POLITICO's EU Confidential


Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg — New German government — Luuk van Middelaar

Ep. 256
Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, France's Europe minister Clément Beaune and Dutch political theorist and author Luuk van Middelaar all feature in this episode. Plus, we dive into Germany's new government.POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig has the details on the coalition agreement struck this week between Germany's Social Democrats, Greens and liberals. Matt also brings us an exclusive interview with Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg about his plans for Europe’s first compulsory coronavirus vaccine law.Also this week, Rym Momtaz and Brussels Playbook co-author Jakob Hanke Vela spoke with Clément Beaune, France's secretary of state for European affairs. In the podcast, Beaune addresses how France will try to balance a presidential election in April with its presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins in January. He also responds to the latest fishing row between the U.K. and the EU. You can watch the full POLITICO Live interview here.We hear too from Luuk van Middelaar, the Dutch political theorist and former EU official who is also the author of an acclaimed series of books on the European Union. In conversation with POLITICO's Andrew Gray, van Middelaar walks us through the ups and downs of the EU's pandemic response, as described in his new book: "Pandemonium." He also addresses the growing tensions within the EU over the rule of law and democratic norms.And finally, back in January, we introduced you to Dutch documentary filmmaker Nadine van Loon, who was working on a film called "Notes from Brussels" — chronicling the struggles of people, particularly women, trying to thrive both personally and professionally in the so-called "EU bubble." After she appeared on the podcast, Nadine secured crowdfunding to finish the film, which will be showing at the Cinema Galeries in Brussels next month. You can find more details here.

COP26 catch-up — Tech boss John Collison — EU gets (even) funnier

Ep. 253
The COP26 climate talks, a top European tech entrepreneur and a return to the question of whether the EU is funny all feature in this week's episode.POLITICO's Karl Mathiesen joins Andrew Gray and the podcast panel from the press tent at COP26 in Glasgow with the latest insights into what is, and isn't, being accomplished. Also in Glasgow, POLITICO's Esther Webber gives us the lowdown on how Boris Johnson and his government are faring as the host and whether he's playing nice with Scottish leaders. And POLITICO's Matthew Karnitschnig in Berlin tells us how green the next German government could be.Then we move on to another big event taking place in Europe this week: Web Summit in Portugal. Ahead of the global tech gathering, POLITICO's Pieter Haeck sat down with one of Europe's most successful start-up founders, John Collison. The Irish native co-founded Stripe, an online payments platform, along with his brother, Patrick, a decade ago — and the company is now valued at $95 billion. He spoke to Pieter about the EU's start-up scene, how it differs from the United States and what he thinks policymakers can do to foster a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in Europe.Finally, we return to a super-serious issue we tackled on the podcast earlier in the year: Is the EU funny? POLITICO's Paul Dallison tells us about the birth of a new EU institution — a monthly Brussels comedy night called The Schuman Show — that came about partly as a result of that episode of EU Confidential.