About: The Brief


The Brief, powered by Eurogas -The art of breaking the law, legally

We may have been free from parliamentary melodrama in Westminster for almost a year but for Brexit masochists, there’s yet another act in this seemingly endless Wagnerian saga, courtesy of Boris Johnson’s Internal Market Bill.
Politics 17-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – SOTEU’s hidden gems

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s SOTEU speech hit all the main points expected of her but there were also less obvious yet still interesting ideas, hidden between the lines.
Global Europe 15-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – The UN session, a missed opportunity

Held every year in September, the annual week-long session of the UN General Assembly in New York is the milestone of global politics. This year’s session, opening on 22 September, is special for two reasons. But it is also likely to be a missed opportunity.
Global Europe 14-09-2020

The Brief, powered by Eurogas – Hagia Sophia in Cyprus: when Eurocrats ruin Europe

Europe’s unification process was never going to be an easy task. When there are economic imbalances among EU member states, when the creation of an ‘EU identity’ clashes with different cultures, the integration process is faced with difficulties. But with...
Brexit 11-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – A gamble too far

It’s the wise gambler who knows when his luck is about to run out. Boris Johnson always assumes that his luck is in and, so far, his faith has been rewarded. But his threat to break the Withdrawal Agreement looks like a gamble too far.
Coronavirus 10-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – Rush to promise vaccines is foolish at best

As news broke on Tuesday that trials on one of the leading contenders for a COVID-19 vaccine have been paused over a potential health risk, leaders around the world are still scrambling to offer false hope and promises. Between US...

The Brief, powered by amfori – Moria burns, and solidarity with it

Moria is burning, and with it, the European values we pretend to uphold. This is how Green MEP Philippe Lamberts described the tragic events at Greece’s overcrowded migrant camp of Moria after a fire broke out there on Tuesday night....
Climate change 08-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – A 55% chance of sunshine

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will next week confirm a new emissions-busting goal for 2030. But setting a target is the easy part of the climate fight.
Global Europe 07-09-2020

The Brief, powered by amfori – Macron’s Russia syndrome

Reaching out to Russia will make Europe less dependent on the US and turn it into a more assertive, autonomous foreign policy actor. At least that seems to be French President Emmanuel Macron's thinking. But this stance is becoming increasingly problematic for Europe and has started to erode France's own credibility.
Politics 04-09-2020

The Brief – Time for Europe to play the Nord Stream card

‘Deplorable’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘an attack on fundamental freedoms’. Europe’s leaders this week held their own competition on who could give the most magisterial admonishment to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin following the deliberate poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Coronavirus 03-09-2020

The Brief – Treaties over common-sense?

MEPs have packed their bags, ready to get back to Strasbourg after a forced six-month hiatus. But moving the entire EU circus to another country may not be the brightest idea right now. In an unprecedented move, European Parliament President...
Politics 02-09-2020

The Brief – Staring at the other side of the Rubicon

July’s EU budget and recovery fund deal was rightly hailed as a historic moment for the bloc, as member states agreed to mutualised debt for the first time. But have we truly crossed the Rubicon?
Future EU 01-09-2020

The Brief – Why can’t we vote?

By law, EU nationals living abroad are entitled to vote and run in European and local elections in the member state where they are living. So why is that the 14 million European citizens living in an EU country other than their own report so many difficulties in using their voting rights?
Europe's East 28-08-2020

The Brief – Once bitten, but the EU need not be shy in Minsk

The election fraud and crackdown on the protests in Belarus called for a firm response from the EU. However...
Politics 27-08-2020

The Brief – The lost art of the honourable resignation

On the face of it, attending a parliamentary golf society dinner must rank near the top of the list of the stupidest things to lose your job over. Indeed, in the pre-COVIDd era, it would have been unthinkable. Attending the...
Politics 26-08-2020

The Brief – EU, are you blind?

Thursday (27 August) will mark the 50th day since Bulgarians took to the streets to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev. So far, the EU has been silent about protests in its poorest...
Global Europe 25-08-2020

The Brief – The EU faces ‘brain death’ over Turkey

Turkey has long been the 'hot potato' of EU foreign policy, but these days, it is rapidly turning into a really serious problem that cannot be swept under the carpet.
Coronavirus 24-08-2020

The Brief – On to next season

Life in a COVID-19 world may be hard to recognise but there are some norms that even COVID-19 can’t change. The adage that football is played by two teams and, at the end, the Germans win, was confirmed by Sunday’s...
Coronavirus 24-07-2020

The Brief – Breaking (for) summer

This summer will be different. Travelling in the time of COVID-19 is not a pleasure, even inside Europe, and especially if you live in the EU and want to go to another continent. Intercontinental travel has almost completely stopped, only...
Brexit 23-07-2020

The Brief – Poking the Bear

It only took a few short months for the accusation that the 2016 Brexit referendum was rigged, unfair and corrupt to start doing the rounds. This week, Boris Johnson’s government finally published the Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee report, which...
Future EU 22-07-2020

The Brief – Monnet’s law

“All’s well that ends well” should have been the refrain among exhausted diplomats after 92 hours of very intense negotiations in Brussels. With one of the longest summits in history now behind us, it is time for EU pundits to...
Politics 20-07-2020

The Brief – EUCO Wrestlemania

Europe’s premier political entertainment extravaganza, EUCO Wrestlemania, kicked off on Friday for a full weekend of fighting. Here’s the play-by-play account of the still ongoing summer slam in Brussels.
Economy & Jobs 17-07-2020

The Brief – Ursula needs a ‘State of the Fusion’

Ursula von der Leyen is already starting to prepare her first ‘State of the EU’ address, due in the autumn. She is not the first leader to face an economic downturn or be in urgent need of a way to lift the morale of crisis-hit citizens or catch up in the technology race.
Economy & Jobs 16-07-2020

The Brief – All hands to the pumps

Whichever way you cut it up, €750 billion is a lot of public money. Yet one of the striking parts of the debate on the post-COVID-19 EU Recovery Fund is that, whether from the ‘Frugal Four’ or Club Med, EU...