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EU Scream

Author: EU Scream

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European progressive politics podcast from Brussels
54 Episodes
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Can the European Union do more to hold back the kinds of malign forces that overran the US Capitol claiming to defend democracy? It's not an idle question. Democratic shortcomings in the European Union are regularly invoked by the far right to whip up nationalist sentiment. The effect has been to weaponise the European project against itself. Rather than a citizens' insurrection, what's foreseen in the EU is a period of deep and prolonged citizens' reflection. The Conference on the Future of Europe is a once-in-a-political-generation opportunity to make the EU more accountable, responsive and democratic. But ensuring the conference delivers results is an immense challenge. Professor Alberto Alemanno of HEC Paris is a leading voice on democratisation, and he takes up those issues and more. Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield is a Green member of the European Parliament from France who coordinates on rule of law in Hungary. She's also on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs that's been pushing to get the Conference underway. She's now concerned the conference may not happen at all.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Politicians mostly talk about shutting migrants out. That endangers migrants' lives and obscures an important truth: that Europe already relies on large numbers of migrants for farming and manufacturing. The reliance includes significant numbers of irregular migrants and refugees. But getting honest about this phenomenon has long been taboo for Europe's political class. Giulia Laganà of the Open Society European Policy Institute unpacks the issues against the backdrop of the EU's New Pact on Migration and Asylum. Giulia also addresses how improving labor conditions for migrants can help avoid the toxic discourse on migration and borders promoted by the far right.This episode of EU Scream is sponsored by Google. The pandemic has hit European small and medium sized businesses hard. That's why Google is offering free tools and training to help businesses in Europe grow. For more information go to g.co/growwithgoogleBeethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Brussels is increasingly expected to serve as the European Union's sheriff on rule of law. But its ability to enforce adherence to democratic norms and values remains weak. Mehreen Khan of the Financial Times talks about the EU's latest showdown with Poland and Hungary. She also discusses illiberal trends in France and her own brush with the country's newly restrictive climate for free expression. Politics expert Garvan Walshe talks about his latest pro-democracy project, a news site called article7.eu that's dedicated to tracking rule of law issues in Europe.This episode of EU Scream is sponsored by Google. The pandemic has hit European small and medium sized businesses hard. That's why Google is offering free tools and training to help businesses in Europe grow. For more information go to g.co/growwithgoogleBeethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Europe on a Power Trip

