392 episodes

EU Confidential is a weekly European news and politics podcast published every Friday by POLITICO Europe. Each 30-minute episode features POLITICO’s analysis of the top stories driving EU politics, as well as notable guests shaping European policy and deep-dive stories from around the Continent. It’s hosted by Sarah Wheaton, POLITICO’s chief policy correspondent, who is joined by reporters from around Europe. Discover our show notes for EU Confidential here: https://www.politico.eu/eu-confidential-podcast/
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EU Confidential POLITICO Europe

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    • 4.4 • 87 Ratings

EU Confidential is a weekly European news and politics podcast published every Friday by POLITICO Europe. Each 30-minute episode features POLITICO’s analysis of the top stories driving EU politics, as well as notable guests shaping European policy and deep-dive stories from around the Continent. It’s hosted by Sarah Wheaton, POLITICO’s chief policy correspondent, who is joined by reporters from around Europe. Discover our show notes for EU Confidential here: https://www.politico.eu/eu-confidential-podcast/
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    European Parliament election 2024 — state of play

    European Parliament election 2024 — state of play

    With less than 100 days until the European Parliament election, we bring you the state of play. Also, we hear from Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili about her country's ambitions to join the EU.
    Host Sarah Wheaton assembles a panel of astute election watchers to break down the key issues and people shaping the discussions as campaigns get underway for the EU election in June: POLITICO's Parliament reporter Eddy Wax; Francesca Romana D'Antuono, co-president of Volt Europa; and Thomas Thaler, co-lead of APCO's EU election task force. And be sure to subscribe to POLITICO's weekly EU Election Playbook, authored by Eddy.
    Then later in the podcast, Berlin Playbook author Gordon Repinski sits down with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili to discuss her country's EU aspirations, domestic political tensions and persistent threats from neighboring Russia. You can sign up to receive POLITICO's new Berlin Playbook here.

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    • 34 min
    VDL 2.0 — How Europe and Ukraine have changed, two years into Russia's all-out war

    VDL 2.0 — How Europe and Ukraine have changed, two years into Russia's all-out war

    As we mark two years of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, we take stock of how the war has changed Europe's political landscape and identity — as well as life for Ukrainians under siege. Also, we look at Ursula von der Leyen's campaign to remain European Commission chief.
    Von der Leyen finally announced her intention this week to officially seek another term at the helm following the European Parliament election in June. Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by POLITICO's Hans von der Burchard about the not-so-surprising announcement and what we can expect from von der Leyen's campaign over the coming months. And as mentioned, Hans is part of POLITICO's new Berlin Playbook team — you can subscribe here.
    Then we turn our focus to Ukraine. Executive Producer Cristina Gonzalez sits down with renowned Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev at the recent Munich Security Conference to unpack how the war in Ukraine has fundamentally changed Europe.
    And finally, Sarah is joined by our reporter in Kyiv, Veronika Melkozerova, for a poignant personal account of how the war has impacted her and her fellow Ukrainian citizens. You can read Veronika's full story here: "Being Ukrainian in 2024: 'People look at me as if I'm terminally ill'".

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    • 39 min
    Europe responds to Donald Trump

    Europe responds to Donald Trump

    Donald Trump has again sent shockwaves across Europe with comments suggesting that he would encourage Russia to invade NATO countries that do not spend enough on defense.
    In this episode, we discuss reactions in European capitals. Host Sarah Wheaton and her colleagues — senior Paris correspondent Clea Caulcutt, chief Europe correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig and Stuart Lau who covers China and NATO — check whether Trump's criticism of NATO could effectively prompt EU leaders to enhance the bloc's defense capabilities. They also zoom into Budapest where an unexpected political scandal toppled two of Viktor Orbán's biggest loyalists.
    Later, to mark Valentine's Day, we also talk love. Our guest is Marjorie Libourel, a professional matchmaker based in Brussels. She discusses the challenges of dating and relationships in the Bubble, as well as making connections in an era of political polarization and changing gender roles.
    Further reading:
    "Brussels power couples 2024" by Sarah Wheaton and Eddy Wax
    "Donald Trump just did Europe a favor" by Matthew Karnitschnig
    "Hungary President Novak quits under pressure over sex-abuse pardon case" by Aitor Hernández-Morales and Stuart Lau

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    • 29 min
    Can the EU defend Ukraine (and itself)?

