Revue de presse européenne de la semaine / this week in European politics (03-06/01/2017)

Happy new year 2017 !

Bonne année 2017 !

After an extended “I’m changing jobs, moving countries and going on holidays” break I’m back.

Since most of Brussels is still on holidays, it’s hard to find anything really interesting in the press at the moment, unless you haven’t had a Brexit indigestion yet. So let’s deal with the Brexit stuff first:

Something by Nick Crosby on the cause of British exceptionalism

And the accompanying Chris Kendall piece: . As an aside, I have just discovered Kendall’s blog – though I knew his twitter account – and it’s a very good one.

And now for something a bit différent

L’entretien de Malström avec Quatremer: Rien de bien nouveau mais quelques vérités bonnes à rappeler.

Sur contexte (abonnement gratuit permettant de lire un certain nombre d’articles), un bref récapitulatif de la place de l’Europe dans les programmes de la primaire socialiste (et les liens vers les programmes) :

Et dès que j’ai le temps, j’écris quelque chose sur l’excellent livre d’Elisabeth Badinter sur Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche (Le pouvoir au féminin).


This week in European politics / Revue de presse européenne de la semaine (17-22/10/2016)

Der Spiegel on the changing face of Britain (in English):


Dave Keating on the Waloon parliament veto on CETA and the implications for any Brexit deal:


The Guardian‘s « Brexit means Brexit » column


Et pour alléger l’atmosphère, les Grecques nous propose un roman-feuilleton sur les coulisses du Parlement européen (réservé aux aficionados de Borgen et autres séries politiques)

This week in European politics / Revue de presse européenne de la semaine (03-07/10)

Désolée si cette revue de presse est 100% anglophone cette semaine

Brexit is the flavour of the week, with the British Prime Minister outlining her vision for Britain. A vision that makes me think that in a couple of years I will no longer go for shopping and theatre weekends in London. Either because as a not filthily rich foreigner I will not be welcomed anymore (I’m sure they will still welcome oligarchs or petrodollar people) or because there might not be much cultural life left in London. Time to read V for Vendetta (by Alan Moore) again folks.

So let’s get started on this Brexit means Brexit means little Britain review.


A summary of the main proposals from May’s speech from the Guardian:


A take on the « citizens of the world » comment in May’s speech from Quartz (I didn’t know the site, it presents itself as a « a digitally native news outlet, born in 2012, for business people in the new global economy »


And to close this topic, the scariest vide of the week, from LBC (article and context by the Independent)

Revue de presse européenne de la semaine / This week in European politics (26-30/09/2016)

From the Guardian on « The man who brought you Brexit ». Sometimes hard to read but very interesting.


Another Brexit piece, on the British diaspora, from Brussels to Berlin


On the issue of referenda (and why democracies can’t govern with them), from The Economist


Après l’affaire Barroso, l’affaire Kroes. L’édito de Quatremer sur la corruption des élites en Europe



Yes, it’s rather quiet these days. Or rather there is a certain lack of good articles. I blame the US elections for that. Hopefully after them normal service will resume in the press rooms.

Revue de presse européenne de la semaine / This week in European politics (12-16/09)

The main highlight of the week was the State of the Union address given on Wednesday. I hope you had printed your bullshit bingo in advance.


So talking of speeches, this « confession » article from Ryan Heath of Politico. Now, I’m not Politico biggest fan (but I do like the Playbook). But I’ve written speeches although I’ve never been a speechwriter as such. And I know what it’s like to write a speech for someone who is too busy to tell you what they want or so « important » that the levels of management between him and you do not consider you should meet him. In my case it went well (no funny anecdote), the big man was happy with the speech and didn’t even stray from it. But this account from Heath had a nice « vécu » feel to it:


On SOTEU, a bit of wry humour from Les Grecques


Quatremer et un portrait très humain de Juncker (la sympathie mutuelle est assez visible dans l’article)


From the « Brexit means Brexit » humoristic (or not) series in the Guardian:



Not politics really, but a fascinating read on the UK’s secret war in Oman in the 60s, from the Guardian Long Read series


Revue de presse européene de la semaine / This week in European politics (25-29/07/2016)

This is the last one before a summer break that I intend to spend far away from any media outlet. For my own sanity.


One of The Economist‘s blog has a good article on the consequences 100 years down the line of having undermined the power of the Ottoman caliph and switching the centre of Islam from the Turks to the Arabs. It’s a short and interesting read that does not pretend to have fool-proof explanations for the current sorry state of things, but is a useful reminders that in foreign policy, actions can have long-lasting consequences:


Keeping with The Economist, this blog post on German reaction to last week’s events. Bearing in mind that the scale is different in Germany and in France, it is still a sobering read:


Les Décodeurs du Monde ont un petit guide bien utile qui permet de raison garder face aux solutions miracles proposées par les uns et les autres face à la menace terroriste:

Pour en finir sur le thème attaques terroristes, un blog dont je recommande chaleureusement la lecture, pour des analyses fines de quelqu’un qui sait de quoi il parle et ne tombe ni dans l’hyperbole ni dans l’hystérie:


Et enfin, sur un thème purement européen, la nomination, par Jean-Claude Juncker, de Michel Barnier en tant que négotiateur du Brexit côté Commission. L’opinion de Jean Quatremer dans Libération:


Revue de presse de la semaine / This week in European politics (09/07-15/07)

