About: The Brief Archives

  • The Brief – Von der Leyen needs to prove she won’t be Barroso III

    News | Future EU 13-09-2019

    Ursula von der Leyen will have to work hard to demonstrate that her Commission won’t be the member states’ secretariat. The Conference on the Future of Europe should not be window dressing if she wants to prove we've not gone back to Jose Manuel Barroso’s era.

  • The Brief – Don’t ‘protect’ the EU way of life. Improve it!

    News | Future EU 12-09-2019

    When European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen announced the portfolios of the new EU executive this week, one could have expected reactions related to hot potatoes such as energy or economy. Instead, something unexpected took the spotlight.

  • The Brief – Ursula’s gambit

    News | Politics 11-09-2019

    Hungary’s pick for the next European Commission was always going to cause controversy but the job offered by Ursula von der Leyen to László Trócsányi has only kicked the hornet’s nest. However, Jean-Claude Juncker’s successor could well be a few moves ahead of us.

  • The Brief – Jourová and Reynders: EU’s good cop – bad cop?

    News | Future EU 10-09-2019

    Now that we know the portfolio distribution of the future EU executive led by Ursula von der Leyen, one of the big surprises was splitting the rule of law portfolio between the two names that were circulating: the Czech Věra Jourová and the Belgian Didier Reynders.

  • The Brief – How the outgoing Cypriot Commissioner got burnt

    News | Politics 09-09-2019

    The moral of the following story is that, even in Brussels, you can get easily burnt if you stick your neck out and forget where you came from. The latest to find that out appears to have been Commissioner Christos Stylianides.

  • The Brief – Berlaymont’s rumour mill

    News | Future EU 06-09-2019

    As the moment edges closer for Ursula von der Leyen to unveil her new Commission on Tuesday (10 September), the Brussels rumour mill has shifted into overdrive. In this Brief, EURACTIV analyses some initial lists that have been circulating in Brussels.

  • The Brief – Living the Thick of It 

    News | Politics 04-09-2019

    As Tory MP Philip Lee defected from his party live on TV last night and haunted-pencil Jacob Rees-Mogg reclined on the front benches, we were left to wonder: is there room for political satire now that reality is often far more farcical?

  • The Brief – Boris Johnson’s High Noon

    News | Brexit 03-09-2019

    In the convoluted, protracted, high-stakes game of poker that is Brexit, it has become very difficult to predict who will blink first. Or if someone already has. Or even in whose court the ball currently is.

  • The Brief – Von der Leyen’s first success

    News | Future EU 02-09-2019

    It may be a long shot at this stage, but EURACTIV foresees that Ursula von der Leyen will be able to achieve her goal of achieving gender balance in the new EU executive. We will argue that this is a big success.

  • The Brief – A summer’s tale with no happy ending yet

    News | Politics 30-08-2019

    For most people, summertime means relaxation with a good book in the sun, under the shelter of a flimsy parasol or taking in the clean mountain air. This season's number one thriller had a distinctly Italian flavour. No matter the political …

  • The Brief – I looked after your children

    News | Brexit 29-08-2019

    As people up and down the UK came out to protest against Prime Minister Johnson's plans on Wednesday night, a Portuguese woman stormed the scene in London and launched an emotional call to the government in front of TV cameras, asking for her voice to be heard:

  • The Brief: Macron, the EU’s new leader

    News | Politics 28-08-2019

    The West may no longer be the leader of the world. But the EU has a new leader and it’s no longer Merkel: it’s French President Emmanuel Macron. He was the unofficial winner of the European elections, or at least

  • The Brief – Postponing the inevitable

    News | Politics 27-08-2019

    Toppling governments is a tricky business, even when the administration in question only has a majority of one seat, as is the case in the UK.

  • The Brief – We did(n’t) start the fire

    News | Economy & Jobs 26-08-2019

    Grim as it may seem, the burning of the Amazon rainforest is an opportunity for the EU’s new leaders to prove that Brussels walks the walk when it comes to climate change.

  • The Brief – Don’t forget to remember…

    News | Future EU 26-07-2019

    After a Europe-wide heat wave which has already put everyone into summer (suffering) mode, there are a couple of things to bear in mind to gather strength for before you disappear to your vacation destination.

  • The Brief – Holy COW!

    News | Future EU 25-07-2019

    The EU is moving more and more toward inter-governmental formats. Unable to decide at 28, individual member countries are seeking solutions to problems such as rescue operations at sea, patrolling in the Strait of Hormuz, or even inside the Eurozone, on new budgetary instruments.

  • The Brief – Europe’s Progressives are cats and dogs

    News | Middle-ground politics 24-07-2019

    The failure of the Spanish socialists (PSOE) and the leftists Unidas Podemos to form a government following the 28 April parliamentary election has once again exposed the shortcomings of the so-called progressive political forces in Europe. The deadlock in the negotiations …

  • The Brief – For Johnson, the campaign is over

    News | Brexit 23-07-2019

    “The campaign is over and the work begins.” So said Boris Johnson, the most unlikely, but still inevitable, of UK prime ministers. In Johnson’s case, the campaign for the keys to No10 Downing Street has been his life’s pursuit. Asked how …

  • The Brief – Washing away the guilt

    News | Justice & Home Affairs 22-07-2019

    The largely unconventional and disputed 1907 experiment by US physicist Duncan MacDougall postulated that the human soul weighs 21 grams, no more, no less. The valiant doctor measured the body weight of dying humans just before and after their passing and concluded that the soul does have exact physical weight.

  • The Brief, powered by BP – Time for New Democracy to apologise

    News | Enlargement 18-07-2019

    Realpolitik can be tricky. It often makes politicians go back on things they had promised before taking office. Greece's newly-elected centre-right government is a case in point. It’s high time they apologised for their stance on the North Macedonia name change deal.

  • The Brief, powered by BP – Building Ursula’s platform

    News | Future EU 17-07-2019

    The first question any candidate faces when running for office is why they decided to join the race. The second question is what platform of voters will help them get the job.

  • The Brief, powered by BP – il Segreto

    News | Politics 16-07-2019

    Those of you familiar with a certain Italian eatery in the European Quarter in Brussels will be aware of an enigmatic pizza option known as il Segreto. But MEPs would be wise to dispense with secrets when it comes to making far-reaching decisions, like who should be Commission president.

  • The Brief, powered by BP – Ursula’s wheel of fortune

    News | Politics 15-07-2019

    When the crunch time comes in Strasbourg tomorrow (16 July), what exactly will be the key factor in deciding Ursula von der Leyen's fate? Other than the fact that voting is secret and each MEP is free to do whatever they want.

  • The Brief – The ‘Super-Commissioners’

    News | Global Europe 12-07-2019

    In spite of EU leaders’ opposition to measures to make the Commission more functional, the rise of three ‘super-commissioners’ to support the next EU executive chief would improve Europe’s response to the turbulent world. The death of the Spitzenkandidaten process was …

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