About: The Brief

Brexit 22-03-2019

The Brief – Brexit Oddity

A photo says more than 1,000 words. This one shows the so-called ‘sherpas’ on the first day of the EU summit on Thursday (21 March) as they are trying to work through the details of the Article 50 draft conclusions. It’s...
Politics 21-03-2019

The Brief – Avoiding the cliff-edge

The Brexit cliff-edge is now in sight and fast approaching. Who, if anyone, is going to apply the brakes?
Politics 20-03-2019

The Brief – A Brexit dividend you didn’t expect

A cursory glance at most news outlets will leave you with a sense of dread about the upcoming EU elections. Doom is on the horizon and we should all be worried. But don’t despair, rejoice, because Europe finally matters.
Economy & Jobs 19-03-2019

The Brief – Alone in the dark

As Europe is nearing the end of an extremely turbulent mandate, the bloc is starting to realise just how much ground has been lost in preparing for a brave new economic world.
Global Europe 18-03-2019

The Brief – Replacing Turkey in NATO

A global geopolitical shift has taken place without the wider audience noticing. Turkey has drifted apart from the US and NATO, it has got much closer to Russia, and the US is desperately seeking to find ways to fill a...
Climate change 15-03-2019

The Brief – Lessons from a 16-year old girl

School children across Europe are marching today in their hundreds of thousands in an unprecedented mobilisation for the climate, part of a movement which has now turned global.
Politics 14-03-2019

The Brief – Tajani’s blunder, part II

In February we wrote ‘Tajani’s blunder’, when the president of the European Parliament got involved in a controversy with Slovenia and Croatia, seen by many as an attempt at World War II revisionism. But Tajani did it again, with unexpected praise for Italian fascist leader Benito Mussolini, this time in a radio interview.
Politics 13-03-2019

The Brief – Revoke, rinse, repeat

Theresa May actually made a good point after her deal was rebuffed again last night: “Voting against leaving without a deal and for an extension does not solve the problems we face.”
Economy & Jobs 12-03-2019

The Brief – The shameful death of Europe’s Google tax

The celebrated attempt to set up a EU digital tax died today at the Council’s table. Killed by the questionable unanimity rule required on taxation, Europe lost another opportunity to become a global rule maker.
Politics 11-03-2019

The Brief – Groundhog May

Here we go again. Once more, the atmosphere around Westminster is febrile and bursting with Brexit-fuelled testosterone: MPs are about to make their decisive move on Brexit.
Politics 06-03-2019

The Brief, powered by EUROBAT – Jupiter condescending

Emmanuel Macron is at it again: proclaiming grand plans for European reform and a new political ‘renaissance’, while his previous bright ideas are still languishing on a dusty shelf. Perhaps what Europe now needs is a bit of action, rather than another vague vision.
Brexit 04-03-2019

The Brief, powered by EUROBAT – What’s at stake with Brexit

Nigel Farage, the most prominent advocate of Brexit, is calling on Brits to march from Sunderland to London and demand that Prime Minister Theresa May deliver on the UK's withdrawal from the EU.
EURoad2Sibiu 22-02-2019

The Brief – Sibiu, the right cradle for a new Europe?

Sibiu was intended to be the synonym of a ‘new hope’ for Europe. But the landmark summit to take place in the Romanian city in May is increasingly overshadowed by the tricks and faults of the host country. Romania’s rotating...

The Brief – The untold Brexit story

There are hundreds of articles about the impact of Brexit on UK businesses. What is striking is that there is virtually nothing similar about its impact on European businesses. As if Brexit would only hurt the UK side. While the EU stands to profit from it. We don’t buy that.
Brexit 20-02-2019

The Brief – The Independent Eleven

Leaving the party that got you elected is very rare in Britain. So, too, is the emergence of a new party. That makes the joining of eight ex-Labour MPs with three ex-Conservatives in the Independent Group the most significant since the launch of the Social Democrat Party in 1981.
Enlargement 19-02-2019

The Brief – Euromaidan post-mortem

Council President Donald Tusk is in Ukraine to mark the fifth anniversary of Euromaidan, more precisely of the fierce fighting on 18-20 February 2014 in which 77 activists were killed.  Others consider 22 February, when Yanukovich fled to Russia, the culmination...

The Brief – Worlds apart, but still together

Is the once powerful transatlantic bond dying? If the last few weeks are anything to go by, one might well wonder… The disarray between Washington and its European allies became even more strikingly evident as US Vice President Mike Pence...
Elections 15-02-2019

The Brief – Spain’s call for elections: A wish for common sense

Spain wrapped up a dizzying week as Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez called early elections for 28 April. It will be the third time Spaniards go to the ballot box in four years, with the political scene thrown wide open by recent developments. 
Politics 14-02-2019

The Brief – Eurocrat XI

The European Parliament has teamed up with the world of football in an effort to get us all out to vote in May and it’s not a bad idea. But how would the EU officials we know and love fare on the pitch if asked to pull on a pair of boots?
Politics 13-02-2019

The Brief – Germany: Europe’s Janus

The day after the new leader of the Christian Democrats, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, distanced herself from Angela Merkel's migration legacy, economists published a report showing that Germany needs at least 260,000 migrants a year by 2060 if the country is to meet its skilled labor needs.
Transport 06-02-2019

The Brief – Rail delay scarf

Deutsche Bahn has recently reached a record number of passengers, despite defective reservation systems, chronic delays, poor maintenance and not enough staff. But German frustration with a service that is meant to be the pinnacle of reliability is on the up and was recently creatively expressed by one Munich commuter.
Politics 05-02-2019

The Brief – Don’t mix EU elections and referendums!

It’s quite likely that Emmanuel Macron will use the European elections to ask voters to have their say on various domestic issues covered as part of the “great debate” he recently initiated. But this is risky business.
Global Europe 04-02-2019

The Brief – Removing the EU’s straitjacket

The Venezuelan crisis is the latest example of how the unanimity rule continues to hamper European leadership on issues like foreign affairs and taxation. Is it time to smash national vetoes to make Europe greater… again?
Politics 01-02-2019

The Brief – Shilly-shally socialists versus monolithic right?

With 439 votes in favour, 104 against and 88 abstentions, the European Parliament recognised earlier this week (31 January) the Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president of the Latin country.

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