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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

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.

The extra payment will amount to about 20% of what the UK pays annually. As one official in Brussels conceded to me: "The politics are awful."

Under rules agreed by all member states, the European Commission assesses gross national income going back over a number of years.

Since 1995 Britain's economy has performed better than other countries, particularly in the service sector. The EU Commission also now includes a figure for what it estimates to be receipts from the black economy.

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

Eurozone split - Europe's central drama

  • 7 October 2014
  • From the section Europe
Worker at luxury shoemakers Tod in Italy
Tod's shoes in Italy: Exporters face tough conditions in the ailing eurozone

On Wednesday Europe's leaders will gather in Milan for their on-off-on-again summit on jobs and growth.

Expectations are low. The meeting is very much the idea of the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, wanting to demonstrate to a domestic audience that he is at the forefront of the struggle to cut Europe's unemployment numbers.

Read full article Eurozone split - Europe's central drama

UK's Lord Hill meets his EU critics

  • 1 October 2014
  • From the section Europe
Lord Hill at hearing, 1 Oct 14
Lord Hill managed to charm many MEPs and got some laughter

It was the confirmation hearing that people wanted to queue for. The expectation was that Lord Hill, the British politician appointed to be the European commissioner for financial regulation, would be verbally roughed up.

It never really happened. Jonathan Hill was quick to disarm his critics. He said several times that he was not in Brussels as a representative of the City of London. "I want to work," he stressed, "for the common European interest". He described himself as a "pragmatic, consensual European politician".

Read full article UK's Lord Hill meets his EU critics

EU hearings: The grilling of Lord Hill

  • 30 September 2014
  • From the section Europe
Lord Hill in House of Lords, file pic
Some MEPs want to probe Lord Hill's ties to the UK financial establishment

In the middle of the day on Wednesday a former leader of the House of Lords will face a three-hour grilling in the European Parliament.

It is fair to say that Lord Hill will never have endured such a detailed public questioning before.

Read full article EU hearings: The grilling of Lord Hill

Scotland's vote weighs on Europe

  • 15 September 2014
  • From the section Europe
Yes campaign supporter in Glasgow, 15 Sep 14
Glasgow: The Yes campaign has narrowed the gap with the pro-Union camp, polls suggest

Amongst the officials of Europe, Scotland is a topic they recoil from.

No one wishes to take a public stand which could influence the outcome of Thursday's referendum. It is a matter, they add, for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Read full article Scotland's vote weighs on Europe

Juncker's olive branch to Britain

  • 10 September 2014
  • From the section Europe

The UK got a top post in the new EU Commission and the one it particularly wanted.

Jonathan Hill will be the commissioner responsible for regulating Europe's financial services and the new rules for the banks. Although he will be acting in the "European" interest it means a Brit will have responsibility for the City of London.

Read full article Juncker's olive branch to Britain

Eyes on EU Commission's Juncker as he unveils team

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L) speaks with European Commission President elect Jean-Claude Juncker during a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels (30 August 2014)
From a British perspective the key question is what job the new Commission chief (R) gives Lord Hill

Some time this week a little-known British politician will be assigned a portfolio in Brussels.

To most people, preoccupied with the future of the United Kingdom, the appointment will attract little attention.

Read full article Eyes on EU Commission's Juncker as he unveils team

A peace project at a time of war

  • 2 September 2014
  • From the section Europe
An armed pro-Russian separatist stands next to an APC in the city of Donetsk
Europe is struggling to react to the emerging reality of "New Russia" in Ukraine

At last Saturday's summit in Brussels the EU's new foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said that, at heart, the European Union was a "peace project".

It is often defended with those words but now it is a "peace project" at a time of war. The known world is receding. And Europe is struggling to adjust to that new reality.

Read full article A peace project at a time of war

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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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