About: The Brief

Politics 24-09-2018

The Brief, powered by AmCham EU – Curtains for Germany’s government

It is exactly a year that the federal elections took place in Germany, on 24 September 2017. A year after, vessel Germany is wandering in stormy waters, its commanding team proving incapable of setting a direction as to where to head at. And no safe shore is in sight.

The Brief – BusinessEurope-as-usual

BusinessEurope, the EU’s largest employers’ association, got caught with its pants down earlier this week when EURACTIV published an internal memo exposing its cynical strategy to “oppose” a proposed update of the bloc’s 2030 climate policy.
20-09-2018

The Brief – Give the people what they want?

‘A device of demagogues and dictators’ was the verdict of Clement Attlee, Britain’s great post-war Prime Minister on referendums. He wasn’t wrong. They are also a ruse for spineless politicians to pass the buck on tough decisions to their electorates.
Politics 19-09-2018

The Brief – Asselborn to be wild

Much has been made lately about free speech and whether or not to deny populists and nationalists a platform or to let them speak. Luxembourg’s wise old foreign minister found the solution to the dilemma last week: shout, shout and let it all out.
Politics 18-09-2018

The Brief – Brothers in arms?

“Pole and Hungarian brothers be, good for fight and for glass” - that's the famous proverb at the heart of Poland and Hungary's friendship, which has connected the two countries for centuries. But is their venerable alliance coming to an end?
Politics 17-09-2018

The Brief – Three Seas, two leaders

Let’s not beat about the bush. The Three Seas Initiative (TSI) is a Poland-promoted anti-Russian and pro-US project. And it kicks off today.
Brexit 14-09-2018

The Brief – Time border for Ireland?

Ireland is the biggest victim of Brexit. In the absence of an agreement between Brussels and London, a hard border could be imposed between Ireland and Northern Ireland, which sounds as absurd as imposing a frontier across Luxembourg.
Politics 13-09-2018

The Brief – Macedonian distraction in Strasbourg

For once, the Balkans provided a source of content, and a welcome distraction, for the weary MEPs in Strasbourg when Macedonia’s prime minister rocked up to the hemicycle.
12-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by the European Parliament – Juncker looks abroad to forget about problems at home

As US presidents tend to do at the end of their mandates, Jean-Claude Juncker will look abroad in his final months as European Commission President. As is the case with the commanders-in-chief on the other side of the Atlantic, the reason lies in the problems he faces at home.
11-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by the European Parliament – Orbán forever

The year is 2030. Viktor Orbán is re-elected in Hungary for the sixth time. All of the leaders from the times when EU institutions were voting to ostracise him are gone. Many are forgotten.
10-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by the European Parliament – A Swedish lesson

Europe woke up on Monday after another crucial election testing the rise of populism across the bloc. The preliminary results in Sweden produced no clear winner and mixed results for left-wing parties, the welfare state and Europe.
Future EU 07-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by Danfoss – Sound of silence

Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will be meeting in Marseille late this afternoon, but neither Paris nor Berlin wanted to disclose what will be on the menu - a silence that is louder than words.
Politics 06-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by Danfoss – Donald Tusk: Last Action Hero

With the Venice Film Festival in full swing, European Council boss Donald Tusk dropped a trailer for this year’s hottest blockbuster. Now that the race to be the next Commission president has well and truly begun, wannabe Junckers should take a leaf out of the Pole’s political playbook.
Economy & Jobs 05-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by Danfoss – A JEDI to disrupt Europe

In the midst of a new revolution, innovation is no longer a minor issue for policymakers. At stake is not only what national ‘champions’ will control in cutting-edge sectors but what countries will become the new empires in a digital world where it really is winner-takes-all.
Politics 04-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by Danfoss – What’s more important than Selmayr?

Next May, EU citizens will directly elect the new European Parliament. Faced with a surge of anti-EU and anti-system sentiments, they need to be reassured that the good old EU is doing things right. But is it doing the right things?
Economy & Jobs 03-09-2018

The Brief, sponsored by Danfoss – Germany’s powder keg

We have fallen into the trap of the far-right, as we only speak about refugees and migration, argued Wolfgang Thierse, who served as president of the Bundestag from 1998 to 2005. And he is right: the Chemnitz riots show how poverty has turned into a blasting powder keg in Germany.
31-08-2018

The Brief – Eco-populism

When France’s environment minister Nicolas Hulot resigned this week, he cited the weight of the lobbying groups and the lack of support he got from other ministers in tackling environmental challenges. There is no “vision” or “roadmap” to address global...
Brexit 30-08-2018

The Brief – May’s merry-go-round

Theresa May’s whistle-stop tour of three African capitals this week offered an insight into the UK’s post-Brexit trade priorities, but also hinted at the changing power dynamic in world trade.
Politics 29-08-2018

The Brief – Trust and hope

The EU machinery is slowly returning to activity this week after the summer pause. Juncker’s last State of the Union address to this Parliament in two weeks will guide the final period of his Commission. But above all he will polish his record and offer his farewell vision about the future of Europe.
Global Europe 28-08-2018

The Brief – Changing borders in Europe???

It’s amazing that the European Commission envisages land swaps to settle Kosovo-Serbia relations. Neighbourhood Commissioner Johannes Hahn said it’s a bilateral solution which should not serve as a blueprint for other issues. But not everyone is convinced.  
Politics 27-08-2018

The Brief – Horrendous hindsight

Anyone hoping that a summer break and some time at the beach would cure the UK of its virulent bout of Brexit madness is in for a disappointment. The illness continues to resist all forms of treatment, only the clock is now ticking in earnest.
Politics 26-07-2018

The Brief – EU Storm Front

Europe has been ravaged by flames this week. But there are other fires that continue to burn. Did we start them?
Politics 25-07-2018

The Brief – Platform wars

The lack of a European ‘demos’ is seen as one of the obstacles for the EU project’s road to progress. But a pan-European discourse has finally taken hold on the continent, paradoxically not to take the European dream forward but to dismantle it once and for all.
Politics 24-07-2018

The Brief – Dual citizenship

In the past decade, Germany's traditional all-white national football team underwent a sea change, with at least four prominent players of African or Turkish descent. But this symbol of a new, multi-cultural Germany has now been completely shattered.