About: The Brief

Brexit 20-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Towards a minor politics

Amidst the dizzying heights of the Brexit imbroglio, a politics of resistance is emerging that has the potential to puncture the supranational veneer of EU governance: a politics of minoritarianism. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell’s comments on Tuesday (20 November)...
Politics 19-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EFPIA – Europe’s moral downfall, part one

Once again, this Brief will stay away from the goings-on in the far far away kingdom that's desperately trying to leave the EU. Instead, let's look at another country that walked away from a different union 27 years earlier, resulting in chaos and bloodshed that caught Europe unawares and exposed it as a paper tiger unable to deal with conflict on its soil.
Politics 16-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT – How to win the European elections

One news story dominated headlines this week but you won't find a mention of it in today’s Brief. Instead, let’s look at how European politicians could win the next elections. Oh, and save the world while they’re at it.
Politics 15-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT – Beware the Ides of March

Pessimists in the EU say the Brexit saga couldn't get any messier. Optimists say: yes, it can.
Global Europe 14-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT – Trump ain’t stupid

The Brussels bubble assumes many things, and one of them is that Donald Trump is some sort of a clumsy idiot. This edition of The Brief begs to differ...
Transport 14-11-2018

MEPs keeps on trucking, back higher CO2 targets

Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday (14 November) to beef up a first attempt to regulate CO2 emissions from heavy vehicles, going beyond what the European Commission originally proposed.
Politics 13-11-2018

The Brief, powered by EUSALT – A harbinger of Brexit defeats to come?

One of the reasons why detail on the UK’s strategy on the Brexit negotiations has been so elusive lies in Theresa May’s tactic of permanent obfuscation, and of concentrating information in the hands of a handful of her very closest...
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.