About: The Brief

The Brief – The future is theirs… unless we destroy it first

Belgian school students feel abandoned by their politicians so they have started a weekly strike for the climate. Their protests pose a major question about how young people are represented in politics ahead of the EU elections in May.
EU Elections 2019 17-01-2019

The Brief – Look who’s back…

The old king of political vulgarity, the proto-Trump, is back. The news of the day is that Silvio Berlusconi will be running for a seat in the European Parliament, reviving his political career after a ban imposed over a tax fraud conviction expired.
Politics 16-01-2019

The Brief – A Day without Europe

During a recent discussion about the future of the EU, one of the speakers suggested that there should be a “Day without Europe”, in the same way that cities hold an annual day without cars, or some people go offline from the web for 24 hours.
Politics 15-01-2019

The Brief – Trading places

As the European elections draw ever closer, EU leaders are quietly manoeuvring into position the candidates they want to install in the next European Commission. Here are some of the latest developments.
Global Europe 14-01-2019

The Brief, powered by Metal Packaging Europe – Words matter

Although the idea of a European army dates back to the first post-war military cooperation attempts in the 1950s, confusion continues to sour the debate and haunt the European security community.
Enlargement 11-01-2019

The Brief – Don’t blacklist journalists

“Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug”, the Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler sang in 1991, a perfect illustration of the everyday life of politicians but also journalists. Here is a story about journalists and a politician, which has been...
09-01-2019

The Brief, powered by Metal Packaging Europe – Blur

Shortly before Christmas, the German news magazine Der Spiegel, one of the country’s most prestigious publications, revealed what many thought unthinkable: that it has been deceived for years by one of its top reporters who turned out to have successfully blurred the frontier between journalistic accuracy and literature.
Politics 08-01-2019

The Brief, powered by Metal Packaging Europe – Back with a bang

Don’t call it a comeback, he’s been here all along. Brexit boss Michel Barnier definitely still wants the EU’s top job and is now touting himself as the candidate everyone could live with.
Politics 07-01-2019

The Brief, powered by Metal Packaging Europe – Just like Blade Runner, it always rains

Killer robots, sex robots, huge video ad panels and flying cars. The world may well be closer to looking like the dark melting pot Blade Runner imagined for this 2019, aside from intergalactic battles and constant rain. But this year we won’t be worried about robots going rogue, at least for now, but who will become their almighty master.
Brexit 21-12-2018

The Brief – A Brexit foretold

Theresa May’s government formally started pulling up the drawbridge between the UK and the EU on Wednesday. The number of EU migrants to the UK is expected to fall by as much as 80% over the next five years. Suddenly the Channel feels a lot wider.
20-12-2018

The Brief – A budgetary Christmas fairy tale

Once upon a time, there was a coalition government in Italy that all in Europe looked upon with concern, as they were making choices that broke the rules of stability of the magic currency some of them shared.
19-12-2018

The Brief – Do you want to know a secret?

At least 1,100 coded cables have been extracted by hackers from the coded communication COREU service of the European Union and made available to the New York Times by a US cybersecurity firm, Area 1 Security. The US newspaper published 88 pages of them.
Politics 18-12-2018

The Brief – Sick men of Europe

Poland's foreign minister labelled France a "sick man of Europe" on national TV this week but beds at the Ode to Joy hospital are rapidly filling up. There's no silver bullet for the smorgasbord of ailments on show though. Can Europe get fighting fit before May's elections?
17-12-2018

The Brief – Journalism: ‘The most beautiful job in the world’

When I heard of the news that Antonio Megalizzi, the Italian radio journalist involved in the Strasbourg shooting, had died, I was reporting from a press conference in Brussels. It made my blood run cold and I suddenly stopped taking notes.
Politics 14-12-2018

The Brief – Taxi for Selmayr!

In poise, stature and countenance, he appears an unremarkable man. But Martin Selmayr carries with himself the sign and semblance of an altogether unsavoury part of the European Union.
Politics 13-12-2018

The Brief – Games without frontiers

Contrary to what we may believe, European political parties are no different than the ones we have at home. They are just as prone to tactical games, diversions, manipulation and pointing the finger at someone else.

The Brief – No roadmaps needed for experienced travellers

Morocco is a tree with its roots in Africa and its branches in Europe. So said the late King Hassan II of Morocco. That partly explains why hosting the UN migration summit in Marrakech, which formally adopted the UN’s contentious...
EU Elections 2019 07-12-2018

The Brief – Socialist schism

The Party of European Socialists is meeting in Lisbon in an apparent show of unity. Unlike the EPP, the liberals or even the greens, socialists don’t need to choose from competing candidates – they only have one. Frans Timmermans will be their Spitzenkandidat, and Sergei Stanishev will be re-elected for a third time as PES president, without competition.
Politics 06-12-2018

The Brief – Brexit purgatory waiting room blues

“Would you please consider voting for this deal so we can all get on with our lives.”
Future EU 05-12-2018

The Brief – Let’s get rid of EU presidencies!

The upcoming Romanian EU presidency is an important one. On Romania’s watch, the UK is supposed to leave the Union on 29 March and European elections will be held in the remaining 27 countries on 23-26 May. To top things...
Politics 04-12-2018

The Brief – How to lose friends and influence no one

Curvy cucumbers, Turkey in the EU, uncontrolled migration: all debunked lies exploited by the pro-Brexit campaign. But there’s one aspect of the EU that Leavers could've legitimately painted on the side of their bus. And it reared its monstrous head again today.
Politics 03-12-2018

The Brief – A ‘yellow vest’ fake news paradise

I live in the centre of Paris so you might think that my weekend was full of danger, fire and fear. That is what my friends and family living far away saw on TV and Facebook, so I had a few worried calls and messages. But let me tell you the truth: it was no war scene.
Digital 30-11-2018

The Brief – E pur si muove

In 1633, the ‘father of modern physics,’ Galileo Galilei was found to be “vehemently suspect of heresy,” as the Roman Catholic Inquisition ordered the scientist to relinquish his alliance to heliocentricism – the theory that the Earth moves around the Sun.
Politics 29-11-2018

The Brief – Bringing back unity and solidarity to the EU

The political mandate that will follow next May’s European elections should be an opportunity to continue opening up the political space for citizens’ engagement, so that democracy is not limited to voting and politics can spread well beyond the parties’...