402 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

    • News
    • 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/
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    How Russian disinformation could skew EU election — and whether Europe can fight it

    How Russian disinformation could skew EU election — and whether Europe can fight it

    Ursula von der Leyen made a promise this week: if she secures another term as president of the European Commission, she will prioritize beefing up the EU's defenses against malicious disinformation from Moscow.
    It's a top-of-agenda issue for many in Brussels and across the bloc, with less than a month until the European election and hostile actors using sophisticated tools such as generative AI.
    In this episode, host Sarah Wheaton and her guests unpack some of the latest examples of interference from the Kremlin, such as sharing AI-generated deepfake videos of politicians or cloning the voices of public figures to impersonate them. Sarah is joined by Mark Scott, POLITICO's chief technology correspondent, and Jakub Kalensky, deputy director of the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats in Helsinki. They also discuss what's behind Europe's modest successes in countering Russian disinformation campaigns.
    Further reading:
    Moldova fights to free itself from Russia’s AI-powered disinformation machine by Mark Scott
    Deepfakes, distrust and disinformation: Welcome to the AI election by Mark Scott
    Spot the deepfake: The AI tools undermining our own eyes and ears by Mark Scott

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    • 30 min
    Who votes for the European far right? And why?

    Who votes for the European far right? And why?

    As recent national elections in several European countries have shown, far-right voters no longer fit the stereotype of the angry, old white man, but now often include women, young people and even migrants.
    In this episode we unpack what drives voters to abandon the mainstream and more traditional party loyalties for the far right, and how poverty, or fear of it, motivates typical supporters of the AfD in Germany, Geert Wilder's PVV in the Netherlands, or Chega in Portugal.
    Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by POLITICO reporters Hanne Cokelaere, James Angelos and Aitor Hernandez-Morales, who were recently dispatched to countries where far-right parties are gaining ground ahead of June's European election.
    Later on we have a fascinating conversation with Catherine de Vries, professor of political science and dean of international affairs at Bocconi University in Milan. Her research focuses on how economic hardship and problems with public services such as schools, health care or transport can fuel the far right.
    Further reading:
    Germany’s far-right believers blame spy claims on ‘witch hunt’ by James Angelos
    Portugal’s far-right vaccine stops working in the Algarve by Victor Jack

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    • 35 min
    Debate time! EU lead candidates go head-to-head

    Debate time! EU lead candidates go head-to-head

    It was a rare chance to see all the leading candidates from Europe's main political parties go head-to-head in a presidential-style debate to become the next head of the European Commission.
    With just over a month to go until the European Parliament election, eight politicians met in the Dutch city of Maastricht and spent an hour and a half answering questions on key issues such as climate change, defense and European democracy.
    If you missed it, don't worry — we've picked out the key moments and some of the more heated exchanges. Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by colleagues POLITICO's editor at large Nicholas Vinocur and Barbara Moens, chief EU correspondent and co-moderator of the debate. They give us their take on who won, who lost, and how it all went down. Did anyone manage to impress a room full of university students and over a quarter of a million people watching the debate online?

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    • 35 min
    European Parliament in review — MEP unAwards 2024

    European Parliament in review — MEP unAwards 2024

    Since the 2019 election this European Parliament has had to deal with various challenges, from Brexit and Covid-19 to the war in Ukraine and scandals such as Qatargate. At the same time it has managed to legislate on key issues such as climate change, AI and migration.
    In this episode we look back at the highs and lows of the EU legislature's last five years.
    Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by a roundtable of POLITICO colleagues: data reporter Hanne Cokelaere; sustainability reporter Louise Guillot; editor at large Nicholas Vinocur; policy editor Joanna Roberts; and European Parliament correspondent Eddy Wax. They share their experiences from covering the Parliament and weigh in on which of the bloc's 705 MEPs deserve POLITICO's 2024 unAWARDs.  
    Further reading:
    "The MEP unAwards 2024," by Politico staff
    "MEPs to watch in the next EU Parliament (if they get elected)," by Politico staff
    "The European Parliament by the numbers," by Hanne Cokelaere

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    • 33 min
    Brussels buzzwords of the week: competitiveness and Bolshewokism

    Brussels buzzwords of the week: competitiveness and Bolshewokism

    In this episode we unpack the EU's new buzzword and the main point of discussion at this week's European Council summit: competitiveness. We also bring you another new buzzword from Brussels this week: Bolshewokism.
    Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by POLITICO's chief Brussels correspondent, Barbara Moens, to recap the leaders' summit and their attempt to make the bloc's economy more competitive with regards China and the United States. We also discuss former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta's newly released report on how to overhaul the EU's single market, and we hear from Letta himself, in conversation with POLITICO's own Giovanna Faggionato.
    Later, we have a fascinating discussion with Atlantic Council senior fellow and author Elisabeth Braw about her new book "Goodbye Globalization: The Return of a Divided World."
    And we end our episode explaining how the word "Bolshewokism" came to describe a National Conservatism Conference, featuring Nigel Farage and Viktor Orbán, which was upended by local Brussels mayors.
    Further Reading:
    "Time for a European single market ‘with teeth’ to take on China, India, leaders told," by Giovanna Faggionato and and Bjarke Smith-Meyer
    "A new inconvenient truth: Europe’s global plans all require money no one has," by By Karl Mathiesen, Barbara Moens, Giovanna Faggionato and Giorgio Leali
    "Europe’s hard-right bags big win after ‘own goal’ by Brussels mayors," by Eddy Wax

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    • 37 min
    EU election latest: Knives out for Ursula von der Leyen

    EU election latest: Knives out for Ursula von der Leyen

    With just weeks to go until the European Parliament election, we're bringing you the state of play.
    Host Sarah Wheaton is joined by Elisa Braun, POLITICO's Brussels correspondent, and Nicholas Vinocur, POLITICO's editor at large, to discuss the many political challenges facing EPP lead candidate Ursula von der Leyen: "Pfizergate," "Piepergate" and the internal rebellion by a group of fellow commissioners.
    Later, a panel of keen election watchers — Eddy Wax, who covers the European Parliament for POLITICO, technology reporter Clothilde Goujard and Matteo Albania, communications director at Must Consulting — gives us an update on the new rules for online campaigning (aimed at fighting disinformation and AI-generated deepfakes) and takes stock of the campaign so far.
    Further reading:
    EU political parties promise to steer clear of deepfakes ahead of election by Clothilde Goujard
    Europe wields new tech law to protect EU election by Clothilde Goujard
    Macron ‘loved’ me sniping at von der Leyen, says French commissioner by Elisa Braun and Eddy Wax
    Von der Leyen struggles to quell revolt over controversial business envoy pick by Giovanna Faggionato, Nicholas Vinocur and Julia Wacket 

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    • 34 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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