About: The Brief

Transport 07-07-2020

Trains take over, ETS ahoy & road ragers

Welcome to EURACTIV’s weekly Transport Brief – your one port of call for all the news moving the world and much more! In this edition: MEPs set a course for the EU's carbon market, airline bailouts keep coming and Europe's space agency unveils billions in new contracts.
Economy & Jobs 09-06-2020

The Brief – The Taxman Cometh

Governments of EU countries have jealously guarded tax collection duties but the coronavirus crisis has dealt Brussels an opportunity to change that. If member states do not allow the EU to drum up its own cash, they will be on the hook for hundreds of billions of euros in debt repayments.

The Brief – What’s the point of Charles Michel?

It’s been a difficult few months for the EU since the bloc's top jobs were divided up – Brexit, migration, climate change and a full-blown pandemic. It amounts to the biggest test of Charles Michel's career.
Global Europe 04-06-2020

The Brief – Images from America

The story is pretty much known: George Floyd was murdered 10 days ago in Minneapolis when a police officer pinned him to the ground with his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes with the help of three other...

The Brief – Words have power

During a press conference on the front steps of Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday (2 June), Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked for his thoughts on US President Donald Trump’s call for military action against protesters. After painful...
Outer space 02-06-2020

The Brief – Ad astra et altruism

Elon Musk’s success in blasting two astronauts into orbit provided a welcome - albeit brief - distraction from the grim situation plaguing most of the world. Humanity’s space exploits can tell us something about where society is going and, more importantly, failing.
Global Europe 29-05-2020

The Brief – Trump and the gatekeepers

In the world we used to know, Donald Trump was a Twitter fan and a big champion of this social media channel. In the last two days, the world is no longer as we knew it.
Politics 28-05-2020

The Brief – Revolution in the air

The recovery plan presented by the President of the European Commission yesterday (Wednesday 27 May) is not only spectacular because of its size. In fact, it is the new reality behind these figures that makes it truly revolutionary.
Future EU 27-05-2020

The Brief – Marshalling the funds

‘Whatever it takes’ was the message from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday (27 May) as the EU unveiled an ambitious recovery plan to help its members who have been worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Transport 26-05-2020

The Brief – Old dogs, old tricks

Innovation could yet fall victim to the deadly touch of the coronavirus, if governments decide to bet the entire house on a pandemic recovery aimed squarely at established technologies and practices. New ideas cannot be left to die.
Politics 25-05-2020

The Brief – Frugal socialists

Urged by the prime minister himself, Nicola Zingaretti, leader of Italy's co-ruling centre-left Partito Democratico, has turned for help to the Party of European Socialists of which PD is a member.

The Brief – Make arms control sexy again

The world woke up a bit less secure this morning as the global superpowers launched yet another round of nuclear poker. The Open Skies Treaty is the third major security agreement that is going to bite the dust - and it might well not be the last one.
Economy & Jobs 20-05-2020

The Brief – Keep the goods flowing

Keeping the trade flowing. It sounds simple enough but it is vital if Europe, and the wider world economy is to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. On Wednesday (20 May), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said that its goods trade...
Politics 18-05-2020

The Brief – Orbán’s (im)permanence

Object permanence: the ability to understand that things continue to exist even if we cannot see them, a capacity acquired as a crucial step during a child’s development. As the still new European Commission emerges from the acute stage of...

The Brief, powered by IPA Europe – Get back to the Green ‘normal’?

As of next week, the European Commission will jump back on its Green Deal train, presenting some initiatives, such as the Biodiversity and the Farm to Fork strategies, embedded in its flagship policy.
Coronavirus 14-05-2020

The Brief, powered by IPA Europe – Vaccine wars

Have you seen the latest James Bond movie, ‘No Time To Die’? Don’t worry, nobody else has after the coronavirus pandemic delayed its release. This story is about what could possibly be the premise of the next one. It’s not...
Brexit 13-05-2020

The Brief, powered by IPA Europe – Deal or no deal, the Irish question remains

With a month until Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen agree on whether an EU-UK trade pact can be finalised this year, it is hard to find anyone who thinks a ‘no deal’ scenario is not the odds-on favourite. Progress has been, to be kind, minimal, and the UK shows no interest in extending the talks beyond the end of its post-Brexit transition period in December.
Climate change 12-05-2020

The Brief, powered by IPA Europe – Climate hawks vs doves

The battle against the coronavirus outbreak tops most fight cards but there are climate brawls to be had too. Some are in progress, while others are only just beginning. Better strap yourselves in before the hawks and doves go to war.
Coronavirus 11-05-2020

The Brief, powered by IPA Europe – Where do we go from here?

Two months in since COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic, Europe's reactions are tangling between laissez-faire and Titanic-mode. While many celebrate the gradual lifting of lockdown measures and nations consider when and how to restart their economies, uncertainty remains the disease's relentless companion.
Economy & Jobs 08-05-2020

The Brief – ¿Victory day?

In the calendar, 2020 was marked as a celebration year for Europe, although hardly a victory parade. Today, Europeans celebrate the 75th anniversary of ‘Victory Day’, the defeat of the Nazis in World War II. On Saturday, the EU commemorates...
Politics 07-05-2020

The Brief – The reversed B

Tomorrow will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of a devastating world conflict whose repercussions the European continent still feels to this day. Few relics have come to symbolise the horror of war and the Nazi Holocaust as much as the infamous wrought iron panel overlooking the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp.
Transport 06-05-2020

The Brief – A vexing virus voucher-gate

Peace in our time, free mobile roaming and the best passenger rights in the world. Those are three of the most explicable EU membership benefits distilled down from a decade of soundbites and social media posts. Pity then, that one of them is now in real danger.
Economy & Jobs 05-05-2020

The Brief – With friends like these in Karlsruhe…

For those who covered the eurozone debt crisis and the stuttering response by EU political leaders - until European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi rescued them - Tuesday’s (5 May) ruling by the constitutional court in Karlsruhe landed with a grim sense of inevitability
Coronavirus 04-05-2020

The Brief, powered by Facebook – Renaissance?

Across the EU, the flavour of the first days of May is the easing of the restrictions, against the backdrop of decreasing numbers of new COVID-19 infections or deaths.