families on Wednesday (10 July), as MEPs tried hard to pin her down on climate protection, rule of law and reform of the bloc's institutional structures.
Future EU 09-07-2019

Greens set conditions to approve nominee von der Leyen

The European Greens have set tough conditions for giving their approval to designated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who started her charm offensive among political parties in Brussels on Monday (7 July), ahead of next week's vote in the European Parliament.
Future EU 04-07-2019

MEPs furious over Council’s ‘backroom horse-trade’ on EU top jobs

Lawmakers of the newly constituted European Parliament slammed EU leaders on Thursday (4 July) for their 'backroom package deal' on the EU's top jobs, with a potential inter-institutional conflict looming ahead as the chamber's decision to approve it is on a knife-edge.
Future EU 03-07-2019

In defiance of European Council, Parliament elects Italian Socialist as new president

The European Parliament elected Socialist David-Maria Sassoli as its new president and picked its extended leadership on Wednesday (3 July), after EU leaders trashed out a surprise package deal for the EU top jobs during a marathon summit the previous...
Future EU 03-07-2019

Charles Michel, the compromise builder

Embattled at home in politically divided Belgium, Mr Nice Guy on European stage - outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Chárles Michel, whom EU leaders designated to take over the European Council helm from Donald Tusk, might prove to be an unexpected, but suitable pick.
Future EU 02-07-2019

The quiet rise of Ursula von der Leyen

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, a compromise name for the next  European Commission President, is a non-divisive political figure on EU stage and quiet tactician hardly known outside Germany. But her career at home has often been marked by scandals.
Future EU 02-07-2019

The Brief – Die another day

As exactly the time when Europe actually could prove its credibility and make it visible for the whole world, EU institutions have buried themselves in a trench war over the election of their new leadership.
EU Elections 2019 01-07-2019

Locked in strife, EU leaders adjourn talks on top jobs for next morning

A summit of EU28 leaders was adjourned in acrimony on Monday (1 July) after almost 18 hours of talks failed to produce an agreement on how to carve out the bloc's top jobs, due to opposition from Eastern member states and divisions within the conservative European People's Party.
Future EU 01-07-2019

EU leaders entrenched over top jobs as EPP rebels against Merkel

As morning broke on 1 July, EU leaders were still unable to reach consensus over the distribution of top European jobs as conservatives from Central and Eastern Europe rejected a plan, endorsed by Angela Merkel, that would have installed Socialist Frans Timmermans at the helm of the new Commission.

Human rights body slams Poland for lack of judicial independence

The reform of the legal system in Poland "fundamentally violates" all its elements and the government in Warsaw needs to do more to avoid "undermining public confidence in it," the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights said in a report published on Friday (28 June).
Enlargement 28-06-2019

North Macedonia’s Sekerinska: Postponing decisions is not the best policy

North Macedonia has done its part in removing the obstacles on its road to EU accession, but the EU has been slow to follow suit, North Macedonia’s Defence Minister Radmila Šekerinska told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview. Radmila Šekerinska is...

NATO members discuss strategy in face of dying arms-control pact

NATO defence ministers met on Wednesday (26 June) to discuss strategies against the threat of new Russian missile systems, as the landmark nuclear arms control treaty against land-based nuclear warheads is due to collapse next month.
Global Europe 27-06-2019

Council of Europe elects new chief amid row over Russia

Europe’s leading democracy and human rights organisation elected a new leadership late on Wednesday (26 June), overshadowed by the walk-out of several delegations following the ratification of Russia’s return to the assembly. With 159 votes from 268 members of the...

Northern Group aims to step up regional security cooperation

Only days after the NATO-led maritime manoeuvre BALTOPS (Baltic Operations) tested the waters in the Baltic Sea region, Northern Group defence ministers met on Tuesday (25 June) in Berlin in an attempt to deepen their cooperation. The so-called Northern Group...
Global Europe 25-06-2019

The Brief – It’s over (soon), Mr President?

Imagine it’s 2021. Russian President Vladimir Putin has lost his grip on power and recalled his henchmen from the war in Ukraine. US President Donald Trump lost the US elections (and not only by popular vote) against a liberal Democrat candidate...

NATO warns of ‘defensive’ countermeasures to Russia’s arms treaty breach

NATO urged Russia on Tuesday (25 June) to destroy its new missile system to save the INF nuclear treaty or face a more determined response by the military alliance. An August deadline now looms ever larger.

Poland’s judicial reforms violate EU law, bloc’s top court rules

Poland's judiciary reform that lowered the retirement age for Supreme Court judges has breached EU law, the EU's top court said in a binding ruling on Monday (24 June), which effectively means Poland will have to scrap the reform or face penalties from Brussels.
EU Elections 2019 21-06-2019

No ‘white smoke’ for EU’s top jobs, leaders adjourn until 30 June

EU leaders failed to reach an agreement in the early hours of Friday (21 June) on the EU's top jobs, as divisions over the process and the distribution of the posts impeded any progress.

F-35 faces Turkish uncertainty as US sanctions loom over Russian defence deal

Washington is looking to impose financial sanctions on Turkish firms beyond those that build parts for the Lockheed Martin-built F-35 fighter jet, due to Ankara’s plans to buy a Russian-built S-400 NATO non-compatible air defence system, a top Pentagon official said on Monday (17 June).

Next-generation European fighter jet cooperation ready for take-off

Germany, France and Spain inked on Monday (17 June) a framework agreement for the joint construction of Europe's largest arms project to date, the so-called Future Air Combat System (FCAS).
Energy 14-06-2019

EU, Russia confident about Ukraine gas transit deal, despite tense talks

Russia and the EU on Thursday (13 June) expressed hope that a solution could be found to allow gas supply transits through Ukraine to continue from next year.

Climate change threat to world peace, study warns

Although the average level of global peace improved very slightly in comparison to previous years, there is little time or cause to rejoice, the 2019 Global Peace Index (GPI) suggested on Wednesday (12 June).

Ukraine and Russia clash in The Hague over Black and Asov Sea dispute

Ukraine and Russia traded barbs this week in front of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague over Russia's alleged violations of waters around Ukraine's Crimea region in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.