Issue 556 | February 2023

The February edition of The Parliament is now available to read online for free

Welcome to the newest edition of The Parliament, the first of 2023. The start of a new year always brings a renewed sense of hope for forming better habits and setting goals. Our resolution is simple: to unearth more fascinating stories in the Brussels bubble and from across Europe.

This month we go beyond the bloc’s borders to explore the European Union’s interactions with third countries. On the heels of the Qatar corruption scandal, Sean Craig reports on the challenge facing the European Parliament when it comes to increasing transparency around third-country lobbying activities.

Of course, diplomacy plays a significant role in the EU’s global aspirations. Laura Lamberti tagged along with the first cohort of the newly launched European Diplomatic Academy, part of the European External Action Service’s efforts to create a “truly European diplomatic corps”.

And as tensions between China and Taiwan continue to rise, James Baron explores the tightrope Germany is walking as it tries to balance diplomatic relations with the two countries.

In our opinion and analysis section, you will find arguments and reflections on the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, relations between the EU and the African Union, the EU’s increasing presence in the Indo-Pacific region and more.

For something a bit more diverting, we go behind the scenes of the LUX Audience Award, share Salvatore De Meo’s recipe for zavardella (a hearty vegetable soup that will keep you warm this winter) and recommend seven exhibitions in EU cities that highlight art from around the globe. May your new year be brimming with art, food and film.