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After a tumultuous week for the U.K. Labour Party, Jack Blanchard sits down with deputy leader Angela Rayner to discuss where the party goes from here. Rayner discusses the challenge the U.K. Labour Party faces in winning back its former heartlands, and explains the appeal of Boris Johnson to voters in the North of England. She also opens up about …
 
European leaders' cool reaction to a U.S. proposal to waive patents for coronavirus vaccines is up for debate this week. We also discuss big issues facing Facebook with the company's public affairs chief Nick Clegg, and get an alternative take on those hot topics from a media executive. The surprise U.S. proposal to waive intellectual property righ…
 
As the dust settles after the Hartlepool by-election, Jack Blanchard looks back at some of the great by-election contests of recent years — and ponders whether these quintessentially British political battles are always as significant as they seem. Lib Dem MP Sarah Olney recalls her famous Brexit-fuelled victory over Conservative Zac Goldsmith in R…
 
Is media freedom in Europe under threat? Is the Continent ready to open up as the coronavirus abates? And how much of a social union should the EU be? We tackle all of these questions in this week's episode. In the week of World Press Freedom Day, POLITICO's Lili Bayer lays out the EU countries that give cause for concern, according to Reporters Wi…
 
With the Scottish parliament election less than a week away, Jack Blanchard looks back at the history of the Scottish nationalist movement and explains how it shifted from a fringe pursuit to perhaps the majority view in Scotland. Former First Ministers Alex Salmond and Jack McConnell — who between them ran the Scottish government for more than 13 …
 
Recovery fund masterplans, a power struggle among EU presidents and a deep dive into next week's Scottish Parliament election all feature in this episode. Seeking approval for their share of the EU's €750 billion pandemic recovery package, governments are presenting spending and reform plans to the European Commission this week. POLITICO's Paola Ta…
 
The candidates vying to be Germany's next chancellor, Europe's Super League football flop and battles over people's personal data all feature in this week's episode. A resurgent Green party in Germany chose Annalena Baerbock as their candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor. POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig has everything you need to know ab…
 
POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig has been following this week's dramatic battle to become the conservative nominee to replace German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September's general election. Regardless of whether CDU leader Armin Laschet or CSU boss Markus Söder ultimately prevails, how much damage has the open warfare done to their chances at the p…
 
The big preoccupation for the Brussels bubble this week was a trip to Ankara by European Council President Charles Michel and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Michel took a chair next to Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdoğan while von der Leyen had to make do with a nearby sofa. POLITICO's Andrew Gray and Lili Bayer break down why "Sofagate" becam…
 
This special edition of the EU Confidential podcast reflects on the life and career of Stephen Brown, the POLITICO Europe editor in chief who died of a heart attack last month at the age of 57. Brown pursued an outstanding career as a foreign correspondent that took him from the tip of South America to the Arctic Circle. He then took a leap of fait…
 
POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschnig and Stuart Lau get you up to speed on recent rows between China and the European Union — alongside the United States and others — after the EU imposed sanctions on Chinese officials accused of running internment camps for hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs in the region of Xinjiang. Beijing hit…
 
POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschnig and Jakob Hanke Vela break down the Commission plan to give the EU more powers to stop vaccine exports — and point out a loophole that means even seized jabs may not end up in European arms. Matt brings us up to speed on spiraling mask procurement scandals and Merkel's plea for forgiveness ov…
 
Jack Blanchard heads back to Westminster on the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown to hear how the pandemic has changed British politics for good. Guests in this season's finale include Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg, who discusses the pros and cons of a more digital parliament, and opens up about his home life during lockdown. Lo…
 
As the European Commission proposes a digital certificate to allow for safe travel around the EU in the corona era, we debate how much that matters if enough Europeans aren't vaccinated. POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschnig and Annabelle Dickson discuss whether politics or science are behind recent decisions to suspend the Astra…
 
Jack Blanchard sits down with Rishi Sunak to discuss his whirlwind first year as U.K. Chancellor, and hear more about his Hindu faith, his fears for the future and his love of computer games. In a wide-ranging interview, Sunak reflects on the 13 months in which he was dramatically elevated to the second-biggest job in British politics as Chancellor…
 
Our Trans-Germany Express stops first in Stuttgart to speak with POLITICO's Laurenz Gehrke about Sunday's regional elections. Then we head to Düsseldorf, where Matthew Karnitschnig picks out national candidates and parties to keep your eye on. In Magdeburg, capital of the state of Saxony-Anhalt, we talk to climate reporter Kalina Oroschakoff about …
 
Jack speaks to Richard Wilson, Cabinet secretary under Tony Blair, about his years as Whitehall's top official, and his memories of crises including the 9/11 terror attacks. Suzanne Heywood, widow of the legendary Cabinet secretary Jeremy Heywood, reflects on her late husband's long career in government and considers the extent to which unelected o…
 
