B2's life

Eight years later. The B2 team ready for a new adventure

(B2) The B2 team is now complete. We are moving from an operation with 1 or 2 people in Brussels to a more structured operation: 3 permanent employees between Paris and Brussels, 1 in Strasbourg. And other journalists should come and join us, 'field' reporters or specialists in defense affairs, in Paris or Berlin, to bring us their know-how and expertise. We are thus prepared to navigate the 2016 horizon. With something new since this Friday, our Diplomatic cafe…recorded, live, from the EEAS. A little first… for everyone.

Carry the iron

The time of the mono-journalist andoverblog seems a little far away. But the spirit remains unchanged. It's about digging into the information, not hesitating to rub salt in the wound, if necessary, but also not adding fuel to the fire for the sake of it. We are critical. But we also want to highlight Europe's real successes. There is! Despite the numerous, quite defeatist sirens that are being heard. And we will not hesitate to do so against all odds.

A media that made itself

B2 is not in the habit of awarding flowers to himself. But it's not every day that starting from scratch, without an ounce of subsidy, without a “big” media or an internet platform in support, that we can achieve a result. This could not have been successful without our loyal readers, those who joined the association, subscribed from the start, sent us signs of encouragement or useful comments, without the small administrative team which supports the ship. This undoubtedly shows that through patience, effort and work, we can create a European media that has an interest because it is in touch with its readership, and not floating on an idea...

Scoops and influence

Day after day, B2 builds what in other circles, we would call scoops. We therefore toured the capitals on the application of the mutual defense clause. This allowed us to affirm, with supporting evidence, that if the first response was notable, after a quarter, this clause was a semi-flop. We announced Dutch-German cooperation 24 hours before the Dutch minister announced it to her own assembly. For a non-Dutch-speaking media…, I would be tempted to say a little joke. Every day, we inform our readers in advance.

Decryption and pedagogy

But this is only a small part of our work. Above all, we want to decipher, precede, and also provide avenues to make this European policy more effective. Our online encyclopedia now has nearly 80 memo sheets and more than thirty current affairs files, which allow us to have a 'beautiful overview' of this European policy, to provide everyone, newbie and connoisseur alike, all the keys to understanding. And this will be further developed with the arrival of a 'little' new addition to the team, Lucas, in charge of all the 'pedagogical' tools.

Last but… the report

B2 was not designed just to decipher files or navigate the carpeted corridors of “Brussels”. We also like to explore the asphalt, the sand, or the mud, sharing with the European peacekeeping missions deployed in more than fifteen countries, their hopes, their difficulties, their frustrations and their successes. This allows us to move from theory to practice. We are thus one of the rare European media to cover external terrain. Hence the name Brussels 2 (or Brussels Bis which is the unofficial Brussels).

criticism and proposal

We are always keen to respect a certain balance: the preservation of our independence, the necessary expertise so as not to be 'wandered' (we have developed our own analytical instruments on piracy, on the CSDP, etc. allowing us to have a vision unpolluted by effects of com'). We also like to put our two cents where it hurts but also suggest possible solutions. A former senior European official recently told me how much he appreciated, during his functions, our spirit “ sometimes very critical but always positive ". Without doubt one of the greatest compliments for us. B2 is celebrating its eighth anniversary today and the adventure continues…


you want us support, it's here

Read also: 8 years ago: Creation of the “Brussels2” blog

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).