    Can the EU defend Ukraine (and itself)?

    Europe is waking up to the urgent need to strengthen its own defenses — especially as Donald Trump seems poised to capture the Republican nomination and possibly even the White House in November presidential elections.
    In this episode, host Sarah Wheaton is joined by Florence Gaub, director of research at the NATO Defence College in Rome and a futurist, along with Ivo Daalder, former U.S. ambassador to NATO and president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs (and a fellow podcaster: World Review with Ivo Daalder). They discuss the "Europeanization of NATO" and other tools that Europe has (or lacks) to support Ukraine and defend itself — with or without Washington.
    Later, some of POLITICO's in-house defense experts, Laura Kayali and Jan Cienski, discuss the brass-tacks realities of whether Europe can fend off a Russian attack on its own, and outline where it remains most vulnerable.
    Further reading:
    "Europe’s Trump challenge: Is it ready to fight Vladimir Putin alone?" by Laura Kayali
    "What another Trump presidency would mean for NATO" by Ivo Daalder

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    • 29 min
    Europe's angry farmers and EU funds for Ukraine (finally)

    Europe's angry farmers and EU funds for Ukraine (finally)

    As farmer protests continue around Europe, we unpack their various concerns and analyze their impact on the European election. We also take you to an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders in Brussels where crucial cash for Ukraine hung in the balance.
    Host Sarah Wheaton speaks to POLITICO's Parliament reporter Eddy Wax among the thousands of tractors and angry farmers in the heart of Brussels. Later in the episode, our in-house experts explain what's behind the farmers' uprising and what impact the protests could have on the EU's ambitious green agenda and the upcoming EU election. We're joined by Clea Caulcutt in Paris, Matthew Karnitschnig in Berlin, senior climate correspondent Karl Mathiesen, and agriculture reporter Bartosz Brzezinski. And we hear from a protesting farmer in France, who spoke to our colleague Victor Goury-Laffont about his top concerns.
    Also in the episode, we head across town to an extraordinary meeting of EU leaders. POLITICO's chief Brussels correspondent Barbara Moens and senior diplomatic correspondent Jacopo Barigazzi explain the successful outcome after weeks of intense negotiations on financial aid for Ukraine.

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    • 31 min
    'Rent is too damn high!' Europe’s growing housing crisis

    'Rent is too damn high!' Europe’s growing housing crisis

    In this episode we look at a crisis that is affecting many Europeans in most EU countries: skyrocketing rents and house prices, a shortage of flats, long waiting lists for social or affordable housing — commonplace problems from Greece to Luxembourg to Portugal. 
    Host Sarah Wheaton talks to POLITICO's Aitor Hernández-Morales and Sorcha Edwards, secretary general of Housing Europe, about the causes of the crisis, its impact across the bloc (including far-right parties using it as an election platform), and solutions at the EU level. Are there any, given that housing is not an EU competence?
    Then we hear from Dutch Green MEP Kim Van Sparrentak about housing challenges in her native Netherlands and her efforts to get the European Parliament and the Commission to get more involved in tackling the crisis. And Sarah speaks to Ans Persoons, secretary of state for the Brussels-Capital Region, who explains how the EU's defacto capital is struggling to keep up with affordable housing demands.
    And as mentioned in the show, here's where you can read the article written by our guest Aitor Hernández-Morales, together with colleagues Jacopo Barigazzi, Barbara Moens and Giovanna Coi: How do you stop the rise of the far right? Build houses.

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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
87 Ratings

87 Ratings

Nadia McS. ,

Excellent resource to stay in the know

I teach European politics and this is my number one resource to stay up-to-date and get expert analysis on political developments in Europe. The dynamic among the participants is great—a positive, entertaining tone.

M.H. 250 ,

No balance where is Karnitschnig?

I used to listen when they had Matthew Karnitschnig on but without him it’s dominated by left wing journalists and left wing guests.

John_F_ ,

Please Politico, could I have some more?

Excellent overview of recent happenings in Europe by the excellent Politico team headed by the wonderful Andrew Gray.

My only criticism is that some discussions seem a bit short.

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