Weekly podcast on the events, policies and ideas that will shape the world.
World in 30 minutes is curated by Mark Leonard, Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), and features top-level speakers from across the EU and beyond to debate and discuss Europe’s role in the world. It was awarded “Best podcasts on EU politics” by PolicyLab in 2019.
Member of the EuroPod network.
Belarus’s brutal politics
In 2020 Belarus made headlines when protests erupted in the aftermath of a fraught presidential election. Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled Belarus for over 26 years, still clings to power today and has unleashed a crackdown on the protests and protesters with a level of brutality unseen in Europe for decades. Vessela Tcherneva, ECFR deputy director takes over the podcast this week to examine the subject of Belarus further. How did we actually get here? And what kind of implications do the developments in Belarus have for the wider neighbourhood and Europe? Andrew Wilson, ECFR senior policy fellow, Nicu Popescu, director of the ECFR Wider Europe Programme as well as Pavel Slunkin, ECFR visiting fellow from Belarus, discuss these questions.
Further reading: https://ecfr.eu/topic/belarus/
This podcast was recorded on 3 March 2021.
•“Belarus – the last European dictatorship?” by Andrew Wilson
• “American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the marriage of money and power” by Andrea Bernstein
•“Atlas shrugged“ by Ayn Rand
• “The unwomanly face of war” by Svetlana Alexievich
• “Secondhand Time: The last of the Soviets” by Svetlana Alexievich
• “Pork Barrel Politics: How government spending determines elections in a polarized era” by Andrew Sidman
• “Renaissance diplomacy“ by Garrett Mattingly
• “The Ambassadors“ by Robert Cooper
A fair, green and digital recovery - brought to you by Portugal
On January 1, Portugal took over from Germany at the helm of the Council of the EU’s rotating presidency and the government set out three priorities for this presidency captured in its slogan “Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery”. What is needed for a fair and inclusive climate and digital transition? What will the biggest short-term challenges be? And how can the Portuguese presidency strengthen European strategic autonomy? Mark Leonard is joined by Claudia Azevedo, CEO, Sonae, Teresa Gouveia, ECFR Board Member and former Portuguese Minister of Environment and of Foreign Affairs, and finally, Carlos Moedas, former European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, to discuss the prospects of the ongoing Portuguese Council presidency.
This podcast was recorded on 24 February 2021.
"Crisis presidency: How Portuguese leadership can guide the EU into the post-covid era" by Susi Dennison & Lívia Franco: https://buff.ly/3mxp7cl
- “Where Portugal can lead Europe in 2021” by Teresa Gouveia: https://buff.ly/2LHuuca
- “Out of the south: Why Italy and Portugal should lead on climate change, health security, and multilateralism” by Teresa Coratella: https://buff.ly/2WC02BX
- “Edge of the Atlantic: Portugal’s presidency of the EU Council” by Lívia Franco: https://buff.ly/3r3wY44
- “A Superpower, Like It or Not: Why Americans Must Accept Their Global Role” in Foreign Affairs by Robert Kagan
- “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need” by Bill Gates
- “The world faces a pandemic of human rights abuses in the wake of Covid-19” by António Guterres
- “Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism” by Mariana Mazzucato
- “Think Again” by Adam Grant
Super Mario to the rescue
This week, former European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi was sworn in as the country’s prime minister and the head of a unity government and put an end to weeks of political turmoil. His cabinet is the third administration that Italy sees in less than three years. But how stable will this government be? What are the first challenges Draghi will face in his country and in Brussels? Will he be able to stand on equal footing with Macron and Merkel? Host Mark Leonard talks to Lia Quartapelle, Italian parliamentarian of Partito Democratico, Alessandro Speciale, Bloomberg Italia director, and head of ECFR’s Rome office Arturo Varvelli about what the Draghi government will mean for Italy and Europe.
This podcast was recorded on 17 February 2021.
