About: The Brief

The Brief – How Russia breathed new life into NATO

Just three years ago, NATO was approaching its "brain death" stage, if comments by some of its members were anything to go by. Russia's war in Ukraine has made it re-discover its sense of purpose.
Economy & Jobs 28-06-2022

The Brief – Austere identity politics is back, threatening the EU

While a purchasing power crisis unfolds and slowing gas flows threaten to shut down parts of European industry, austerity is back, hurting the EU’s ability to react to the looming crises.
Europe's East 27-06-2022

The Brief – Has war reached the diplomatic stage?

This week marks an upturn in the international diplomatic activity of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The logical question is whether this signals a will to find a diplomatic solution to the war he started in Ukraine.
Politics 24-06-2022

The Brief – Johnson runs out of road

Six years ago today, Britons woke up to a political earthquake, a referendum that led to their exit from the EU and three years of chaos. As of this morning, one of the principal advocates of that chaos is on his way out. 
Politics 23-06-2022

The Brief – The sex of the angels

My journalistic impression from the first day of the EU summit today is that EU leaders discussed “the sex of the angels” and not the real problems of our union.
Enlargement 22-06-2022

The Brief – Beware of unkept promises

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has revived Europe's enlargement, a process that has been deemed dead. Now EU member states need to keep it alive.
Politics 21-06-2022

The Brief – Germany’s far-right jawing match

While Marine Le Pen managed a record result in France’s parliamentary elections with her “wolf in sheep’s clothing” approach, Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been tearing itself apart over the question of how unapologetically extremist it should be.
Enlargement 20-06-2022

The Brief – EU summit seeks kamikaze

The 23-24 June EU summit is likely to be remembered for enlargement, namely the granting of candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. But something is missing for the total success of the leaders’ gathering to be declared.

Enlargement 16-06-2022

The Brief – Western Balkans riddle

EU heads of state and government will meet with the leaders of the six Western Balkan membership hopefuls on 23 June. But what does “Western Balkans” even mean?
Agrifood 15-06-2022

The Brief – Global food insecurity is here to stay

While fighting Vladimir Putin’s disinformation war about the impact of sanctions on the global food supply, we should not fall into the other conceptual trap that food insecurity will disappear once we leave the war behind.

The Brief – Parliament shows some teeth on EU taxonomy

The row over the European Union's sustainable finance rules, often simplified as "the EU taxonomy", has been, to put it bluntly, a hot mess. Yet, it may produce an unexpected boon as the European Parliament gets to show some teeth in the process.
Europe's East 13-06-2022

The Brief – Back to 1945

As EU leaders prepare for their next summit on 23-24 June, it is useful to list the uncomfortable truths we will not see in the draft conclusions.
Global Europe 10-06-2022

The Brief — Germany’s charm offensive towards non-Western democracies will fail

Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, the German government has increasingly shifted its attention toward non-Western democracies, trying to forge alliances to isolate Russia and ensure that the emerging multipolar world order bears a Western signature. However, the push is likely to fail.
Europe's East 09-06-2022

The Brief – The Great Communicator

The war in Ukraine has elevated Volodymyr Zelenskyy, until recently a political outsider, to the status of a great leader of the Ukrainians and a symbol of courage for the whole world.
Europe's East 08-06-2022

The Brief – Turkey’s strategic ambiguity

Since the beginning of Russia's war in Ukraine, Turkey has repeatedly tried to act as a mediator, but what does Ankara hope to win from it?
Enlargement 07-06-2022

The Brief – Looking east

The centre of Europe is in the east. That, at least, was the abiding message of the gathering of Europe’s liberal parties in Dublin at the end of last week.
Global Europe 06-06-2022

The Brief — EU’s new borders

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned into a World War III of sorts, one that will result in major changes, including new borders in Europe, after which we are not sure that France and Germany will remain the largest and most influential countries in our union.
Europe's East 03-06-2022

The Brief – Hundred days in hell

This weekend will mark 100 days passed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And as things stand, we might be in for a long haul.
Global Europe 02-06-2022

The Brief – Communication breakdown

Speaking to a French audience, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tried to justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by saying, “what would France do if Belgium banned the French language?”
Global Europe 01-06-2022

The Brief – A question of diplomacy

It was telling that while day one of this week’s EU summit focused on getting a compromise agreement on a Russian oil embargo over the line, day two was about food security and the EU’s southern neighbours.
Politics 31-05-2022

The Brief – Call the doctor, French democracy is sick

The French parliamentary elections are around the corner and, as always, I find it difficult to explain to my fellow journalists and foreign friends how democracy works in my country.
Europe's East 30-05-2022

The Brief – Holodomor 2.0

One of the worst crimes against humanity was the man-made famine in Ukraine in the 1930s known as Holodomor, orchestrated by communist dictator Joseph Stalin.
Enlargement 27-05-2022

The Brief – An alternative to accession

Politics, famously, is the art of the possible. And the EU’s history suggests that when major reforms are rushed through, be it enlarging the bloc or introducing the single currency, a significant price is paid a few years later.
Europe's East 26-05-2022

The Brief – Is ‘peace’ a dirty word?

Several EU leaders have voiced ideas for a ceasefire and peace agreement in Ukraine, but Kyiv dismissed them out of hand, comparing them to the attempts to appease Hitler in 1938.