Europe on a Power Trip

2020-11-0938:00

Strategic autonomy has become the mantra for European Union officials. It started as a broadly French idea: that Europe needs sufficient military power to promote peace and security independent of the US. The idea has evolved to include power in trade and technology to enable Europe to avoid getting squeezed by China and America. Now with Joe Biden as US president-elect, the concept is again up for debate.Nathalie Tocci wrote the European Global Strategy that gave the concept of strategic autonomy its prominence. She says strategic autonomy should remain a guiding principle for Europe, even after Donald Trump leaves the White House. Another challenge for strategic autonomy comes from EU member states with liberal economic and internationalist outlooks. Financial Times Brussels reporter Mehreen Khan talks about the implications of strategic autonomy for Europe's free traders, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, and the durability of Europe's soft power credentials. This episode of EU Scream is sponsored by Google. The pandemic has hit European small and medium sized businesses hard. That's why Google is offering free tools and training to help businesses in Europe grow. For more information go to g.co/growwithgoogleBeethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Intersectionality is the concept that overlapping identities — disability, gender, race and sexual orientation for example — create forms of discrimination that can go unaddressed. But many European Union leaders are wary of the kind of identity politics that intersectionality implies. That resistance may be stiffening now that France is promoting traditional republican identities for its citizens so zealously. Emilia Roig is the founder and executive director of the Berlin-based Center for Intersectional Justice. Emilia discusses the transatlantic dimensions of intersectionality and outlines ways how Europe can apply the concept to enhance racial justice and equality. Katrin Langensiepen is a Green member of the European Parliament from Germany and the first female member to have a visible disability. Katrin sees intersectionality and inclusion as the latest stages in advances for civil rights made since the 1960s. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.This episode of EU Scream is sponsored by Google. The pandemic has hit European small and medium sized businesses hard. That's why Google is offering free tools and training to help businesses in Europe grow. For more information go to g.co/growwithgoogleSupport the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Bigots and far-right extremists are using online violence to try to silence feminists and LGBT people. It's a cowardly tactic since perpetrators don’t have to meet their targets. We hear stories from two Europeans on the receiving end: Irantzu Varela, a prominent feminist in Spain and host of the popular YouTube show El Tornillo; and Simeon Vasilev, the co-founder and chief executive of the GLAS Foundation, an organization promoting the acceptance of Gays and Lesbians in Bulgarian society. The scale of the problem is putting pressure on the EU to force platforms like Facebook and Twitter to do more to protect users. We get analysis from Asha Allen, a policy & campaigns officer at the European Women’s Lobby, and from Guillermo Beltrà, EU Digital Policy Lead at the Open Society European Policy Institute, which partnered with EU Scream in making this episode. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Ylva Johansson is done with drama queen discussions that portray migrants and refugees as an existential threat to Europe. Johansson is the European Commissioner for home affairs and she’d like to make migration a more normal issue. She’d also like to win the approval of all EU member states for a new proposal for a common asylum and migration policy — something her predecessors failed to do. But the real test for Johansson may be a personal one: how to hold fast to her deeply felt commitment to multiculturalism amid intense pressure to do even more to seal Europe’s external borders from newcomers. Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125, by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
The European Union has embarked on a push against racism amid protests following the killing of George Floyd. But important questions remain about whether some EU leaders and policies, and the bloc’s broadly federalist priorities, are the best choices for achieving that goal. Mehreen Khan, EU correspondent for the Financial Times, assesses the anti-racism credentials of the European Commission under the leadership of President Ursula von der Leyen. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Data & Dystopia

Data & Dystopia

2020-06-1632:12

Computing known as artificial intelligence sorts vast amounts of data — faces, our web browsing habits, even our gestures — into automated predictions used by companies and governments. The technology holds great promise for applications like diagnosing disease and preventing catastrophes. Yet it can exacerbate discrimination and inequality, and be used to erode democracy. Despite concerns about human rights and civil liberties, and about the activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir Technologies, European Union authorities are shaping a 21st-century industrial policy around artificial intelligence. That includes opening access to vast amounts of data — data from both the private and the public sectors — in the name of innovation and entrepreneurship. Critics warn that Europe could find itself in an untenable position, caught between upholding privacy ethics that have helped burnish its global reputation, and seeking to boost its competitiveness and security by promoting intrusive industries. We speak with four experts and legislators about how to keep A.I. safe for citizens: Samira Rafaela, a Dutch member of the European Parliament; Joanna Bryson, professor of Ethics and Technology at the Hertie School in Berlin; Sarah Chander, senior policy adviser for the European Digital Rights Association, EDRi; and Patrick Breyer, a member of the European Parliament who represents the German Pirates in alliance with the Greens. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Standing up to bullies was ingrained in Frans Timmermans from his schooldays. The Dutchman came to prominence six years ago as his country's foreign minister with an emotional speech at the United Nations. Russian-backed separatists had shot down Flight MH17 packed with Dutch nationals, and Timmermans channelled the sentiments of a shocked nation to the world. In his next job as first vice president of the European Commission, he squared off with right-wing populists like the U.K.’s Nigel Farage and with autocratically minded leaders in Hungary and Poland. Last year Timmermans, a member of the Dutch Labour Party, led a passionate and energetic campaign to become the president of the Commission. And for a week it seemed he would be appointed. But his tenaciousness had stirred too much bad blood with Budapest and Warsaw, and that opened the way for conservatives to coalesce around a Christian Democrat alternative, Ursula von der Leyen. Timmermans took a role overseeing the European Green Deal as one of the Commission’s three Executive Vice Presidents. To succeed he needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros that the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries and infrastructure. Timmermans starts off his first podcast interview with how songwriters from Jacques Brel to Bruce Springsteen have been a source of solace and inspiration for him. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Winning the Car Wars

