POLITICO's EU Confidential


European Parliament President Roberta Metsola — Macron on EU — Merkel's next gig

Ep. 262

Roberta Metsola, the new president of the European Parliament, is our special guest. We also unpack French President Emmanuel Macron's appearance in the European Parliament and share suggestions for Angela Merkel's next job.

POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matthew Karnitschnig analyze Macron's big speech and the subsequent debate with MEPs in Strasbourg, which turned into a domestic French political brawl. For a fun alternative take on Macron's speech, you can read this POLITICO piece on what the French president wouldn't say and why.

The podcast crew also discusses the latest developments in the Ukraine crisis and Macron's vision for European security. And after Angela Merkel turned down an offer to lead a U.N. advisory board on global public goods, we have other ideas for gigs that the former German chancellor might enjoy.

Our special guest is the newly-elected President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola. The Maltese MEP spoke to POLITICO's Maïa de La Baume just after the vote on Tuesday. Metsola talks about why she got into politics, how she addresses criticism of her anti-abortion views and what she hopes to achieve over the coming years. She also shares some book recommendations including this behind-the-scenes account of the Obama presidency, written by one of his long-time aides, and this audiobook on life and leadership from a renowned American statesman and four-star general.

The podcast crew also has some recommendations for your leisure time. Rym is pumped to recommend this athletic documentary series out of Texas. Matt is ready to rumble with a documentary about one of the world's greatest sporting showdowns, which was also the subject of some reporting by Andrew in a previous journalistic life. For his part, Andrew recommends this Aussie-based BBC drama series about a traveler who can't remember who he is.

Finally, as mentioned in the podcast, do be sure to check out our package on the European Parliament's mid-season report card.

More Episodes


Ukraine on EU membership path ⁠— Balkan backlash — Albanian PM

Ep. 284
Coming to you from the EU leaders' summit in the heart of Brussels, we discuss Ukraine's candidacy to join the club and the lack of progress for EU-hopefuls in the Western Balkans. We hear from Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Florence Gaub, foresight adviser to the Council of the European Union.This week's episode, hosted by POLITICO's David M. Herszenhorn, comes to you from the European Council where the EU's 27 heads of state and government decided to designate Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for EU membership.POLITICO's Lili Bayer, Giorgio Leali and Hans von der Burchard join David to unpack how the decision was made and where the discussion on EU accession goes from here. Giorgio also explains how French President Emmanuel Macron's gravitas around the Council table may have been diminished by his centrist alliance's disappointing showing in parliamentary elections last weekend. We also discuss how the French president's idea for a "European political community" is being received.Then, you'll hear from Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. He spoke to POLITICO's Louise Guillot in Tirana last week — sharing his downbeat view on why Albania's prospects for starting EU membership talks have stalled.After the break, we feature NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. He sat down with Lili Bayer on Wednesday for a POLITICO Live event, which you can watch here.And POLITICO's Matt Karnitschnig brings us a discussion with Florence Gaub, foresight adviser to the Council of the European Union. They discuss the war in Ukraine, how long it could last and what we can expect from NATO's historic meeting next week in Madrid.