About: The Brief

Future EU 22-10-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA — Laying down the law

To its critics, the European Union is an all–powerful bully. In reality, the European Commission often gives the impression that it couldn’t fight its way out of a paper bag.
Climate change 21-10-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA — Guess who’s (not) coming to COP dinner

Last week, Queen Elizabeth was caught expressing her annoyance at world leaders snubbing the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
Elections 20-10-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA — A yellow traffic light for fiscal integration

“Generating energy from friction,” “focusing on the joint big picture,” — the parties likely to form Germany’s new government are competing for the blandest metaphors in an effort to signal love, peace, and harmony within the budding three-way alliance.
Future EU 19-10-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA — How likely is Polexit?

"Polexit is fake news," Polish leaders Mateusz Morawiecki and Jarosław Kaczyński are saying in unison. Their party, the not-so-aptly named Law and Justice (PiS), has even adopted a position supporting EU membership.
Elections 18-10-2021

The Brief, powered by EPRA — Europe’s squeeze on sleaze

Is the sudden departure of a number of prime ministers, who have faced accusations of corruption, just a coincidence?
Economy & Jobs 15-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — A tax needs global defence

Global agreements on tax and international finance are so rare that it is tough to begrudge politicians for leaping on them. No surprise, then, that last week’s OECD tax deal was followed by a collective round of back–slapping and self–congratulation. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen described it as “a historic moment”.
Energy 14-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — Stars align for nuclear

The current energy price spike is something of a storm. But it is also wind in the sails of nuclear energy in Europe, after many years of being given the cold shoulder.
Elections 13-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — Can conservatives bring back central eastern Europe?

The defeat of Andrej Babiš in Czechia and the resignation of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz were hailed by many as a win for Europe’s progressives. What is missed in these arguments is that there are only conservatives in line to replace the populists.
Elections 12-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — Markus Söder: the enemy within

On 27 September, the German social democrat SPD gave bouquets of flowers to the party’s election-winning candidates: Olaf Scholz for winning across Germany, Franziska Giffey for winning Berlin, and Manuela Schwesig for winning Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Energy 11-10-2021

The Brief, powered by APPLiA — Energising the EU bashing

The recent surge of electricity and gas prices to record heights across Europe has a huge potential for EU-bashing in member states, something the EU institutions should try to avert — if they can.
Future EU 08-10-2021

The Brief, powered by GIE — 57 billion reasons to avoid Polexit

In politics, it’s always a good idea to get others to do your dirty work. For Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, by challenging the principle of the primacy of EU law, one of the main building blocks of the Union, his national Constitutional Tribunal has earned its corn and landed a major blow for Eurosceptics.
Energy 07-10-2021

The Brief, powered by GIE — Pipeline politics for dummies

It’s not easy to make sense of the thousands of stories about Nord Stream 2. To make it simple, Russia and Germany want the pipeline, while Ukraine, Poland, and the US are against it. But why should Ukraine, Poland, the US and others meddle into what looks like bilateral business?
EU-Africa 06-10-2021

The Brief, powered by GIE — The law vs EU diplomacy

Last week, the EU’s General Court handed the European Commission a major defeat when it struck down the EU's fisheries agreement with Morocco on the grounds that it also, illegally, covered Western Sahara.
Digital & Media 05-10-2021

The Brief, powered by GIE — Facebook’s darkest hour

Unprecedented internet outages, public outrage, pending lawsuits, upcoming legislation, growing competition, and privacy quarrels: Facebook is facing its darkest hour.

The Brief, powered by GIE — French frigates to fight German submarines in the Aegean?

The EU is quick to call for de-escalation in case of conflicts, it is ambitious about setting itself targets such as “strategic autonomy”, and it succeeds to make its voice heard in the world.
Brexit 01-10-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — Island of lost content

Few people in Britain (or Europe, for that matter) understand Northern Ireland. Even fewer understand its politics. That perhaps explains why so little attention was paid to the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland during the referendum campaign in 2016.
Elections 30-09-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — Europe’s future is shaped by its old electorate

Seeing that election results in EU countries are increasingly determined by older voters, one cannot but wonder: What sort of innovations can we really expect from politics these days?
Enlargement 29-09-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — The enlargement train stops at Brdo

The author of this brief was present at the Thessaloniki 2003 summit, where EU leaders pledged to the Western Balkan countries that they would join the bloc when they are ready. It was a critical juncture. EU enlargement was on its...
Elections 28-09-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — Going Dutch in Germany

The cards for the German Bundestag have been reshuffled, and the parties are preparing to launch the old mating ritual known as 'coalition talks'. Yet, with the new parliament facing an unprecedented degree of fragmentation, these talks are likely to be long and exhausting. Welcome to a Dutch-style German parliament.
Global Europe 27-09-2021

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA — Geopolitics without Merkel

The sudden rise of tensions between Serbia and Kosovo (adding Albania to the latter) coincided with the German elections held on 26 September. But is it a coincidence?
Digital & Media 24-09-2021

The Brief, powered by EHFG — Not so plastic fantastic

We all know the feeling. Rushing to work or travelling, you remember to pack everything except for that insignificant but vital tool that keeps our phones, computers, headphones and the rest, charged and connected.
Central Europe 23-09-2021

The Brief, powered by EHFG — Vucic, Orban and the Putinisation of Europe

The latest news is that Central European leaders signed a joint declaration today saying immigration should not be the answer to the EU’s demographic challenges and calling on the bloc to keep family policy under national jurisdiction. In other words, they want to have it their way.
Elections 22-09-2021

The Brief, powered by EHFG — The rise of the kingmakers

With the new German parliament likely to be more fragmented after the federal election on Sunday (September 26), several small parties are preparing themselves to play a kingmaker role in the subsequent coalition-building talks.

The Brief, powered by EHFG — Replacing tents with concrete

The EU’s repackaged migration pact could be finalised in the weeks after next year’s French presidential elections. At least that’s what Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas told this website.