About: The Brief

Climate change 23-09-2019

The Brief – Lost in translation

As you read these lines, the UN Climate Action Summit will have just begun in New York. It opens its doors following the extraordinary global youth movement that saw last Friday a whole generation tied together by their common fear for the future – and their hope.
Politics 20-09-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – The forgotten man

As the UK has lurched between political and constitutional crisis, the man who crashed the ship of state into the rocks has been nowhere to be seen. Until now, when David Cameron finally emerged from self-imposed media hibernation. The ex-Prime...
Future EU 19-09-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – No question of geography

While considerable thought has been put into the geographical nitty-gritty of Ursula von der Leyen’s portfolio assignments, the real power struggle in the European Parliament hearings might take place along different lines.
Elections 18-09-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Searching for a Spanish statesman

On 10 November, Spain will hold its fourth general election since 2015. The vote is the result of the lack of statesmanship among the party leaders in a critical period, especially of Socialist chief Pedro Sánchez.
Brexit 17-09-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Put it in writing

Not content with breaking the two parties that have dominated UK politics for almost a century, the Brexit behemoth has set its sights on the country’s famously unwritten constitution.
Politics 16-09-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Open season

This week’s European Parliament plenary session will be the first after Ursula von der Leyen unveiled her team of Commissioners last Tuesday. It will also mark the opening of the hunting season as MEPs prepare to grill the proposed new Commissioners.
Future EU 13-09-2019

The Brief – Von der Leyen needs to prove she won’t be Barroso III

Ursula von der Leyen will have to work hard to demonstrate that her Commission won’t be the member states’ secretariat. The Conference on the Future of Europe should not be window dressing if she wants to prove we've not gone back to Jose Manuel Barroso’s era.
Future EU 12-09-2019

The Brief – Don’t ‘protect’ the EU way of life. Improve it!

When European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced the portfolios of the new EU executive this week, one could have expected reactions related to hot potatoes such as energy or economy. Instead, something unexpected took the spotlight.
Politics 11-09-2019

The Brief – Ursula’s gambit

Hungary’s pick for the next European Commission was always going to cause controversy but the job offered by Ursula von der Leyen to László Trócsányi has only kicked the hornet’s nest. However, Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor could well be a few moves ahead of us.
Future EU 10-09-2019

The Brief – Jourová and Reynders: EU’s good cop – bad cop?

Now that we know the portfolio distribution of the future EU executive led by Ursula von der Leyen, one of the big surprises was splitting the rule of law portfolio between the two names that were circulating: the Czech Věra Jourová and the Belgian Didier Reynders.
Politics 09-09-2019

The Brief – How the outgoing Cypriot Commissioner got burnt

The moral of the following story is that, even in Brussels, you can get easily burnt if you stick your neck out and forget where you came from. The latest to find that out appears to have been Commissioner Christos Stylianides.
Future EU 06-09-2019

The Brief – Berlaymont’s rumour mill

As the moment edges closer for Ursula von der Leyen to unveil her new Commission on Tuesday (10 September), the Brussels rumour mill has shifted into overdrive. In this Brief, EURACTIV analyses some initial lists that have been circulating in Brussels.
Politics 04-09-2019

The Brief – Living the Thick of It 

As Tory MP Philip Lee defected from his party live on TV last night and haunted-pencil Jacob Rees-Mogg reclined on the front benches, we were left to wonder: is there room for political satire now that reality is often far more farcical?
Brexit 03-09-2019

The Brief – Boris Johnson’s High Noon

In the convoluted, protracted, high-stakes game of poker that is Brexit, it has become very difficult to predict who will blink first. Or if someone already has. Or even in whose court the ball currently is.
Future EU 02-09-2019

The Brief – Von der Leyen’s first success

It may be a long shot at this stage, but EURACTIV foresees that Ursula von der Leyen will be able to achieve her goal of achieving gender balance in the new EU executive. We will argue that this is a big success.
Politics 30-08-2019

The Brief – A summer’s tale with no happy ending yet

For most people, summertime means relaxation with a good book in the sun, under the shelter of a flimsy parasol or taking in the clean mountain air. This season’s number one thriller had a distinctly Italian flavour. No matter the...
Brexit 29-08-2019

The Brief – I looked after your children

As people up and down the UK came out to protest against Prime Minister Johnson's plans on Wednesday night, a Portuguese woman stormed the scene in London and launched an emotional call to the government in front of TV cameras, asking for her voice to be heard:
Politics 28-08-2019

The Brief: Macron, the EU’s new leader

The West may no longer be the leader of the world. But the EU has a new leader and it’s no longer Merkel: it’s French President Emmanuel Macron. He was the unofficial winner of the European elections, or at least...
Politics 27-08-2019

The Brief – Postponing the inevitable

Toppling governments is a tricky business, even when the administration in question only has a majority of one seat, as is the case in the UK.
Economy & Jobs 26-08-2019

The Brief – We did(n’t) start the fire

Grim as it may seem, the burning of the Amazon rainforest is an opportunity for the EU’s new leaders to prove that Brussels walks the walk when it comes to climate change.
Future EU 26-07-2019

The Brief – Don’t forget to remember…

After a Europe-wide heat wave which has already put everyone into summer (suffering) mode, there are a couple of things to bear in mind to gather strength for before you disappear to your vacation destination.
Future EU 25-07-2019

The Brief – Holy COW!

The EU is moving more and more toward inter-governmental formats. Unable to decide at 28, individual member countries are seeking solutions to problems such as rescue operations at sea, patrolling in the Strait of Hormuz, or even inside the Eurozone, on new budgetary instruments.

The Brief – Europe’s Progressives are cats and dogs

The failure of the Spanish socialists (PSOE) and the leftists Unidas Podemos to form a government following the 28 April parliamentary election has once again exposed the shortcomings of the so-called progressive political forces in Europe. The deadlock in the...
Brexit 23-07-2019

The Brief – For Johnson, the campaign is over

“The campaign is over and the work begins.” So said Boris Johnson, the most unlikely, but still inevitable, of UK prime ministers. In Johnson’s case, the campaign for the keys to No10 Downing Street has been his life’s pursuit. Asked...

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