An interview that is slightly old (first published last Friday) but that has been doing the rounds ever since. From the Spiegel, this is a joint interview of Juncker and Schulz. At times candid, at times very political. I’m not sure it will do much to disperse the notion that both are somehow ruling the EU behind closed doors (although in fairness, the relation between the head of the executive and the head of the legislative is very rarely one of complete opposition) but it is an interesting read nonetheless (in English)


I’m not that fond of Politico EU. I find that more often than not they go for lazy tabloid style articles. It’s alright for a newspaper to go down that road. Except when you want to establish yourself as the n°1 newspaper on EU affairs (so in a nutshell, I miss The Economist‘s professional type of reporting that underlined European Voice. Often dry but always well researched). But sometimes Politico has good articles. From guests writers most of the time. Here’s one looking at Little England’s view of the EU:


Another excellent « Long read » from the Guardian, on post-facts (or even post-truth) politics in the age of social media. And it’s not a cheerful read:


Jürgen Habermas on Europe post-Brexit. The interview is a bit long-winded (well, it’s Habermas) but interesting nonetheless (well, it’s Habermas). I’m still not sure I know exactly what he thinks or what he wants though:


Frans Timmermans is slowly becoming my new hero. This Facebook text on « understanding the British » is actually quite beautiful and very touching. His disappointment in seeing what Britain has become is quite palpable.


Et pour finir le cas Barroso. Oui, cela est (probablement pour ce que l’on en sait pour le moment) parfaitement légal. Mais ça fait tout de même désordre. Jean Quatremer virulent comme jamais en vidéo et plus modéré mais toujours aussi mordant à l’écrit:

La vidéo:

L’article sur Libération

Revue de presse européenne de la semaine / This week in European politics

Nouvelle catégorie sur le blog. N’ayant pas de compte Facebook, je ne peux pas vraiment relayer à un large publique tous les articles intéressants que je lis durant la semaine. Mais j’ai un blog. Peu lu, certes, mais qui a néanmoins le mérite d’exister. Donc voilà, tous les vendredis, j’essayerai de faire une liste des articles de presse (en français et en anglais) qui m’ont interpellée, intriguée ou tout simplement intéressée. Cette sélection devrait refléter mon intérêt politique principal, à savoir la politique européenne (pour les élections US, ce n’est pas ici).

Et je suis parfaitement consciente de l’ironie qu’il y a à commencer une rubrique d’actualité un 8 juillet. Au début des vacances d’été. Mais avec ma plus belle imitation d’Humphrey Bogart dans Casablanca, je répondrais « et alors? ».

Voici donc cette première sélection.


New category on the blog. I do not have a Facebook account, so I cannot really share with a wide audience all the interesting press articles that I read during the week. But there is this little blog. Not a large audience, but it’s a start. So I’ve decided that every Friday I will try to offer a selection in French and in English of articles published during the week that I found interesting for whatever reason (well written, loads of insight, original point of view, or even utterly amazing by the amount of lies they contain etc…). My interest is in European politics, so this is what you will find here.

And yes, I know that it seems rather absurd to start a « news review » category at the start of the summer break. But I’ll do it anyway!


So let’s see this first selection.


Michel Rocard est décédé le week-end dernier, et toute la gauche française qui l’avait humilié et ignoré lui a rendu hommage. Un bel article de Quatremer sur la solitude de Rocard au Parlement européen:


Juncker-bashing, the latest fashion in lazy European journalism, with quotes from « unnamed sources » and some ministers and hardly any perspective on why this sudden outburst of criticism. Julien Frisch has some thoughts on the topic, and it’s very interesting as it can probably apply to any politician who finds himself in the middle of a sudden collective negative media campaign.

A long article on the Guardian, on the « doomed » Remain campaign. The article goes beyond the usual quest for a scapegoat to justify an electoral defeat and explains the workings of the campaign, put forward both the cross-party activists who gave it all and the pettiness of politicians. A very interesting insider’s view of a campaign:

And finally a video (in English) that is slowly becoming viral (well, according to European politics standards at least).

The European Parliament has a great deal of advantages, being the only EU institution directly elected by the citizens. I find the mere idea of having a legislature of 571 directly elected MEPs from 28 countries amazing. Its powers have also been increased over the years, to the point where it is now a real counter-power to the national government represented in the Council. Unfortunately, low turnout in the elections and traditional parties’ lack of interest in the EU mean that more often than not the quality of the debate is not what it should be. To put it bluntly, Parliament’s potential is seriously underused.

And still, there are some truly amazing moments. Last year, Guy Verhofstadt‘s speech to Alexis Tsipras went viral (at the time I write, it has more than 900 000 views on YouTube here: ). Last week, there was Alyn Smith (SNP) « begging » his « chers collègues » not to « let Scotland down » (here: « only » 17 000 views). This was a passionate, heartfelt speech that owed him a standing ovation.

And then, last Wednesday, Frans Timmermans, the Dutch Commissioner and First Vice-President of the Commission, delivered a wonderful short (7mn) speech reminding everyone in Parliament (and in Europe) what representative democracy was about and how it worked. I hope this speech will be used during the campaign for the next European elections (2019). If you want people to vote, you could do much worse than showing them this: (at the time of writing, more than 46 000 views on the Europa website – hardly a popular platform, and more than 2 000 on YouTube)