Winning the Car Wars

2020-05-0540:16

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean cities are quieter, skies clearer, and breathing is easier. For many city dwellers the lack of cars tearing through their streets has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19. Now, as lockdowns ease, some cities are putting plans to keep cars out into hyperdrive. Those moves foretell the kind of Europe where living together more sustainably becomes the norm. But such an outcome is not inevitable. Pollution lobbies and the challenges facing mass transit systems are among factors that could hold back a green recovery in some cities, says Mark Watts who heads the influential C40 network of global megacities. Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for car-free urban space for years. In car-addicted Belgium, that goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach. We’re grateful to the European Cultural Foundation for supporting this episode as a contribution to its Europe Day celebration. Visit the foundation's Europe Day website for more to see, read and experience. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Angst Over Italexit

Angst Over Italexit

2020-04-2032:57

Italians were hit hardest when the coronavirus landed in Europe but the European Union was slow to help the country. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has apologised — twice. The contrition is better late than never, says Marco Zatterin, deputy editor of La Stampa newspaper in Turin. Even so, far-right anti-European forces have been able to exploit the procrastination to regain traction. That has renewed anxiety about an Italexit — a scenario where Italy falls out of the Eurozone and even the EU. Throughout the crisis, Zatterin, a former Brussels correspondent and an accomplished author, has led one of two teams at La Stampa that published the newspaper without interruption as the virus tore through Turin and the neighboring Lombardy region. The episode also features poems by Ben Ray whose volumes include What I heard on the Last Cassette Player in the World. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Magic Hour" by Three Chain Links is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks. Among those targeted by official smear campaigns is Blaž Zgaga, a best-selling author from Slovenia. To keep tabs on the abuses linked to Covid-19, press freedom organization Reporters sans frontières has created a service called Tracker 19. Head of the organization’s Brussels office Julie Majerczak warns that the ongoing assault on free expression is a profound threat to public health that's already cost lives. Director of the Bulgarian service for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Ivan Bedrov observes that showy donations by China make it even more of a struggle to report on the significant role the European Union can play in fighting the virus. The episode also features a poem by Ben Ray, whose volumes include What I heard on the Last Cassette Player in the World. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Magic Hour" by Three Chain Links is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Crisis Communications

