Making the complicated understandable


These days, many discussions on EU topics are clouded by emotions, surrounded by misinformation and generally hard to comprehend. On this blog I try to make sense of topics that interest me, taking away all the unnecessary clutter and bringing it back to a more simple form. Articles in this form are found on the "say it simple" page. On occasion I write stories where I highlight a side of the argument I feel is underrepresented, listed under "Robbert's view".

Say it simple.


EU Budget – Debating a revision

Recently the European Parliament’s Budget Committee organised a public hearing where experts and Parliamentarians exchanged views on the potential for a revision of the Union’s Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 (MFF). Rapporteurs for the Parliament report on the issue Jan Olbrycht (EPP) and Isabel Thomas (S&D) argued that several flaws have surfaced since the MFF’s inception in 2014 – inflexibility in […]

Approving the EU accounts – the Council’s position

On Tuesday, April 4th, the European Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee this held the first of two voting sessions on the budget discharge for 2014, voting specifically on agencies, joint undertakings and “other institutions”. On Thursday it will vote on the Commission’s budget (basically the main part of the EU budget) and that of the External Action Service, European Development Fund […]

“If we don’t do it, China does” – The conclusion of TPP and the impact on TTIP

On Monday the 5th of October the United States plus eleven Pacific Rim countries announced the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had come to an end: after six years of talking a deal is finally on the table. It maybe seems far-removed from life in Europe, but even though we are not part of the agreement it certainly is […]

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently under being negotiated between the EU and the US already sees a lively debate on the potential advantages and disadvantages of in areas such as regulatory convergence, economic benefits and job creation. However, the topic of Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) – until recently “an obscure bit of international trade arcana” – has […]