About: The Brief

Enlargement 12-11-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Macron’s crush on Serbia

Last August French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a 5-minute speech in Serbian in Belgrade. The effect of this most extraordinary effort on the audience was huge. Just like for Kennedy in 1963, the magic worked.
Politics 08-11-2019

The Brief, powered by ESA – Remembrance

France likes to celebrate its revolution with the demonstration of its military power. None of this in Germany. The country, and Berlin first and foremost, is preparing to celebrate tomorrow the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall and its peaceful revolution with a huge artistic work in full colour.
Future EU 07-11-2019

The Brief, powered by ESA – Please Remain seated

After just two days of campaigning, we have the first ‘Remain’ alliance in the UK’s ‘Brexit election’. Between them, the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru will give voters a single 'Remain' choice in 60 constituencies across England and Wales.
Future EU 06-11-2019

The Brief, powered by ESA – Are Orban’s days numbered in Tusk’s EPP?

In the EPP house, much like in Tolstoy's Oblonsky house, everything is in confusion these days, though we can only glimpse tiny bits of the trouble brewing in Europe's oldest and biggest political family.

The Brief, powered by ESA – We’ll always have Paris

Donald Trump followed through on his threat to start pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord on Monday. Instead of lamenting the decision, we should celebrate it.

The Brief, powered by ESA – For the attention of the EU Chief Prosecutor

The New York Times published on Sunday a massive and well-documented cross-border investigative story which illustrates how EU farm subsidies (€65 billion per year) help underwrite a sort of modern feudalism in which small farmers are beholden to politically connected land barons.
Politics 31-10-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Facebook’s wake-up call for Europe

Facebook’s digital currency Libra, which some regard as a threat to the sovereignty of nations, could be blocked in the EU unless it meets new and stricter standards. But most importantly, the initiative could be a wake-up call for Europeans to rethink their money and payment systems for the digital era.
Brexit 30-10-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – ’tis the season of ill-will

As UK lawmakers rejected the proposal for an early election three times in a month, only to suddenly change their minds this week, it is tempting to ask: what changed? The answer is in the numbers. When the Liberal Democrats...
Politics 29-10-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Cruel Father Time

Daylight savings time was meant to be a thing of the past, yet on Sunday we were all still fumbling with knobs and dials. A new Commission was also meant to take office later this week but that is not going to happen either. Time truly is a cruel master.
Elections 28-10-2019

The Brief, powered by BP – Resurrection

The much unloved grand coalition in Germany has succeeded in spite of itself what Emmanuel Macron achieved so masterfully in France in 2017: hammering the last nails into the coffins of the traditional parties.
Future EU 25-10-2019

The Brief – A question of the third type

The European Parliament confirmed Ursula von der Leyen as the next Commission President by a paper-thin majority in July. The outgoing president, Jean-Claude Juncker, made the shocking revelation in an interview published today that she would not have passed if he hadn’t spoken to “his old pals” from the Socialist and Liberal groups.
Enlargement 24-10-2019

The Brief – Balkanic optimism

The rollercoaster that is the Western Balkans is (almost) as unpredictable as the Brexit saga. Last week, the region's prospects appeared in the doldrums and there was little chance of a reversal of fortunes soon. Take a step back though and there is hope to be had.
Global Europe 23-10-2019

The Brief – How to (not) deal with rogue nations

In Russia’s southern city of Sochi, just hours before a ceasefire deadline - a signal for Turkey to restart its assault on Northeast Syria - Erdogan and Putin trashed out a last-minute deal to ensure Kurdish forces withdraw from areas close to the Syrian border.

The Brief – The curious case of the missing fund

Last week’s EU summit devoted a paltry 10 minutes to climate change, as Brexit and enlargement dominated proceedings. But there was enough time for a little bit of intrigue: where did the Just Transition Fund go?
Politics 21-10-2019

The Brief – Definitely maybe Brexit

It is perhaps fitting that a Brexit process that has made a celebrity out of House of Commons Speaker John Bercow should end with a final procedural fight to the death.
18-10-2019

The Brief, powered by EK – No turkey please, we’re vegetarians

Believe it or not, EU leaders didn’t discuss Turkey’s war adventure in Syria at the two-day summit. War crimes are allegedly being committed by the Turkish army, ethnic cleansing is ongoing (obviously), but the leaders looked the other way. They...
Brexit 17-10-2019

The Brief, powered by TIF – Johnson’s coup

Boris Johnson is naturally a cheery individual, but he truly had every reason to smile on Thursday. First, he secured a Brexit deal that even a week ago nobody thought he could. Then he got Jean-Claude Juncker to do his...
Politics 16-10-2019

The Brief, powered by EK – The Macronian Candidate

If a sleeper agent trained by a hostile foreign power were to infiltrate the EU's structures of power, with the aim of launching subtle acts of sabotage, could they hope to do much better than what Emmanuel Macron is doing at the moment?

The Brief, powered by TIF – A new dialogue with Catalonia

After years of dealing with the Catalan issue by judiciary means, the verdict in the trial of the regional separatist leaders should bring a new opportunity for political dialogue. But staunch positions and the social fracture require time and courage,...
Future EU 14-10-2019

The Brief, powered by EK – The EU’s new king has not killed the old one, yet

Political wars, as we know, can be fought anywhere, anytime, at any level, and the European arena lends itself particularly well to these kind of games.
Global Europe 10-10-2019

The Brief, powered by the Martens Centre – A missing EU word, a lost EU state

Turkish forces have launched airstrikes this week and advanced deeper into Kurdish-held areas in northeast Syria during the second day of Ankara’s invasion in the region. The EU sat on its hands and then came up with a cautious, watered-down statement. Why?
Politics 09-10-2019

The Brief, powered by the Martens Centre – The bluff behind the blame game

That Boris Johnson would attempt to pin the blame for the collapse of Brexit talks on someone else was grimly inevitable. Holding Angela Merkel responsible, and thereby giving UK tabloids and Brexiteer blowhards the chance to wheel out the Second World War anti-German tropes, was merely the icing on the cake.
Politics 08-10-2019

The Brief, powered by the Martens Centre – A Commission Carol Part II

Ursula von der Leyen is set to spend her days and nights in Commission HQ, in a specially converted flat high on the 13th floor. Here, we conclude a fictional telling of what might come to pass in those haunted hallways a few months from now...
Politics 07-10-2019

The Brief, powered by the Martens Centre – A Commission Carol

Ursula von der Leyen is set to spend her days and nights in Commission HQ, in a specially converted flat high on the 13th floor. Here, we offer a fictional telling of what might come to pass in those haunted hallways a few months from now...

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