Crisis Communications

2020-04-0530:17

Eric Mamer took over last year as chief spokesperson for the European Commission, an institution he’s served since mid-1990s. When journalists were barred from his press room in March because of coronavirus, the amiable Frenchman had to improvise. His challenge is to put a crisis to good use: by reaffirming the relevance of the Commission’s midday briefing even as member states stretch the rules his institution is meant to enforce to breaking point. Israel Butler is head of advocacy for Liberties, a Berlin-based civil liberties organisation. Butler describes how citizens and journalists can frame discussions about Covid-19 in ways that burnish the appeal of democratic freedoms, rather than detract from them. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Magic Hour" by Three Chain Links is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Věra Jourová is the Czech politician who is vice-president for values and transparency at the European Commission, the body that proposes and enforces laws across the European Union. She was listed among the 100 most influential people of 2019 by Time magazine for helping pass GDPR — rules protecting Europeans' personal data — in her prior role as Europe’s justice commissioner. The Covid-19 emergency has added urgency to her new job, which includes responsibility for upholding democracy in Europe and countering disinformation and misinformation. In a March 27 interview Jourová says Brussels will vet moves in Hungary to give Prime Minister Viktor Orbán scope to rule by decree; she urges Facebook and Google to push official health advice to WhatsApp and YouTube; and she pledges to help safeguard the rights of Europeans if their mobile devices are used to track movements and enforce quarantines. “We definitely will not go the Chinese or Israeli way, where the use of these technologies to trace the people goes beyond what we want to see in Europe,” says Jourová. “Even in emergency situations the data privacy rules should be respected,” she says. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Magic Hour" by Three Chain Links is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Concern is growing that emergency powers deployed to control the coronavirus pandemic are being used to erode democracy and civil rights. Joelle Grogan, a senior lecturer in law at Middlesex University London, describes the curbs on liberty that may be coming your way — and what can be done so such measures are proportionate and fair. Grogan also sounds the alarm about steps that could allow Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree in response to the outbreak. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Magic Hour" by Three Chain Links is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Michael Peel of the Financial Times unpicks the patterns underlying the authoritarian revival in Europe and worldwide. His recently published book, The Fabulists, explores how leaders menace democracy and human rights while claiming to be modernizers and saviors. It's an artfully written journalistic memoir from a decade of foreign correspondence. It's also a cautionary tale about how quickly countries catch the autocracy virus. Among Peel’s most conspicuous warnings: Europeans who think they are immune, are wrong. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0. "Fantasy in my Mind" by Alan Špiljak is licensed under CC by 4.0. Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
How are campaigners winning progressive victories in the age of bigots and bullies? Kajal Odedra is the UK director of Change.org, a global petition service that allows members of the public to mobilise support for issues they care about. She’s also the author of the 2019 book Do Something: Activism for Everyone. Andrew Stroehlein is the European Media Director for Human Rights Watch, an international non-governmental organisation that investigates and reports on abuses worldwide. His Twitter feed on human rights violations and campaigns for justice has more than 90,000 followers. Magid Magid is among the more than 70 UK members of the European Parliament who had to leave office because of Brexit. One of his final initiatives as an MEP was to gather nominations for Europe’s Biggest Bigot Awards — and Europe’s Biggest Bigot-Busters. Click to Magid’s site for the winners. Musician Wael Koudaih contributed his track “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for our episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Macron's Ugly Side

Macron's Ugly Side

2020-01-0732:25

For many people, Emmanuel Macron still represents the great hope for an open and liberal Europe. So what to make of the French president’s growing preoccupation with Islam, terror and security? Mehreen Khan of The Financial Times dissects Macron’s policies and his recent interview with The Economist. For more on Macron, we go to Majlinda Bregu, the Sarajevo-based secretary general of the Regional Cooperation Council. She criticises Macron’s decision to veto EU membership talks with North Macedonia and Albania. She also rebuts prejudices about Albania heard over dinner in Brussels. Others in this episode include co-President of the European Greens Philippe Lamberts; the Emperor Charlemagne; and European Commission Vice President Albert Kuñardocz. Kuñardocz, who was formerly responsible for inland waterways and catering, is active on Twitter. In fact, Twitter is the only place you’ll find him. The celebrated Lebanese musician Wael Koudaih kindly contributed his tracks “Baghdad” and “Thawra” to this episode. You’ll find more of his music under the name Rayess Bek. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
Far-right trolls often target women and minorities and seek to subvert the work of politicians, journalists and activists. But technology platforms and their supporters tend to resist the kinds of legislation that could help tame the trolls. Effective rules still could be years away. So how can we, as users, deal with this fantastically dark side of life online? Andrew Stroehlein, the European Media Director for Human Rights Watch, has returned to EU Scream with concrete advice on how to respond to troll attacks. David Babbs led the successful digital campaign group 38 Degrees, and so he also knows a thing or two about social media. These days Babbs is the lead consultant for an initiative called CUTI, or Clean up the Internet. The idea is to oblige platforms like Facebook and Twitter to give users ways to protect themselves from anonymous trolls and abusers. Full disclosure: CUTI is funded by the Laura Kinsella Foundation, which also has granted support to EU Scream.Support the show (https://euscream.com/donate/)
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Comments (1)

Wilma Eklund

Hey, I have been following this podcast since January, super good podcast! I am a member of the Swedish Socialdemocrats.

May 17th
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