Brexit 30-09-2020

The Brief – Don’t forget about the fish

A golden rule in politics is that the most belligerent rhetoric presages a climbdown. As lawmakers in Westminster passed a bill that would break the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, accompanied with the usual bellicose statements about ‘taking back control’,...
Global Europe 29-09-2020

The Brief – The Art of the Debate

Tonight, US President Donald Trump and his Democratic contender Joe Biden will face off for the first time, 35 days ahead of the US presidential election. They will not get a second chance to make a first impression. Presidential debates...
Economy & Jobs 28-09-2020

The Brief – Penny pinchers

Plans to ditch one- and two-cent euro coins have moved forward, as the Commission starts to crunch the numbers on new minting and pricing rules. Should the eurozone banish its two smallest denominations of currency?
Climate change 25-09-2020

The Brief, powered by ESA – China’s climate gift

EU climate diplomacy is mostly geared towards convincing big polluting countries to go green. This week, that partly paid off when China pledged to go carbon-neutral by 2060, which may even help Europe be more environmentally ambitious.

The Brief, powered by ESA – A dose of reality on migration, or kicking the can

The EU migration pact announced on Wednesday (24 September) may not be remotely close to the “entirely new architecture” promised by the von der Leyen Commission but at least it offered a dose of reality. Altruism, or that much abused...
Politics 23-09-2020

The Brief, powered by ESA – The undemocratic habit of the democratic game

The unwritten rule of 'cordon sanitaire' has struck again. One more time, the far-right was prevented from taking a key post in the European Parliament.
Global Europe 22-09-2020

The Brief, powered by ESA – Europe’s next Pandora’s Box

Deep divisions have long been threatening to turn the EU’s foreign policy into a toothless tiger. Nevertheless, abolishing the principle of unanimity is not necessarily the solution. With 27 players in one room, of course there are divisions, stemming from...
Politics 21-09-2020

The Brief, powered by ESA – Always look on the bright side of EUCO

The EU needs to be more courageous in its diplomacy, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said in her first State of the Union speech a couple of days ago. Some said her lengthy speech was bold. Others complained that there was too much wishful thinking. Others remarked that foreign affairs are not exactly her remit.

The Brief, powered by Eurogas -The art of breaking the law, legally

We may have been free from parliamentary melodrama in Westminster for almost a year but for Brexit masochists, there’s yet another act in this seemingly endless Wagnerian saga, courtesy of Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill.
Politics 17-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – SOTEU’s hidden gems

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s SOTEU speech hit all the main points expected of her but there were also less obvious yet still interesting ideas, hidden between the lines.

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – What is the EU waiting for?

The European Commission’s long-awaited new migration pact for the EU will finally be presented next week, after having been postponed again and again. What has the EU been waiting for?
Global Europe 15-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – The UN session, a missed opportunity

Held every year in September, the annual week-long session of the UN General Assembly in New York is the milestone of global politics. This year’s session, opening on 22 September, is special for two reasons. But it is also likely to be a missed opportunity.
Global Europe 14-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Hagia Sophia in Cyprus: when Eurocrats ruin Europe

Europe’s unification process was never going to be an easy task. When there are economic imbalances among EU member states, when the creation of an ‘EU identity’ clashes with different cultures, the integration process is faced with difficulties. But with...
Brexit 11-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – A gamble too far

It’s the wise gambler who knows when his luck is about to run out. Boris Johnson always assumes that his luck is in and, so far, his faith has been rewarded. But his threat to break the Withdrawal Agreement looks like a gamble too far.
Coronavirus 10-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – Rush to promise vaccines is foolish at best

As news broke on Tuesday that trials on one of the leading contenders for a COVID-19 vaccine have been paused over a potential health risk, leaders around the world are still scrambling to offer false hope and promises. Between US...

The Brief, powered by amfori – Moria burns, and solidarity with it

Moria is burning, and with it, the European values we pretend to uphold. This is how Green MEP Philippe Lamberts described the tragic events at Greece’s overcrowded migrant camp of Moria after a fire broke out there on Tuesday night....
Future EU 09-09-2020

Raising our game through strategic foresight

With the adoption of its first-ever Strategic Foresight Report, the European Commission is making a giant leap forward, by bringing robust long-term challenges and vision into short-term political focus and action, writes Maroš Šefčovič.
Climate change 08-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – A 55% chance of sunshine

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will next week confirm a new emissions-busting goal for 2030. But setting a target is the easy part of the climate fight.
Energy 08-09-2020

How to realise our hydrogen economy (instead of dreaming about it)

Considering the limited amount of green hydrogen available, the European Commission should prioritise its use in sectors that cannot decarbonise through other means like electrification, write Miriam Dalli and Mohammed Chahim.
Global Europe 07-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – Macron’s Russia syndrome

Reaching out to Russia will make Europe less dependent on the US and turn it into a more assertive, autonomous foreign policy actor. At least that seems to be French President Emmanuel Macron's thinking. But this stance is becoming increasingly problematic for Europe and has started to erode France's own credibility.

A ‘solidarity clause’ in the EU climate law

The European Union should include a “solidarity clause” in its climate law to ensure that member states most burdened by the EU's new carbon reduction targets are compensated for the additional costs of purchasing allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System, writes MEP Anna Zalewska.
Politics 04-09-2020

The Brief – Time for Europe to play the Nord Stream card

‘Deplorable’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘an attack on fundamental freedoms’. Europe’s leaders this week held their own competition on who could give the most magisterial admonishment to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin following the deliberate poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Climate fund 04-09-2020

Developing countries deserve fair and transparent climate support from the EU 

The EU has committed to mobilise climate finance to support developing countries in their efforts to combat climate change. However, new research shows that EU institutions fall short on delivering on their financial commitments, write Mattias Söderberg and Floris Faber.
Coronavirus 03-09-2020

The Brief – Treaties over common-sense?

MEPs have packed their bags, ready to get back to Strasbourg after a forced six-month hiatus. But moving the entire EU circus to another country may not be the brightest idea right now. In an unprecedented move, European Parliament President...