About: The Brief

Coronavirus 08-07-2020

The Brief, powered by BSEF – The price of delay

Boris Johnson’s UK government has been widely flayed, quite rightly, for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Slow to lockdown and slow to test and trace, the result is the highest death toll in Europe. But Johnson and his Finance...
Transport 07-07-2020

Trains take over, ETS ahoy & road ragers

Welcome to EURACTIV’s weekly Transport Brief – your one port of call for all the news moving the world and much more! In this edition: MEPs set a course for the EU's carbon market, airline bailouts keep coming and Europe's space agency unveils billions in new contracts.
Politics 06-07-2020

The Brief, powered by BSEF – Ursulala Land

Ursula von der Leyen may well have opened up a Pandora’s Box when it comes to her institution’s role and its relationship with governments, after an ill-judged foray into national politics at the weekend. Surely the Commission president has more important matters to attend to?
Transport 03-07-2020

The Brief – Air EU is now ready for boarding

Europe’s airlines are set to get more than €30 billion in coronavirus-busting aid. But do we really need so many flyers? And wouldn’t the EU be better off setting up its own carrier?
Brexit 02-07-2020

The Brief – Global Britain: We’re just not that into EU

As vacuous slogans go, ‘Global Britain’, launched when Theresa May took over Brexit Britain from David Cameron in 2016, has been hard to beat. In 2018, UK lawmakers urged the government to set out what its international partners could expect...
Future EU 01-07-2020

The Brief – Revive the Weimar Triangle, or kill it

With Germany taking the helm of the EU Council, there is a unique opportunity to revive the cooperation format between Berlin, Paris and Warsaw.
Future EU 30-06-2020

The Brief – Keep out, Karlsruhe

After the sound and fury from Karlsruhe in May, the German Constitutional Court’s misguided attempt to rage against the European machine appears to have ended with something of a whimper.
Elections 29-06-2020

The Brief – Going to the polls after COVID-19

What is it with Eastern Europe and the rush to the polling stations as soon as the lockdown measures were relaxed?
Politics 26-06-2020

The Brief – The battle for hearts and minds rages on

The four year anniversary of the Great Liberation - or Great Unpleasantness - depending on your point of view, passed without much comment this week. For those in the UK, and most of Europe, who were heartily fed up of the never-ending futility of Brexit, that is cause for some celebration.
Politics 25-06-2020

The Brief – We’ll always have Strasbourg…?

Strasbourg’s monthly ‘travelling circus’ of MEPs cannot coexist with the EU’s current priorities and the post-pandemic world we are swiftly moving towards. France should see the opportunities on offer, not rage against the dying of the Alsace light.

The Brief – Oops, he did it again…

Yes, French President Emmanuel Macron appears to have an idée fixe concerning the medical condition of NATO. In late 2019, Macron’s comments on the “brain death” of the alliance came as a shock, and possibly a welcome wake-up call. But...
Coronavirus 23-06-2020

The Brief – Keep the taps flowing

A cold beer always tastes best when drunk with friends after work on a summer’s day. As most of Europe continues to emerge from the deprivations of lockdown, this pillar of basic human happiness is returning to the social calendar.
Economy & Jobs 22-06-2020

The Brief – Ceci n’est pas une troïka

The Commission is going to great lengths to stress that the proposed recovery fund will not be a bailout programme. “This is not an adjustment program with a different name,” the Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, said in May. We are not back to troïka times.

The Brief – Gangster’s paradise

In mafia circles all around Europe, the big news these days is that the EU has gone mad. It is going to disburse, in addition to the usual funds the mafia is familiar with, an additional €750 billion to member states.

The Brief – Who will stand for the European Green Deal?

When the new European Commission took office in November, its much-vaunted Green Deal was the centre of worldwide attention. This week, EU leaders are meeting to decide how much of it can still be saved.
Brexit 17-06-2020

The Brief – Ambition alone won’t pay the EU’s COVID-19 bill

Back in the dog days of 2012 and 2013, even the best friends of Jose Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy – then running the EU show – would have struggled to argue that their EU budget blueprint was ambitious. It was deliberately and consciously timid.
Politics 16-06-2020

The Brief – Beware the puppetmasters

Who actually pulls the levers of EU power is a perennial issue of debate and confusion, especially when you burst the Brussels bubble and venture out into the real world. For the people behind the curtain, it is a perfect arrangement.
Global Europe 15-06-2020

The Brief – A marriage with strings attached

The US and Europe are like an old married couple: the kids have left the house, there is still some love left and divorce is out of the question, but deep-down, some fundamental issues need to be sorted out for...

The Brief – EU-Africa relations in a post-COVID world

One of the last acts of the European Commission before the coronavirus pandemic hit was to publish its strategy paper on future EU-Africa relations. Such geopolitical considerations seem like a distant memory, but they are coming back to the fo
Non-discrimination 11-06-2020

The Brief – Critical whiteness

The ongoing Black Lives Matter protests have generated a reckoning with systemic racism and police brutality in the United States and in Europe, perhaps like never before. In addition to demanding wide-reaching reforms, many have started to take the time...
Non-discrimination 10-06-2020

The Brief – Europe’s race blindspot

In much of Europe, institutional racism is so deeply ingrained that millions of white people don’t even notice it. Those in much of provincial Europe could be forgiven for not seeing it. But we delude ourselves if we believe that...
Economy & Jobs 09-06-2020

The Brief – The Taxman Cometh

Governments of EU countries have jealously guarded tax collection duties but the coronavirus crisis has dealt Brussels an opportunity to change that. If member states do not allow the EU to drum up its own cash, they will be on the hook for hundreds of billions of euros in debt repayments.
Politics 08-06-2020

The Brief – Ailing democracy

The Brief offers opinions from the EURACTIV newsroom, and this piece represents the views of its author. Police brutality and racism are certainly present in Europe, and Europe participated in and profited from the slave trade. We invite you to...

The Brief – What’s the point of Charles Michel?

It’s been a difficult few months for the EU since the bloc's top jobs were divided up – Brexit, migration, climate change and a full-blown pandemic. It amounts to the biggest test of Charles Michel's career.