POLITICO's Sarah Wheaton joins podcast regulars Andrew Gray and Rym Momtaz to discuss the implications of an increasing number of EU countries shopping outside the bloc for their vaccines. Where's the solidarity when some are turning to Russia or China even though those jabs haven't been approved by European health authorities? We also break down t…
 
As Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, finalizes his speech ahead of next week's Budget, Jack Blanchard looks back at the pitfalls and disasters which have plagued Chancellors in years gone by. Former Treasury aide and official Ed Balls recalls his old boss Gordon Brown's 10p tax band fiasco. Philip Hammond's former media adviser Poppy Trowbr…
 
EU foreign ministers this week gave the go-ahead for sanctions on Russian officials in response to the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. POLITICO's David M. Herszenhorn, Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matthew Karnitschnig debate whether this will have any impact on Vladimir Putin. Citing concerns about new strains of the coronavirus, multip…
 
Jack Blanchard abandons Westminster for a week and explores the hidden costs of lockdown, by delving into the postbags of two MPs in different parts of the U.K. Tory MP Robert Halfon explains the struggles families face in his corner of Essex, and warns of rising domestic abuse during lockdown. And one of his constituents explains how abuse victims…
 
We discuss Italy's new prime minister, Mario Draghi, and explore how he will operate at home and on the European stage. Plus, we debate whether the EU is funny, with a talented comedic cast. POLITICO's Jacopo Barigazzi gives us the inside scoop on Draghi, the former European Central Bank president. Jacopo joins podcast regulars Andrew Gray, Rym Mom…
 
Jack sits down with Britain's top epidemiologist, Professor Neil Ferguson, to discuss how the next few months of the coronavirus pandemic are likely to pan out — and why things went so badly wrong last year. Professor Neil Ferguson, the man dubbed "Professor Lockdown" explains his "fervent hope" that Britain's astonishing vaccine successes mean lif…
 
We debate EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell's controversial trip to Moscow and hear from the foreign minister of a country that knows first-hand about Russian influence, Lithuania's Gabrielius Landsbergis. Borrell is under fire for standing by as Russian's foreign minister called the EU an “unreliable partner.” POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momta…
 
As Boris Johnson ponders how to woo the newly-elected President Joe Biden, Jack Blanchard looks back at how past prime ministers have tried to charm their counterparts in the White House — with varying degrees of success. Theresa May's former comms chief Katie Perrior reflects on the thankless task of trying to build a relationship with the erratic…
 
POLITICO trade reporter Jakob Hanke Vela talks us through how the Commission's export control scheme became more controversial as it evolved, culminating in a plan to override part of the Brexit deal meant to preserve peace on the island of Ireland. The Commission was swiftly forced to drop that element after uproar in Dublin, Belfast, London and B…
 
Jack hears from former Chancellor George Osborne about how these morning memos are devoured by senior politicians and newspaper editors alike; and from current and veteran authors including Esther Webber, Paul Waugh and Benedict Brogan about their daily struggle to get the email out on time. Former government special adviser Jamie Njoku-Goodwin dis…
 
POLITICO's Chief Policy Correspondent Sarah Wheaton joins Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matthew Karnitschnig to talk through an in-depth story she co-authored with health reporter Jillian Deutsch on the EU's race to procure coronavirus vaccines. The news that the EU won't be receiving nearly as many doses as expected in the early months of this year …
 
Joe Biden's inauguration may have been happening in America, but the eyes of Europe and the world were watching. POLITICO's Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschnig and David M. Herszenhorn discuss European reaction to the transition and debate the issues that will define this new chapter in transatlantic relations. Matt also has an update on the outcome o…
 
POLITICO's Andrew Gray and Matthew Karnitschnig set up the biggest political event in Europe this week — the election of the next leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Matt goes up against the clock to deliver potted profiles of all three candidates. He also predicts a surprise winner and explains how the contest fits into the race to suc…
 
It's striking how few political leaders across the Western world can claim to have handled the coronavirus pandemic especially well. Throughout large parts of Europe and the Americas, politicians have been caught on the hop, reacting slowly and clumsily to the unfolding disaster. In their defense, these leaders have typically blamed what they insis…
 
We look back on the big news of the holiday period and forward to the stories we expect to shape 2021 in another bumper podcast panel edition of EU Confidential. POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matt Karnitschnig, Sarah Wheaton and Charlie Cooper discuss an unusually newsy Christmas and New Year, including Europe's coronavirus vaccination travai…
 
