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

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.

Jonathan Hill is the UK's nominee for the job of EU Commissioner. The next President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has given him the portfolio overseeing financial markets and regulation.

In Brussels, Lord Hill's confirmation hearing is already being billed as political theatre, with the promise that he will get a rough ride with hostile questioning.

Parliamentary muscle

Firstly, as often, this hearing has much to do with power. The European Parliament is determined to underline its growing influence. It won a key battle when the candidate of the party which gained the most votes in the May European election ended up as Commission president.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Eurozone anxiety overshadows EU summit

  • 29 August 2014
  • From the section Europe
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk attends a parliamentary meeting in Warsaw, 29 August 2014
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is a front runner for the role of European Council president

In the midst of cascading international crises, Europe's leaders are set to meet for an unusual Saturday summit.

The meeting has long been in the diary and its agenda is to decide on two of the EU's top jobs.

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France and the shadow of the euro

  • 26 August 2014
  • From the section Europe
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech in the rain on the Ile de Sein, an island located near the Pointe-du-Raz, off the Brittany coast, on 25 August 2014.
Francois Hollande's popularity is the lowest for a French president in more than 50 years

President Francois Hollande has been overseeing the creation of his third cabinet in two years.

The resignation of his government on Monday was partly due to feuding, personal ambition, and the divisions between centre-left politicians and socialists.

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Europe: All change on Iraq

  • 21 August 2014
  • From the section Europe
Yazidi children in Angers in western France hold placards in support of their community in Iraq (20 August 2014)
France, home to Yazidi refugees and a large Kurdish community, is calling for an international conference

In just a few days in August everything changed. Or that is how it seems in Europe. The language of politics is different.

French President Francois Hollande said: "I believe the international situation is the worst we've seen since 2001" and the 9/11 attacks on New York.

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EU tackles crises in Iraq and Ukraine

  • 15 August 2014
  • From the section Europe
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, 14 Aug 14
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have prevented IS militants from reaching Irbil

EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels have broadly welcomed moves by some European countries to provide military material to the Kurds.

The agreement only recognised reality. The French are already supplying weapons.

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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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