About: The Brief

Global Europe 12-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT- Beggars Banquet

Imagine if world leaders travelled back in time, about a hundred years. Imagine Merkel’s Germany waging a war against Macron’s France, with thousands dying in muddy trenches across Europe daily. Not easy, right?  Europe has come a long way since...
Politics 09-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Day of remembrance

November 9 is a very unique day for Germany, as Manuela Schwesig (SPD), premier of Schleswig-Holstein (Northern Germany), described it today. It is a day when three pivotal events took place,  with far-reaching effects for Germany but also for Europe.
Future EU 08-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Remembering 1918

World leaders will gather in Paris on Sunday to mark the 100th anniversary of 11 November Armistice that ended World War One. We may not realise it, but we are possibly still experiencing the aftershocks of 'The Great War'.
EU Elections 2019 07-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Taking the low road

Viktor Orbán’s face literally loomed over Brussels on Tuesday, plastered as it was on the side of a van. The idea was to denounce his brand of illiberal democracy as a 'threat to EU values'. But are cheap stunts like this really what the EU needs ahead of May’s elections?
Politics 06-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Timmermans: Uniter or divider?

In about ten months, if everything falls into place, Frans Timmermans could be sitting on the EU throne currently occupied by his boss, Jean-Claude Juncker. If, that is, Eastern Europeans don't get in the way.
05-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – How Helsinki could kill off Spitzenkandidaten

This week the EPP’s Helsinki conference will finally tell us who will lead the largest European party into the elections next year. German MEP Manfred Weber and ex-prime minister of Finland, Alexander Stubb, go head-to-head in a debate that will...
Brexit 31-10-2018

The Brief – How meaningful can a Brexit vote be?

Few parliaments can match the House of Commons for ancient, arcane and apparently incomprehensible traditions and procedures. And MPs were given an intensive lesson by the grand master in procedure on Wednesday (31 October).
Politics 30-10-2018

The Brief – The fall of Merkel, the end of the ‘listener’?

Angela Merkel’s unexpected announcement about the end of her political career, at least in Germany, was followed by ‘end of era’ reflections about the troubling future facing Europe without the continent’s ‘anchor of stability’. But for your Brief’s author, an altogether different picture came to mind.
29-10-2018

The Brief ¿ No pasarán ?

Brazil, the largest country of Latin America and the fourth largest democracy, elected a racist, misogynous and homophobic Trump-like politician, sparking fears for the future of the Amazon rainforest, the global climate and the mental state of mankind.
Politics 26-10-2018

The Brief – Dual values

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani was far from being politically correct when he said basic income offered up by Italy’s populist government will end up in the pockets “of the Roma, of foreigners”, and that the money would not benefit poor Italian citizens.
Politics 25-10-2018

The Brief – Judge dread

Poland’s forcibly-retired judges went back to work this week in the latest step of the ongoing twisty rule-of-law saga unfolding in Europe. With big changes predicted in May’s EU elections, the next Commission will have to stop the judicial rot before it’s too late.
Politics 24-10-2018

The Brief – Lock in the leaders!

Problems inside and outside Europe’s gates keep piling up, while our decision-makers continue to sleepwalk toward the cliff edge. Since our leaders don’t deliver on Brexit, migration or improving the monetary union, is it time to lock them in their meeting rooms until they find a solution?
Economy & Jobs 23-10-2018

The Brief – Europe’s fiscal groundhog day

Centrist parties, particularly those on the centre-left, were hammered at the European elections in 2014, in part because of their handling of the eurozone debt crisis. Social Democrat governments found themselves imposing Europe's deepest spending cuts.
Politics 22-10-2018

The Brief – Raising the EU flag over Romania

Romanians still raise the EU flag when they protest against the crackdown on the country's independent judiciary, which has been capable of exposing high-level graft, including the theft of EU funds.
Politics 19-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – The futility of summitry

Having long been billed as the ‘make or break’ Brexit summit, Wednesday’s European Council shin-dig turned out to be a complete waste of time.
Brexit 18-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – Carte de séjour

In what can be seen as a replay of the Salzburg summit, European leaders had dinner last night without British PM Theresa May, while negotiations stumbled yet again over the Irish border issue. Meanwhile, other EU countries are quietly gearing up to meet the March 2019 deadline. France chief among them.
Brexit 17-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – Hard border surrounds fortress Britain

Theresa May and her EU counterparts seem likely to trot out the line that a Brexit deal will, probably, be struck, albeit at the 11th hour at this evening’s EU summit. The chaos promised by ‘no deal’ is very much in the minds of officials on both sides of the Channel.
Politics 16-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council (BSEF) – The final nail in the Bonner Republik’s coffin

The end of the Christian Social Union's post-war political supremacy in Bavaria after the state election on 14 October can be described as the final nail in that uniquely German historical phenomenon called “Die Bonner Republik”.
Cybersecurity 15-10-2018

The Brief, powered by The International Bromine Council – Warning from a ghost in the machine: European elections face imminent threat

Lyudmila Savchuk is a diminutive Russian in her mid-30s, there is a perceptible fatigue patterned across her face as she sits in the lobby of a mid-range Brussels hotel which normally accommodates Eurocrats and political officials.
EU Elections 2019 12-10-2018

The Brief – Sing a song of Spitz-pence

Contenders to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker are coming in thick-and-fast. There's been a marked difference between how each candidate has chosen to kick-off their presidency bids, so what can we learn from their different styles?
Politics 11-10-2018

The Brief – Post mortem for Viktoria Marinova

Viktoria Marinova’s gruesome rape and murder in Bulgaria has featured high in the international news in recent days.

The Brief – Hammer of justice

Two legal cases made waves yesterday. One in the Netherlands, the other in Berlin. They might not be directly linked but both decisions show how vital justice has become in order to compensate the absence of national leadership on climate change and air pollution. 
Economy & Jobs 09-10-2018

The Brief – Enemies of Europe

Economic matters matter again, as the Italian government wants to showcase its battle against the European Commission over its spending plan as a renewed European crusade against austerity. But who are the real enemies of Europe?
Climate change 08-10-2018

The Brief – Climate cabal

Europe has an easy decision to make soon: either save trillions of euros, prevent the deaths of thousands of people and do its part to save the planet from climate oblivion. Or keep going the way we are. Staggeringly, the former option is not everybody’s first choice.