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

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.

Yet on Friday, Germany's politicians will be watching with some anxiety as to whether the country slides into recession. The expectation is that it will just escape but economic growth will have been meagre, perhaps 0.1% in the third quarter.

For Germany there has been a cascade of bad news:

The A100 ring near Berlin (Nov 2014)
A fifth of Germany's motorways are said to be in a critical state of repair

All of that having been said, the German economy is the envy of most other eurozone countries. It has created 325,000 jobs this year and unemployment is low.

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

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

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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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