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's troubles exposed by MH17 crash

Wreckage from Flight MH17 in a field in east Ukraine, 23 July
Wreckage from Flight MH17 in a field in east Ukraine

Ukraine exposes Europe. Its agony and tragedy casts an unrelenting gaze on Europe's leaders. When it comes to sending a convincing message to Russia there have been months of indecision, weakness and self-interest.

Even after the reported shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, Europe's foreign ministers struggled to convince. They described their decisions as "forceful" but it remains unclear how many names will be added to the list of those facing travel bans and a freeze of their assets. It is said they will include some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's cronies. We shall see.

The ministers opened up the possibility of imposing broader economic sanctions on the arms, energy and financial services sectors, but the EU was actually given a mandate to do this in March. To go further would require another European summit and unanimity would be hard to find.

The vacuum of decision-making is filled with finger-pointing. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said it would have been "unthinkable" for the British to have gone ahead with the sale of two warships to Russia as the French are doing.

Here in Paris the French papers are crying "hypocrites" and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was at his most withering when he said: "I say to my dear British friends, let's speak of finance. I'm led to believe there are quite a few oligarchs in London."

Read full article

MH17 plane crash: EU moment of decision

Debris at crash site, 20 Jul 14
The airliner disaster in Ukraine has fuelled Western fury over Russian support for the rebels

For months the EU has displayed extreme reluctance over tightening sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. It has preferred to take small steps - travel bans and asset freezes against individuals - rather than to go after the "inner circle"' around President Vladimir Putin.

And Europe's leaders have repeatedly shied away from what they call Level Three sanctions - going after sectors in the Russian economy.

Read full article

The real Jean-Claude Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker at a news conference in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, 15 July

In the end Jean-Claude Juncker's anointment as Europe's most powerful official came with moments of theatre.

When Mr Juncker made an impassioned defence of the euro - "the single currency didn't split Europe... it defends Europe" - there were howls of derision from the UKIP benches. Nigel Farage weighed in saying that "nobody knew him" and that his name had "appeared on no ballot paper".

Read full article

Europe's Mr President

Sometime on Tuesday morning Jean-Claude Juncker will become the most powerful official in Europe.

Almost certainly he will get the backing of more than 376 MEPs and so win approval from the European Parliament. In November he will take over as President of the European Commission.

Read full article

Europe: Big jobs and low growth

Portugal - Banco Espirito Santo cashpoint, file pic
Bad debts at Portugal's biggest bank sparked fresh eurozone jitters last week

This is a week which will decide some of the ins and outs - who will be the stars in the EU firmament.

It is a game played with some intensity. The nation states are all proposing names to be their EU commissioner - who gets what will tell us much about power and influence in Brussels over the next five years. And who becomes the President of the European Council and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. But more of that tomorrow.

Read full article

European Parliament: The power battles begin again

Soldiers of the Eurocorps hold the European flag during a ceremony in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, 30 June 2014
Despite the rise of the Eurosceptics, the European Parliament remains dominated by pro-EU parties

In Strasbourg on Tuesday the new and increasingly powerful European Parliament is meeting.

It will bristle with energy. There will be a parade of anti-establishment figures, many of whom want to shake the EU temple. Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, Beppe Grillo and others will stalk the corridors and attract the cameras like moths to a flame.

Read full article

Olive branches fail to disguise deep Juncker division

David Cameron, 27 June
Down on support. Leaders showed some sympathy but would not back David Cameron

David Cameron tried to make a virtue out of his failure to block the nomination of Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission president.

Even before Mr Cameron had made his impassioned pitch to Europe's leaders, his aides were portraying this as a battle in a much longer campaign for EU reform.

Read full article

Latest Tweets

More Correspondents

  • Andrew Harding, Africa correspondent Andrew Harding Africa correspondent

    Reports, updates and analysis from across Africa

  • Mark Mardell, North America editor Mark Mardell North America editor

    The big debates in US politics and life beyond Washington

  • Nick Robinson, Political editor Nick Robinson Political editor

    The latest on what’s going on in and around politics

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.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.