Why did #callbrussels work?

Public phone for people to call into Brussels and ask how things are.

After tweeted cat pictures kept up morale during Brussels’ lockdown last year, the city’s imaginative side worked to restore its image in the aftermath. The local tourist board, visit.brussels, invited people to call in via the internet to ask how things were – in…

Fear and Suspense in Brussels

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The Brussels lockdown was an anxious time, and we’re all more relaxed now. That’s because we’re safe, right? In fact, while no one has been killed in Belgium by terrorists during the recent period of alerts, 755 are likely to have been killed on…

Greek remedy ahead of Brexit vote

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Three little words are playing an outsized role in the future of Europe. An opt-out from “ever-closer union” – which has featured in every EU treaty since 1957 – is one of David Cameron’s four main demands for change in the UK’s participation in…

Did Barroso Help the EU in Britain?

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There are too few EU representatives on British television, so it was good to seeoutgoing Commission President José Manuel Barroso putting in an appearance on the Andrew Marr show in October. Barroso highlighted the EU push for a transatlantic trade deal; said Britain is stronger…

Juncker to EU Commissioners: End “more Europe”

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Little noticed in Jean-Claude Juncker’s mission letters to his Commissioner-candidates is some surprisingly bold language, which seems to swap federalists’ mantra of “more Europe” for “Europe, when nothing else will do”. The wording is important because of the recent debate over the EU’s pursuit of “ever-closer…

Independence: Who’s Next?

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A few weeks after Scots came close to breaking up the United Kingdom, Belgium will likely get a federal government that for the first time includes Flemish nationalists. Will Belgium be the next to flirt with a breakup? There are good reasons why it…

Blair promotes British role in EU

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The terms of Britain’s endless discussion over the EU are generally set by the anti-EU camp, which cooks up false accounts of the cost of membership and makes vague, indignant assertions over the loss of national sovereignty. Though their policies would be disastrous for…

Obama Tries to Rally Europeans

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Some people hoped that President Obama’s March speech in Brussels  would produce a concrete move to help resolve the crisis in Ukraine. It didn’t, leading to criticism  that the speech didn’t do much. One factor was the nature of speeches, which don’t have a direct role…