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POLITICO's EU Confidential

Author: POLITICO Europe

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EU Confidential is a weekly European news and politics podcast published every Thursday 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 Suzanne Lynch, POLITICO’s chief Brussels correspondent, who is joined by reporters from around Europe. Discover our show notes for EU Confidential here:

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337 Episodes
All eyes are on Ukraine as the EU's top officials visit Kyiv for a historic summit — the first to be held in an active war zone. And Moldovan President Maia Sandu is our special guest.Host Suzanne Lynch is joined by POLITICO's Veronika Melkozerova in Kyiv and Matthew Karnitschnig in Berlin to discuss what we can expect from the visit by EU leaders to the Ukrainian capital — including whether sending Ukraine fighter jets is now part of the discussion and if Ukraine's prospects for joining the EU have advanced.Also looking to join the EU eventually is Moldova. Suzanne sat down with President Maia Sandu as her country prepares to host the next meeting of the European Political Community in June. They discuss what we can expect from that meeting, as well as her country's EU prospects, the impact of the war in Ukraine and her own political journey. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Our POLITICO team has the inside scoop on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's long-awaited decision to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and how it's landing internationally. Also, our special guest is Mairead McGuinness, the EU's financial services commissioner.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch is joined by Chief Europe Correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig and Hans von der Burchard, our senior politics reporter covering the German chancellery. They break down Scholz's decision to send tanks to Ukraine (along with the U.S. and others) and debate the reaction to it domestically and among international partners. The German chancellor stuck to his position that he would not move until Washington also agreed to send the heavy military kit, but what was the cost of the delay?Then, the EU's Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness joins Suzanne to talk through the EU's approach to enforcing Russian sanctions and how the bloc is leading the charge when it comes to regulating cryptocurrencies. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The EU Confidential crew takes you inside this week's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland where the world's rich and powerful are gathered.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch, Ryan Heath, Erin Banco and Alex Ward unpack the big speeches on Wednesday by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The team discusses the latest on international efforts to send tanks to Ukraine, and we hear from Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on this issue. Looking ahead to the reconstruction of Ukraine, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Odile Renaud-Basso shares her perspective on what we could expect.We also continue our reporting on the transatlantic tensions being hashed out on the sidelines of the WEF main stage — in particular, the green tech subsidy spat between the EU and U.S. Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar weighs in on this issue. If you haven't done so already, listen to our bonus episode from earlier in the week, which dove into this topic in great detail.And Agnès Callamard, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, shares her thoughts on whether countries with concerning human rights track records should be given a platform at the event.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
It's Thursday morning and today we bring you bumper editions from Davos with our final episode of the week landing later this evening.In this episode, POLITICO Europe's Editor-in-Chief Jamil Anderlini sits down with Academy Award-winning film director Oliver Stone to discuss his new documentary, "Nuclear." Jamil and Oliver are joined by Joshua Goldstein, author of the book which inspired the film, "A Bright Future." The live conversation took place at the Blockchain Hub, at the World Economic Forum in Davos.Then, we hear from the European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni. He explains to POLITICO's Jakob Hanke Vela that the EU needs to loosen the bloc's state aid rules to compete with American subsidies and make sure poorer EU countries aren't left behind in the green transition. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
It's Wednesday, and we're back with another episode from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch, Alex Ward and Jakob Hanke Vela reveal the on-the-ground EU-U.S. subsidy spat playing out here in Davos. We analyze European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's speech at the WEF, where she announced the EU's policy response to compete with Washington's subsidy spree. And Alex speaks to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, who played an instrumental role in passing America's Inflation Reduction Act, which Europeans see as creating competition for their own industries.Then POLITICO's Ryan Heath sits down with Gary Cohn, former director of America's National Economic Council and now vice chairman of IBM, to discuss the protectionism tensions between Europe and the United States and hear his surprising economic outlook for the coming year.Finally, Ryan heads over to the Female Quotient's Equality Lounge® to speak with its founder, Shelley Zalis. She's been helping to bring VIPs into the conversation outside the main WEF stage — even while speaking to this podcast, bringing fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and Alyse Nelson of the Vital Voices Global Partnership into her chat with Ryan. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