• “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World” by Laura Spinney
• “The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories” by Susanna Clarke
• “Passé, présent et futur de Mario Draghi : la carrière politique d’un technician” by Alessandro Aresu & Andrea Garnero in Le Grand Continent
• “Mario Draghi l'artefice” by Jana Randow & Alessandro Speciale
Stranger in Moscow: Borrell’s unwelcome visit
This month, High Representative Josep Borrell visited Moscow to discuss key issues of concern and test the waters for building a more “constructive dialogue” between Russia and the European Union. His visit came at a time of elevated tensions, as calls for sanctions against the Russian Federation are increasing and both sides debate over the recent poisoning and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, as well as issues concerning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. What lessons can be drawn from Borrell’s controversial visit? Why do attempts to reset relations with Russia fail? In this week’s episode, Mark Leonard is joined by Kadri Liik, senior policy fellow at ECFR and Russian domestic and foreign policy expert, Nicu Popescu, Director of ECFR´s Wider Europe programme, and José Ignacio Torreblanca, head of ECFR's Madrid office to discuss Europe’s strategy vis-à-vis Russia.
This podcast was recorded on 10 February 2021.
- “Why attempts to reset relations with Russia fail” by Nicu Popescu: https://buff.ly/3rnwG7P
- “The Putin paradox: Five things Navalny’s arrest says about Russia” by Kadri Liik: https://buff.ly/3rcfJgh
- “In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents” by Anatoly Dobrynin
- “Barbarie de l'ignorance” by George Steiner and Antoine Spire
- “Rakovsky, Ou, La Révolution Dans Tous Les Pays” by Pierre Broué
The global impact of the European Green Deal
What are the key aspects of how the European Green Deal will change the world? Introduced by the new European Commission in 2019, the Green Deal’s goal is to decouple economic growth from resource use and to create an EU economy with zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. To reach that goal a fundamental overhaul of the European economy is needed. But this transformation will also have a dramatic effect on external economic relations and on foreign policy. This week host Mark Leonard invited ECFR Council Member and Member of the German Bundestag for Alliance 90/The Greens Franziska Brantner as well as Jean Pisani Ferry and Simone Tagliapietra from the Brussels-based think-tank Bruegel to discuss the geopolitical repercussions of the European Green Deal.
This podcast was recorded on 4 February 2021.
“The geopolitics of the European Green Deal” by Mark Leonard, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Jeremy Shapiro, Simone Tagliapietra, and Guntram Wolff: https://buff.ly/3cJHAjW
• “National power and the structure of foreign trade” by Albert O. Hirschman
•"21st century diplomacy: foreign policy is climate policy” by the Wilson Centre & adelphi
• "The new map: Energy, climate, and the clash of nations” by Daniel Yergin
• “Fighting the first wave: Why the coronavirus was tackled so differently across the globe” by Peter Baldwin
The future of EU-China-US relations
One of the foreign policy priorities of US president Joe Biden is to work with allies on China. His administration reached out to the European Union ahead of his inauguration to make US intentions clear. However, so far, they have only been met with disappointment over the alacrity with which European leaders pushed forward the agenda of the comprehensive agreement on investment before Biden was even sworn in as president. What are the prospects for transatlantic cooperation on China now that a new US administration is in power? Has it ended before it has begun, or will we see a new Western approach to dealing with China’s rising power? This week, our host Mark Leonard is joined by Janka Oertel, head of ECFR’s Asia programme and Andrew Small, senior transatlantic fellow with the Asia programme at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and associate senior policy fellow at ECFR, to discuss the future of EU-China-US relations.
This podcast was recorded on 28 January 2021.
- “Europe’s China deal: How not to work with the Biden administration” by Andrew Small: https://t.co/Po017TsXRo
- “The 1000-year-old boy” by Ross Welford
- “The quest for legitimacy in Chinese politics: A new interpretation” by Lanxin Xiang
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Interesting guests, topics and great host!
Interesting interviews and insights
Interesting interviews and insights.