It's a bumper end-of-year review edition! But don't worry if 2020 is the year you're already trying to forget — we want to reflect on key moments and themes, rather than relive the trauma. POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matt Karnitschnig take stock of the year that just wouldn't stop, while producer Cristina Gonzalez weaves in audio from th…
 
Westminster Insider is a weekly narrated story which lifts the curtain on how Westminster really works, and looks in-depth at political issues which typically only get broad-brush treatment in the wider media. In this new podcast, POLITICO’s Jack Blanchard meets with and shines a light on the politicians, experts and advisers who really drive decis…
 
In their final meeting of 2020, EU leaders made key decisions on the bloc's long-term budget and recovery fund, emissions targets, and foreign affairs. We delayed this week's episode to bring you a must-listen analysis of what happened and what it all means. We also have an interview with Spain's Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya. A top team o…
 
One year on from Ursula von der Leyen taking office as Commission president, we take stock of how she has performed. And Manfred Weber, leader of the largest group in the European Parliament, shares his thoughts on her first year in office. December 1 marked the one-year anniversary of Ursula von der Leyen taking over as president of the European C…
 
They like America's traditional allies! They talk about multilateralism! Some of them even speak French! U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's foreign policy team has drawn rave reviews in Europe. We debate how much the hype is justified. And we look at the intense lobbying around two cornerstone pieces of tech legislation to be presented in Brussels so…
 
Hungary and Poland's block on the EU's budget and recovery package and a Franco-German clash over European strategy autonomy are up for debate in this episode. And we take a deep dive into climate diplomacy, looking at some new pledges and the impact of the postponement of the COP26 conference. POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschn…
 
The prospect of a coronavirus vaccine, European reaction to Joe Biden's victory in the US presidential race and a breakthrough on the EU's €1.8 trillion budget — it's all up for debate in this episode, featuring renowned virus expert Peter Piot. With Joe Biden declared the winner of the U.S. presidential race but Donald Trump yet to concede, Europe…
 
In the final episode of our pop-up series on the US elections, we share the key takeaways, looking at what we heard over the past 3 months and how it explains where we ended up. We also look ahead to looming Senate runoff races in Georgia, with the balance of power in Washington at stake. Ryan Heath picks over the result of the U.S. elections and l…
 
In this special extended episode, we debate and dissect the U.S. presidential vote, looking at its implications for America, transatlantic ties and European politics. Even as the final outcome remains uncertain, the election has already told us plenty about America. It has exposed the extent of the country's polarization and made clear that Trumpis…
 
In this episode of our pop-up series on the US elections, hosted by Ryan Heath, we give you all the details you need to follow the big night like a seasoned DC insider — including what to look out for, where to keep a close eye on and what the polls are saying. POLITICO Intelligence Analyst Cornelius Hirsch and Cameron Easley, senior editor at data…
 
Trouble in French President Emmanuel Macron's inner circle, the European Commission's move to boost minimum wages, and the battle to lead the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development all feature in this episode. POLITICO's Rym Momtaz gives us the inside scoop from the halls of the Elysée Palace, where top foreign policy advisers face …
 
In this episode of our pop-up series on the U.S. elections, hosted by Ryan Heath, we dive into the top debate moments of this campaign season — and explain how they've impacted the election. POLITICO White House reporter Gabby Orr explains the dramatic impact the first presidential debate had on Trump's campaign strategy, and whether he did enough …
 
Political activity in a pandemic, transatlantic turbulence, the EU's farming future and what the hospitality industry wants from politicians to weather the coronavirus crisis are all up for debate in this episode of EU Confidential. POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matthew Karnitschnig ask whether politics as usual is possible in a pandemic, …
 
In this episode of our pop-up series on the U.S. elections, hosted by Ryan Heath, we explain what is happening in America's suburbs — a crucial voting block for Donald Trump in 2016 — and particularly, suburban women. POLITICO's Zack Stanton, who's been looking into the changing nature of America's suburbs, argues that the story of suburban women i…
 
The coronavirus is top of mind as we dig into the state of the pandemic in the EU, and ask whether leaders' handling of its resurgence threatens the bond of trust between governments and citizens. Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid is our special guest to discuss her bid to be the next secretary-general of the OECD and other topics. On the coronav…
 
In this episode of our pop-up series on the U.S. elections, hosted by Ryan Heath, we dive into the myriad of lawsuits and legal issues surrounding November's elections. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold explains how her state has successfully handled mail-in voting, and the additional challenges she's facing as a result of the pandemic and …
 
Rule of law in the EU, mounting coronavirus concerns and Brexit brinksmanship are all up for debate on the latest episode of EU Confidential. Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders is our special guest to discuss the Commission's new rule-of-law audit of all 27 member countries. POLITICO's Rym Momtaz, Matthew Karnitschnig and Barbara Moens break down…
 
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