As the World Economic Forum gets underway, we dive into the stories everyone is talking about on the Magic Mountain.POLITICO's Jakob Hanke Vela sits down with PwC Global Chairman Bob Moritz to discuss the findings from their global CEO survey — most CEOs are more pessimistic than they've been in over a decade about the economic growth outlook in the next year.Then host Suzanne Lynch discusses the future of the World Economic Forum with POLITICO's Ryan Heath. He has spoken to dozens of people about the elusive plans for what happens when WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab, nearly 85 years young, is no longer in charge.Finally, we turn our focus to cryptocurrencies. POLITICO's Erin Banco speaks to Anthony Scaramucci about the crypto industry's efforts to build back trust. And we hear from Dante Disparte, chief strategy officer and head of global policy for Circle, about how companies like his view regulation of the industry. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
From Davos, Switzerland, the POLITICO crew unpacks the big global issues facing businesses, governments and international organizations as top leaders gather for this year's World Economic Forum.Host Suzanne Lynch is joined by Ryan Heath, Erin Banco and Alex Ward to debate which issues are likely to dominate over the coming days — everything from recession concerns to climate and crypto. The veterans on our crew also reveal their top tips for surviving the dizzying week atop the magic mountain.Then Ryan speaks to Richard Edelman, CEO of global public relations firm Edelman, about the latest findings from his company's annual Trust Barometer.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week, the EU Confidential crew travels to Stockholm to examine Sweden's domestic political challenges such as migration, crime and climate — and we dive into the country's priorities as it takes on the presidency of the Council of the EU.Host Suzanne Lynch meets POLITICO's Stockholm Correspondent Charlie Duxbury in the Swedish Parliament to discuss the country's latest election. It resulted in a conservative coalition government that relies, controversially, on support from the far-right Sweden Democrats to push through its policies.We dive into Sweden's challenges with migration, sitting down with Migration Minister Maria Malmer Stenergard as well as a leading voice in the opposition on this issue, Annika Hirvonen of the Green Party. And we hear from Tobias Lohse, CEO of Refugees Welcome Sweden, about the practicalities of integrating migrants into society.Charlie then takes us to a neighborhood that is struggling to address violent crime, to discuss how this issue is shaping political debate domestically. You can read more of Charlie's coverage of gang violence in Sweden here.Finally, we unpack Sweden’s priorities as it begins its presidency of the Council of the EU — charged with steering EU policies over the next six months. And we hear from Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
It's a bumper edition to start the new year as we look ahead to the big stories likely to dominate the EU's agenda in 2023.POLITICO's top policy reporters Barbara Moens, Mark Scott, Charlie Cooper and Karl Mathiesen join host Suzanne Lynch to break down the EU's biggest challenges this year when it comes to climate, technology, energy and trade. Then our Editor at Large Nick Vinocur explores the broader geopolitical outlook as Russia's war in Ukraine continues. At home, he predicts a heated political season leading up to the European Parliament elections in 2024.POLITICO's Chief Policy Correspondent Sarah Wheaton brings us up to speed on the latest developments in the Qatargate story, which continues to rock the European institutions. For more background, listen to this episode of EU Confidential from December.Finally, we introduce you to Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob. The energy executive-turned-politician sat down with POLITICO's Lili Bayer and Victor Jack after the last European Council in December to discuss a range of issues including energy, Qatargate and his own career. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Our final episode of 2022 is a bumper edition featuring the latest news and analysis of the Qatar corruption scandal centering around the European Parliament — and we look back on the incredible news year that was 2022.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch is joined by Sarah Wheaton, Barbara Moens and Ali Walker to unpack the who, what, when, and where of the corruption scandal linked to Qatar. There have been arrests in Belgium and Italy over the past days — notably nabbing European Parliament Vice President Eva Kaili for alleged corruption and money laundering. The team gives their analysis of the saga and reveals the fallout of this scandal in Brussels and beyond. Follow our continuing coverage of Qatargate here.Then Suzanne speaks with European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, who calls for tougher standards for EU ethics rules. You can also read the story here.Finally, we look back on the stories which defined 2022 with our Editor-in-Chief Jamil Anderlini and Senior France Correspondent Clea Caulcutt. Here are the stories mentioned in the episode.Leaked: The Altrnativ world of cybersurveillanceThe Turkish connection: How Erdoğan’s confidant helped Iran finance terrorPoland and Hungary: How a love affair turned toxicPutin’s useful German idiotsThe end of MacronismEuropean Parliament plots backroom deal to appoint top bureaucratPOLITICO 28 — Class of 2023Programming note: We are off for the holidays but back in your feed on January 5! Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week's episode comes to you from the Albanian capital of Tirana where EU leaders met with Western Balkan hopefuls. And we dive into the fascinating world of spies operating in Brussels.Host Suzanne Lynch brings us up to speed on the EU's latest efforts to woo Western Balkan countries that want to become members of the bloc at a first-of-its-kind summit in the region. EU officials are increasingly concerned about the influence of Russia and China in the countries on the bloc's doorstep. Then, British journalist and author Misha Glenny, who now serves as rector of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, weighs in with his analysis of why joining the EU remains challenging for countries in the region.Also, POLITICO's Barbara Moens shares insights into her recent reporting on the EU's spy problem. Despite Belgium upping its counterintelligence game, Brussels remains a spies' playground as the home of the EU institutions and NATO. Read the full story here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week, we debate simmering industrial tensions in the EU over a new U.S. law. We also get an update on the situation in Ukraine, including from Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and discuss Europe's future ahead of a big event in Brussels this Friday to consider citizen's suggestions for how to improve the EU.Host Suzanne Lynch is joined by Senior Trade Correspondent Barbara Moens and Editor at Large Nick Vinocur to debate rising EU concerns about a new U.S. law, the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides generous “Made in the U.S.A.” subsidies and threatens European competitiveness.Then, POLITICO's Lili Bayer traveled to Ukraine with a group of seven foreign ministers from the Baltic and Nordic regions. We hear from several of the ministers, as well as Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Olha Stefanishyna and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba about what Kyiv needs at this point in the war and how Europe can help.Finally, Suzanne sits down with Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica who explains how her institution has responded to suggestions put forth by citizens via the Conference on the Future of Europe. We also hear from Gabriele Bischoff, a German member of the European Parliament from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats, about how she hopes the EU institutions will respond to citizen concerns. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week, we debate how Europe is grappling with Twitter since Elon Musk took the helm. We hear from Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko and discuss a new book about the EU's "Superstate" status.Sarah Wheaton, author of POLITICO's EU Influence newsletter, hosts this episode. She's joined by Technology and Competition Editor Aoife White and Editor at Large Nick Vinocur to chew over the Brussels bubble's reliance on Twitter — as questions swirl about the social media platform's future. They also discuss how EU officials are grappling with legal questions surrounding Musk's recent decisions on personnel and content.Then, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko sits down with POLITICO's Jamie Dettmer to discuss how his city is preparing for the cold winter months ahead.Also, Sarah speaks with Alasdair Roberts, professor of public policy and author of a new book, "Superstates: Empires of the Twenty-First Century." He unpacks the challenges of governance faced by what he refers to as "Superstates" such as the European Union, as well as the United States, India and China. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
The annual gathering of G20 leaders in Bali, Indonesia was overshadowed by a deadly incident in Poland. A missile struck a village close to the border with Ukraine, killing two people. The origin of the missile was initially unclear, but it prompted crisis meetings among leaders and fears of military escalation. In this week's show, we analyze reactions in Europe and around the world.POLITICO's Jan Cienski joins host Suzanne Lynch in the studio with the latest information on what happened and the reaction from the Polish government and NATO. And from Lviv in Ukraine, Opinion Editor Jamie Dettmer dials in to tell us about the response from Kyiv and the impact the latest Russian assault on the country's energy infrastructure has had. China Correspondent Stuart Lau joins us from Bali to talk through the carefully calibrated responses from G20 leaders. We also discuss the three-hour meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the annual diplomatic jamboree — only the second foreign trip by the Chinese leader since the COVID pandemic.We also talk to Zsuzsanna Szelényi, a former political colleague turned harsh critic of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. She charts Orbán's journey from democratic hope to what she describes as increasing authoritarianism.  Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
On this week's episode, host Suzanne Lynch in Brussels speaks with Karl Mathiesen, POLITICO's senior climate correspondent, at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. And we discuss whether we are entering a new Cold War with historian and author Professor Mary Sarotte.Karl explains the goals of the ongoing U.N. climate diplomacy jamboree and the impact geopolitics is having on achieving global climate targets. We also hear exclusively from Alok Sharma, the U.K.'s COP26 president, about his role in climate policy over the years and what he sees as the biggest threats to climate progress.Our special guest is Professor Mary Sarotte, whose latest book "Not One Inch: America, Russia, and the Making of Post-Cold War Stalemate," explores the geopolitical tensions between NATO, Russia and the United States. The historian speaks with POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig in Berlin where she's currently based as a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
