EU Confidential


From Brussels and around the Continent — the top European politics podcast.

  • 34 minutes 22 seconds
    MEGA shift in the EU's balance of power

    Almost two weeks after the EU election, there is still a lot of political manoeuvring going on — both in Brussels and in national capitals.

    First, POLITICO's chief EU correspondent, Barbara Moens, recaps of the race for the top jobs after European leaders failed to reach a deal at their informal dinner in Brussels earlier this week.

    Then, we zoom in on the countries and leaders who until recently were calling the shots, but now seem weakened — and those who are trying to seize the new zeitgeist and claim more power than they've had in the past. 

    Host Sarah Wheaton and POLITICO's chief Europe correspondent in Berlin, Matthew Karnitschnig, discuss the precarious situation in which German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the parties in his governing coalition find themselves as a result of the EU vote.

    Later, we move to Poland and take a look at Donald Tusk and his increasingly dominant position among European leaders. Sarah is joined by Andrzej Bobiński, journalist and managing director of Polityka Insight in Warsaw, and Jan Cienski, POLITICO's senior political editor.

    And finally, Hungary's newly-unveiled slogan for its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU may be "Make Europe Great Again," but we here at EU Confidential are all about MAGA: Making Audio Great Again. So do keep sending your ideas and comments to [email protected].

    Further reading:

    EU leaders fail to agree on von der Leyen’s second term , by Barbara Moens, Jacopo Barigazzi and Stuart Lau

    Time runs out for Olaf Scholz, by Matthew Karnitschnig

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    21 June 2024, 2:00 am
  • 24 minutes 5 seconds
    Macron challenges French voters and spooks Brussels

    As the EU comes to terms with its new (sort of) political reality following last weekend's European Parliament election, France is already back in campaign mode — preparing for snap elections called unexpectedly by President Emmanuel Macron.

    The French president dissolved the National Assembly in response to the massive success of the far-right National Rally in the European election (and the poor showing of his own Renaissance party).

    Host Sarah Wheaton and her colleagues discuss Macron's shock decision and whether his gamble can pay off. She's joined by senior Paris correspondent Clea Caulcutt, politics reporter Victor Goury-Laffont, and POLITICO's editor-at-large Nick Vinocur. The team also looks at how the political earthquake in Paris is reverberating in Brussels and whether it will affect the ongoing race for the EU's top jobs.

    Further readings:

    Is Macron too toxic to win? by Clea Caulcutt, Victor Goury-Laffont, Sarah Paillou and Pauline de Saint Remy

    3 ways Macron’s election punt could go wrong by Victor Goury-Laffont

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    14 June 2024, 2:00 am
  • 39 minutes 4 seconds
    EU election results — Europe swings to the right

    As election result projections were revealed on Sunday evening, our EU Confidential team recorded a live episode with first reactions and analysis from our POLITICO newsroom.

    Host Sarah Wheaton and the team looked beyond the numbers and analyzed the direction the EU might take as a consequence of the vote. We also discussed French President Emmanuel Macron's shock decision to dissolve the parliament after the far-right National Rally won the popular vote.

    Our guests were POLITICO editor-in-chief Jamil Anderlini, data reporter and election expert Hanne Cokelaere, cybersecurity editor Laurens Cerulus, senior EU correspondent Barbara Moens and politics reporter Eddy Wax.

    You can also watch our Election Night Live event here.

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    10 June 2024, 2:01 am
  • 32 minutes 41 seconds
    What the EU election is actually about

    As voting gets underway throughout the EU, we check in on the polls and learn which stories are dominating the headlines in capitals around Europe.

    Host Sarah Wheaton discusses the latest polling numbers with our data reporter Hanne Cokelaere. Be sure to check out POLITICO's Poll of Polls for the latest insights.

    We also hear from colleagues around Europe who explain which stories are uppermost in voters' minds as they head to the ballot box.

    Aitor Hernández-Morales gives us a snapshot from Spain, where the vote is seen as a referendum on the government, and where a surprise diplomatic spat between Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Argentina's President Javier Milei could sway some voters.

    Charlie Duxbury in Sweden explains how a focus on migration is working for the far-right Sweden Democrats.

    Clea Caulcutt in France says it's all about President Emmanuel Macron and far-right National Rally leader Jordan Bardella.

    And Hans von der Burchard tells us how the war in Ukraine is polarizing Germany's governing coalition, and predicts how big a factor the recent killing of a German police officer could be for rival parties.

    Further reading:

    All politics is local: What the EU election is actually about in each country, by POLITICO

    Putin’s a bigger deal than EU election in Europe’s frontline states, by Charlie Duxbury and Bartosz Brzeziński

    Programming alert! We'll be doing a special video livestream taping of EU Confidential on Sunday from 8:30-9:15 p.m. Sign up to watch us on election night as the preliminary results are released, and then check your EU Confidential podcast feed on Monday morning for highlights of our election night analysis.

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    7 June 2024, 2:00 am
  • 33 minutes 29 seconds
    Key EU policies — how will they change after the vote?

    With just a week to go until the European election and the campaign in full gear, we're focusing on how the vote will impact key EU policies such as health, energy, climate, technology and defense.

    Will they be affected by the shake-up of the bloc's political landscape and the arrival of new MEPs and commissioners — or will continuity with the policy priorities of the last five years prevail? And what about the money to finance new and super costly defense ambitions and the green transition? Will the predicted surge of the far right affect these dynamics?

    To answer these questions, we bring you a special episode. It's a conversation that took place recently at an exclusive, invitation-only POLITICO event organized for our Pro Connect subscribers — usually under Chatham House rules. It's moderated by POLITICO's policy editor Joanna Roberts, and her guests were: POLITICO's technology and competition editor Aoife White, energy and climate editor Cory Bennett, health editor Helen Collis and Jan Cienski, our senior policy editor and an expert on mobility and defense.

    The event was part of our POLITICO Pro Connect "In Conversation with" series, which you can learn more about here.

    Finally, we'll be recording a special livestream edition of EU Confidential on Sunday, June 9 starting at 8:30 p.m. as the EU election results roll in. Register here to watch live!

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    31 May 2024, 2:00 am
  • 36 minutes 35 seconds
    EU election 101 — your questions answered

    This is your essential (and entertaining!) guide to the upcoming European election — everything you've wanted to know but been too afraid to ask.

    With the crucial vote just two weeks away, we reached out to you, our European and American listeners, on social media and collected the most pressing election-related questions. Both veterans of the Brussels bubble and political novices seem to be wondering about everything from: can you vote online to does it even matter?

    Host Sarah Wheaton and her panel of POLITICO's election experts delve into the nitty-gritty of voting and what happens next. Sarah's joined by politics reporter Eddy Wax, chief EU correspondent Barbara Moens and cybersecurity editor Laurens Cerulus.

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    24 May 2024, 2:00 am
  • 31 minutes 19 seconds
    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

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    17 May 2024, 2:00 am
  • 35 minutes 27 seconds
    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

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    10 May 2024, 2:00 am
  • 35 minutes 34 seconds
    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?

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    3 May 2024, 2:00 am
  • 33 minutes 11 seconds
    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

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    26 April 2024, 2:00 am
  • 37 minutes 6 seconds
    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

    Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

    19 April 2024, 2:03 am
  • More Episodes? Get the App
© MoonFM 2024. All rights reserved.