About: The Brief

Future EU 24-01-2020

The Brief – Imagine… the future of Europe

The EU is planning yet another reflection about its future, this time consulting European citizens. It will take place after Brexit becomes a fact and last about two years. The idea to engage with citizens is good, that’s what democracy...
Brexit 23-01-2020

The Brief – A time for generosity

Boris Johnson will probably never be as powerful as he is now. A big majority, an opposition that is broken, possibly terminally. So he can afford a little generosity. But for the moment, unfortunately, he’s not prepared to offer it...

The Brief – ‘Family’ members should not stab each other

Family is usually defined as a group of people who stick together in tough moments. The EU is frequently described as such, especially in times of calm. But the moment we hear the first disturbing noise, windows are closed and ostrichism prevails.
Politics 21-01-2020

The Brief – Celtic Paper Tigers

All three of the United Kingdom’s devolved parliaments - in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh - will have refused to approve Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal by the end of today. But their protests will fall on deaf ears, as London has made clear that their worries are of little importance.

The Brief – Uphill battle for EU-Mercosur pact

There’s a strong sense of déjà vu. Belgium’s region of Wallonia is trying to block the EU-Mercosur free-trade agreement, just like it previously attempted with CETA, the EU-Canada free trade agreement. But how serious is that?
Global Europe 17-01-2020

The Brief, powered by Orgalim – Proxies to a civil war

Until the last few weeks, most of Europe had happily ignored the civil war on its doorstep. The war in Libya between Faiez el Serraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) and General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) has been...
Global Europe 16-01-2020

The Brief, powered by Orgalim – Once in power, always in power

Deng Xiaoping created a post-Mao model of governance in China: president and prime minister for five years, with a possible second consecutive mandate. But he retained control of the powerful Central Military Commission, thus supervising all the crucial processes in the country.
Future EU 15-01-2020

The Brief, powered by Orgalim – Historical revisionism on steroids

In 2020, Europe will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and of the liberation of German Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz. But as the commemorations draw closer, we may see the manipulation of history for political ends return with a vengeance.
Global Europe 14-01-2020

The Brief, powered by Orgalim – Playing games for fun in Libya

No single geographic location makes the EU more vulnerable these days than Libya. Regrettably, the situation in this Mad Max country is likely to get worse before it gets better.

The Brief, powered by Orgalim – How the UK could be taken to the ECJ over Brexit

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has had a busy January so far, and it’s only likely to get more hectic, with the Brexit deadline coming up, as well as a national election.
Global Europe 10-01-2020

The Brief, powered by MPE – Americans are bad… but not when it comes to crises

Europe has always praised its soft power skills in doing international politics and criticised Washington’s harsh, interest-driven, 'cowboy' approach. But when a problem appears at home, Europeans invariably ask Americans to intervene.
Future EU 09-01-2020

The Brief, powered by MPE – A conference for what?

By the end of this year, member states must reach an agreement against the clock on a long-term budget to finance their bold priorities for this decade, and seal a deal with the UK on their future relationship. On top...
Economy & Jobs 08-01-2020

The Brief, powered by MPE – An empty tool-box

‘We’ve run out of money’ is the message influential central bankers are passing on to government leaders.
Future EU 07-01-2020

The Brief, powered by MPE -Time for EU socialists to leave behind ‘dinosaur era’

The Party of European Socialists (PES), the EU's second-largest political family, usually holds its Congress after the EU elections in autumn. However, currently, there are only rumours that it’s going to take place at some point in spring.
Global Europe 06-01-2020

The Brief, powered by MPE – Geopolitical wishes for 2020

At the turn of 2020, a big bunch of geopolitical issues are staring Europe right in the face. What will matter in the end is the capacity of the new European Commission, which by the way calls itself geopolitical, to respond to the challenges.
Future EU 20-12-2019

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Christmas dinner politics

We’ve all been there, looking forward to the ‘perfect’ Christmas with faultless food (and too much of it), flowing conversation, and gifts that are going to be spot on. Just imagine: the fire crackles in the fireplace and you peacefully...
Brexit 18-12-2019

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Master and Commander

Boris Johnson had every reason to be pleased with himself when he returned to Westminster as the all-conquering hero this week.

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Where is Malta’s Article 7?

If you thought Poland and Hungary were a tough nut to crack when it comes to rule of law, brace for more: Malta could become Europe's next biggest headache.
Future EU 16-12-2019

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – A zero-cost goodbye

A quasi zero-cost timely departure is sometimes better than reaching a zero-sum situation. The European People’s Party (EPP) has now been presented with a great opportunity to be released from the pain of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party.
Future EU 13-12-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Welcome to uncharted territory

It is not often that we knowingly witness history in the making before our own eyes, but today we've had one of those moments.

The Brief, powered by BP – A green bridge over the EU’s East-West divide?

A grand bargain is on the table to persuade Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to sign up to the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. It’s an offer they would be foolish to refuse. Here’s why.
Brexit 11-12-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Breaking Point

Thursday’s general election has been billed on all sides as the most decisive in several generations. Britain, not to mention plenty of its citizens, is at breaking point. But not quite in the way that Nigel Farage would have had you believe when he launched his infamous poster of Syrian refugees.

The Brief, powered by BP – Take the money and run

Two big events this week will shape the EU’s climate ambitions and any slipups could do irreparable damage to its green credentials. Here are how the pieces line up ahead of what will be a defining 48 hours or so.
Europe's East 09-12-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – The year of living dangerously in Ukraine

Ukraine's political scene is probably among the world's most interesting at the moment, not only because of the ongoing attempt to impeach Donald Trump over a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian colleague Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

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