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Gavin Hewitt, Europe editor

Gavin Hewitt Europe editor

This is where you will find my view of the big arguments over Europe, its politics and its personalities

Europe in 2014: Ghosts return

  • 15 December 2014
  • From the section Europe
Nato Norwegian F-16 jet/Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber - file pic
Cold War echo: A Norwegian fighter tracks a Russian Tu-95 Bear bomber

For Europe this has been the year when ghosts - long thought buried - returned.

For nearly 70 years Europe had held to a core principle: that borders could not be changed by force. In Crimea - and in eastern Ukraine - Russian President Vladimir Putin dusted down and revived older, more dangerous doctrines.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against "old thinking in terms of spheres of influence in which international law is trampled on".

As the year draws to a close other images from another era make their reappearance: Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers being shadowed by Nato jets in European airspace. In one 24-hour period Russian military aircraft had to be intercepted 26 times.

It was the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev who said "the world is on the brink of a new Cold War" - words that would have been unimaginable a year ago.

Russia rethink

Read full article Europe in 2014: Ghosts return

Cameron, migration and the Germans

  • 28 November 2014
  • From the section Europe
UK Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a speech at JCB World Headquarters in Rocester, central England 28 November 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron has said he hoped to get net migration below 100,000 before the election in 2015

David Cameron was speaking to different audiences today. Of course there was the British electorate and his own restive backbenchers but he was also addressing the Europeans and in particular the Germans.

Berlin had been genuinely shocked when David Cameron and senior Conservatives had spoken of imposing "emergency brakes", "caps" or quotas on the numbers of EU migrants moving to Britain.

Read full article Cameron, migration and the Germans

Kick-starting the European economy

  • 26 November 2014
  • From the section Europe

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, unveiled his big plan today to boost the European economy. "Europe needs a kick-start," he said, "and the Commission is applying the jump leads".

The aim is to get the private sector to start investing again in Europe.

Read full article Kick-starting the European economy

Pope Francis hits out at 'bureaucratic' Europe

  • 25 November 2014
  • From the section Europe
Pope Francis talks with President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, in Strasbourg, France, on 25 November 2014
Parliament President Martin Schulz said the Pope's comments were intended to strengthen the EU

Apart from Italy, Pope Francis has not visited an EU country. Some in Europe felt ignored, so a speech was arranged to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

This was not a pastoral visit. It was as close to a political speech as the Pope could make. He addressed MEPs directly on the current malaise in Europe.

Read full article Pope Francis hits out at 'bureaucratic' Europe

German economy: Eurozone star causing concern

  • 12 November 2014
  • From the section Europe
Angela Merkel, surrounded by cabinet ministers, is handed a report by Germany's council of economic advisers (12 Nov)
Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) is given an economic report cutting Germany's 2014 growth forecast to 1.2%

The narrative has been there for so long that it almost goes unchallenged. Germany is the "engine room" of the eurozone.

Only recently, while much of Europe was mired in economic crisis, Germany was celebrating "Wirtschaftswunder", an economic miracle.

Read full article German economy: Eurozone star causing concern

Change comes to Brussels with Jean-Claude Juncker

  • 6 November 2014
  • From the section Europe
Jean-Claude Juncker speaking at his first press conference as new EU commission president
Jean-Claude Juncker has struck a much more combative tone than his predecessors

It is only day four of the new European Commission and Brussels crackles with expectation. The Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is blunt, abrasive and unafraid of a fight.

Compared with his predecessor he is unplugged. And the European press is revelling in the air of unpredictability.

Read full article Change comes to Brussels with Jean-Claude Juncker

EU migrants: Merkel v Cameron

  • 3 November 2014
  • From the section Europe
Angela Merkel and David Cameron at a NATO summit in September
Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany "won't meddle" with free movement in the EU

The suggestion that Angela Merkel would rather see Britain leave the EU than accede to changes to the EU's freedom of movement principle has raised political temperatures in the UK.

Firstly, within the political establishment in Berlin there is increasing frustration with the UK. They do not know what David Cameron wants and are increasingly sensitive to demands that appear to be endlessly changing.

Read full article EU migrants: Merkel v Cameron

UK caught up in new EU budget row

  • 24 October 2014
  • From the section Europe
Dutch PM Mark Rutte (2nd L), with Helle Thorning-Schmidt of Denmark (2nd R) and David Cameron
The UK is the biggest loser, while Dutch PM Mark Rutte (L facing) is also facing a large bill

About a week ago the UK learned that it would have to pay a surcharge of £1.7bn (€2.1bn) to the EU by 1 December.

It was described as a technical adjustment based on the fact that in recent years Britain's wealth has increased more than others.

Read full article UK caught up in new EU budget row

Tories in EU parliament split over Juncker's Commission

  • 22 October 2014
  • From the section Europe

In the European political calendar, today in Strasbourg warranted a big turnout.

The European Parliament voted to back a new Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker.

Read full article Tories in EU parliament split over Juncker's Commission

Europe's crisis that won't go away

  • 21 October 2014
  • From the section Europe
Protest by hospital and healthcare workers in Athens (2 Oct 2014)
Five years on, Greek anger at the bailout conditions of the EU and IMF continues to resonate in Athens

Exactly five years ago Europe awoke to its own crisis.

In October 2009 the incoming Greek government revealed that its budget deficit was not 6.7%, as publicly stated, but closer to 13%.

Read full article Europe's crisis that won't go away

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About Gavin

Gavin was special correspondent for BBC News before becoming Europe editor in 2009.

He covered the Obama campaign in 2008 and was embedded with US forces for the invasion of Iraq.

He has written two books including A Soul On Ice.

He has won an RTS, a BAFTA and a Broadcast award.

He has covered conflicts in Georgia, Lebanon and Zimbabwe and reported from New York after 9/11. He was in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and was in Berlin the night the wall fell.

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