About: The Brief

Politics 20-01-2022

The Brief — COVID gamblers

Is this the end of COVID – or at least of the restrictions? Or is it a misperception? Should we brace for a new variant, possibly the worst we could imagine?
Politics 19-01-2022

The Brief – Grand Tattoo for German pacifism

The Germany of today is inherently a pacifist country. This truth is often lost amid the big news, but political observers of the party landscape in Berlin and beyond will agree.
Politics 18-01-2022

The Brief – An inevitable betrayal

Following the 2008 economic crisis, the EU socialists almost collapsed in successive elections across the bloc. Back then, they put the blame on the “grand coalition” they had formed with the centre-right.
Politics 17-01-2022

The Brief, powered by The Greens/EFA – Divorcing over Djokovic

Novak Djokovic’s Australian saga is dangerously divisive. The Serbian tennis player is becoming, possibly against his will, an icon of the anti-vaxxers.
Brexit 14-01-2022

The Brief — The party’s over

It was always likely that something trivial would bring down Boris Johnson. It would never be policy because Johnson is, ideologically, something of an empty vessel. Throughout his career, it has always been unclear what, besides advancing his own interests, he actually believes in.
Global Europe 13-01-2022

The Brief — The Battle of Normandy

The tensions with Russia over Ukraine are said to be at their most dangerous since the end of the Cold War. Talks with Russia are ongoing in various forms. However, there are no results, and no prospects of any breakthrough.
Transport 12-01-2022

The Brief – For the sake of credibility, the EU must exorcise ghost flights

"Kafkaesque" may be an overused term, but there are rare occasions when it is fitting. This Brief is about one of them.
Politics 11-01-2022

The Brief – Il Presidente buono

Europe woke up in a state of shock today, mourning the death of David Maria Sassoli, the good president.
Central Asia 10-01-2022

The Brief – ‘Business as usual’ with Kazakhstan?

The new year started with unrest in Kazakhstan, which will likely impact the wider picture of world geopolitics.
Politics 23-12-2021

The Brief — Skipping Christmas

Have you checked your office emails recently? You probably got many seasons greetings. But did you notice: Some wish you “Merry Christmas” while others say “Happy Holidays”. It’s a matter of corporate policy. And often, the greetings are a political...
Coronavirus 22-12-2021

The Brief – The heavy price of indecision

As governments tighten restrictions around Europe in a belated effort to halt the march of the Omicron variant, the question on everyone's mind is whether another lockdown is coming after, or even before, Christmas.
Politics 21-12-2021

The Brief – Down with Davos

A second COVID Christmas awaits, replete with travel restrictions, lockdowns in some countries, and vaccination passports. Gloomy as the prognosis is, if you look hard enough, there is one small silver lining, at least for those of us who write about politics for a living.
Global Europe 20-12-2021

The Brief – Macron’s world

French President Emmanuel Macron gave an unusually long interview to TF1-LCI, a full version of which was aired on LCI on Saturday (18 December). Unsurprisingly, most of it concerned domestic politics. But there was also an intriguing part about Russia.
Politics 17-12-2021

The Brief, powered by Goldman Sachs – How Europe teaches its past

It is hard to remember a time in Europe’s recent past when conspiracy theories and disinformation were so popular and scapegoating of communities so prevalent. Aside from the health crisis, the COVID pandemic has brought with it distant echoes of the darker moments in Europe’s last century.
Politics 16-12-2021

The Brief, powered by Goldman Sachs – The last waltz

The ‘dance of the elephants’, as we recently described it, opens the way for EPP’s Roberta Metsola to become the European Parliament president for the second half of this term, before the 2024 European elections.
Politics 15-12-2021

The Brief, powered by Goldman Sachs – Ukraine is litmus test for Scholz’s new foreign policy

In an emerging multipolar world, Germany will need to be more assertive to defend European and transatlantic values. However, it remains to be seen if the new Chancellor Olaf Scholz will rise to the occasion, and the first signs are not too promising.
Global Europe 14-12-2021

The Brief, powered by Goldman Sachs — Dancing around the Olympic flag pole

Europe is split over its political representation at the upcoming Beijing Olympics - and its dilly-dallying has already awarded China its first victory.
Global Europe 13-12-2021

The Brief, powered by Goldman Sachs — Bosnia crisis and the failure of stabilocracy

The National Assembly of Republika Srpska (the Serb half of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina) voted last Friday to start work on pulling their autonomous entity out of Bosnia’s armed forces, judiciary and tax systems. The assembly said the RS government should propose within six months laws to regulate these matters at entity level.
Politics 10-12-2021

The Brief — Do as I say, not as I do

One of the stories of this pandemic has been just how easy it is to take away our freedoms. As Europeans, we took our four freedoms for granted until they were suddenly taken away last March.
Global Europe 09-12-2021

The Brief — Biden-Putin telco: Who won?

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a two-hour teleconference on a secured channel which mostly focused on Ukraine. The very fact that they talked is reassuring. Now as the dust has settled, we will try...
Politics 08-12-2021

The Brief — Parties that wanted a ‘departure’ chose a true veteran to lead them

As 16 years of Angela Merkel finally came to an end today, with Olaf Scholz sworn in as the new German chancellor, the sense of departure that had been in the air was no longer truly felt.
Global Europe 07-12-2021

The Brief — Europe’s neocon Christians vs Pope Francis

It’s common knowledge that we're living in an era where ideological lines are often blurred. Equally clear is that far-right populists interpret religion according to their political views.
Politics 06-12-2021

The Brief – The dance of the elephants

The election of the European Parliament president is a dirty dancing sequence in which the two largest political groups in the EU – the centre-right EPP and the centre-left S&D -- unwilfully embrace.
Global Europe 03-12-2021

The Brief, powered by ELF — Global gateway needs to be paved with gold

A ‘geopolitical’ Commission was one of Ursula von der Leyen promises when she took charge of the EU executive just over two years ago. So far, its record has been mixed: from Afghanistan to Aukus, it’s hard to make the case that the EU’s diplomatic muscle is any stronger than before.