As Americans head to the polls next week, we dive into transatlantic relations and the impact these elections could have on European policy and relations with Washington.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch in Brussels and Ryan Heath in Washington break down the upcoming U.S. mid-term elections. They pick out the important races to watch and discuss how a shift in the balance of power in Congress could change the course of policies impacting Europe, particularly support for Ukraine. And senior trade correspondent Barbara Moens explains the current trade tensions between Brussels and Washington and how the two sides are trying to resolve these differences.Our special guest is Max Bergmann. He's currently the director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington and has previously held several positions within the U.S. State Department. In conversation with POLITICO's Sarah Wheaton, they discuss how Washington views Europe's defense capabilities and how the mid-term elections could impact transatlantic relations.Programming note: Suzanne and Ryan will be holding a Pro Briefing Call — which is exceptionally open for anyone to join — on the day after the vote. Join them on Wednesday, November 9 at 4 p.m. CET for a live exchange on what the mid-term results mean for U.S. allies and partners, in Europe and beyond. Register here. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discusses how the war in Ukraine has shaped the military alliance. We also dig into the EU's proposed law to protect media freedom and debate the controversy surrounding Germany's relationship with China.Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sits down with POLITICO's Lili Bayer at NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss how the war in Ukraine has shaped the alliance and European defense.Also in this episode, host Suzanne Lynch speaks to European Commissioner Věra Jourová about a new EU law aimed at guarding against media interference by governments and giving more protections to journalists. And they discuss ongoing tensions between Brussels and Warsaw over rule of law concerns in Poland.We also debate the EU's complicated relations with China, as POLITICO's Matt Karnitschnig explains the controversy surrounding an upcoming visit in early November by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week's episode comes to you from the heart of the European Quarter in Brussels, where the 27 EU leaders are meeting once again for a European Council.Host Suzanne Lynch and our POLITICO team, Hans von der Burchard and Clea Caulcutt, unpack what's at stake during these discussions, including the latest efforts to quell rising energy costs and address supply challenges as a result of the war in Ukraine.We'll also dive into the latest on what Europe is doing to support Ukraine militarily, financially and with Russian sanctions.And finally, the leaders will also hold a strategic discussion on China, and POLITICO's Stuart Lau explains where relations stand between Brussels and Beijing. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
In this episode, POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch breaks down the reaction to Russia's recent escalation in Ukraine with an update from NATO headquarters. We also dive into growing concerns about irregular migration into the European Union and get an update on the global food crisis.Vladimir Putin's recent nuclear threats and bombardment of civilian targets in Ukraine are forcing Western leaders to prepare for a grueling new phase of the war. POLITICO's Lili Bayer brings us NATO's reaction from a defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels.Then, Suzanne and POLITICO's Jacopo Barigazzi dive into the EU’s fresh refugee flow challenges. We hear from European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas about the concerning number of irregular migrants making their way to the EU through the Western Balkans. And EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson speaks to POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig about the security concerns regarding Russians coming into the bloc.And finally, we return to global food security and how the war in Ukraine is still impacting supply chains and driving up prices — adding to existing global struggles with climate change and energy problems. POLITICO's Eddy Wax sits down with Matthew Hollingworth, the World Food Programme's country director in Ukraine. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
This week's EU Confidential comes to you from Prague Castle, where leaders of the EU's 27 countries held a historic meeting with well over a dozen other nearby countries, including the United Kingdom, Turkey and Ukraine, among others.POLITICO's Suzanne Lynch and our team on the ground, Clea Caulcutt and Hans von der Burchard, bring you highlights from this inaugural meeting of the European Political Community. They debate the future aims of this multi-national grouping and what it means for Europe. We hear directly from European leaders from France, Finland, Ireland and more. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
Comments (6)

Alex De Marco

Us: not one mention of peace. In fact just more war. China now. Digusting

Jun 11th

Alex De Marco

"tension when you mention the obstention" was the best delivered line ever.

Apr 26th

Alex De Marco

It's absolutely insane that the propagandists here think it's a bad thing that Austria's PM met with Putin. Does diplomacy exist anymore? Are we just resigned to perpetual war with a major nuclear power? Do we want to be living in fear of bombs again? Even Kennedy talked to Kruschev during the missile crisis. Stop the war mongering.

Apr 15th

Midnight Rambler

anti Eu your FAR right! 😂

Jun 4th

Midnight Rambler

Lil clegg the censor chief

May 17th

Midnight Rambler

the joy of censorship

Mar 25th
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