POLITICO's EU Confidential

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

Russian oil sanctions — Stagflation fears — Crypto not dead

We hear exclusively from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on the chance of clinching a sixth package of EU sanctions, and from experts on Russia and the latest trends in the financial world.POLITICO's Sarah Wheaton is joined by Editor in Chief Jamil Anderlini, Playbook author Suzanne Lynch and Ryan Heath, editorial director of global growth. The team discusses the Tuesday's big speeches by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and von der Leyen, who spoke to Suzanne about after the chances of EU leaders agreeing on the latest package of proposed Russian sanctions during next week's summit in Brussels.With Russia's war in Ukraine top of mind, former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb shares his views on the wider impact of the conflict and the prospect of Finland joining NATO. Jamil also sat down with Bill Browder to discuss his new book, "Freezing Order: A True Story of Money Laundering, Murder, and Surviving Vladimir Putin's Wrath."There's also an interview with Karen Karniol-Tambour, co-chief investment officer for sustainability at Bridgewater Associates, about the challenges of tackling rising inflation and slowing economic growth.And billionaire David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group co-founder and co-chairman, tells Jamil that the big topic of the moment is whether the United States is heading into a recession and shares his views on cryptocurrencies.For more of our coverage of the World Economic Forum, check out our daily Davos Playbook.

Zelenskyy chides global elite — Trust troubles — Billionaire bonanza

This episode comes to you from the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland — featuring participants from business, government and the non-profit sectors.POLITICO's Sarah Wheaton is joined by Jamil Anderlini, Suzanne Lynch and Ryan Heath to explain what the WEF seeks to accomplish at a time of tremendous political and economic instability. They discuss Monday's much-anticipated speech by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and question why so few G20 leaders have shown up at this year's unusual spring-edition of the forum (the WEF is historically held in January when ski jackets and crampons are a must).Jamil brings us a conversation with Mykhailo Fedorov, vice prime minister of Ukraine and minister of digital transformation, about how technology is aiding his country's battle against Russia. And Julien Vaulpré, founding partner of PR firm Taddeo and ex-advisor to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, shares his impressions of what the WEF is really all about.We then hear from Richard Edelman, CEO of global communications firm Edelman, about his company's new Trust Barometer, which measures trust levels in government, businesses and the media throughout the world.Our final guest is Oxfam International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. She unpacks a brand new analysis on the growth of billionaires during the pandemic and the alarming trends in growing economic inequality.

Nordic NATO bids — Commission half-time report — Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly

Ep. 279
We unpack Sweden and Finland's historic bids to join NATO, provide a POLITICO half-time report on the European Commission's performance so far, and hear from Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly on relations with the EU and more.POLITICO's Andrew Gray is joined by Correspondent Charlie Duxbury in Stockholm, Senior NATO Reporter Lili Bayer and Chief Europe Correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig, who calls in from Warsaw. The team breaks down the strategic thinking behind Finland and Sweden's big shifts on NATO, the implications for the alliance, possible reactions from Russia and Turkey's tough talk on the membership applications.Lili brings us insight from Finland's Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Pekka Haavisto.We also take you inside a POLITICO newsroom-wide effort to assess how the European Commission has performed at the mid-point in its five-year term. Who's been a star player? Who's been relegated to the bench? Senior Policy Reporter Joshua Posaner has some of the answers and you can read the full report here.Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly is our special guest. On a visit to Brussels this week, she spoke with POLITICO's David M. Herszenhorn about Canada's efforts to help alleviate global food and energy problems caused by Russia's war in Ukraine and relations with the European Union. Joly also sheds light on the challenges she and others face in balancing political responsibility and personal life.

EU's Russian oil ban — Steinmeier snub saga — 21st-century disorder

Ep. 277
We unpack the EU plan to ban Russian oil and wonder why Germany is so hung up on Ukraine's refusal to let German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visit Kyiv. Our special guest is Cambridge Professor Helen Thompson, who explores the relationship between energy and politics.[2:10] POLITICO's Politics Editor Andrew Gray is joined by Senior Trade Correspondent Barbara Moens to discuss the European Commission's proposal for a sixth round of sanctions on Russia over the war in Ukraine. Barbara breaks down the faultlines within the EU over the headline measure, a ban on Russian oil imports, and looks ahead to what might be coming next on the sanctions front.[10:57] Chief Europe Correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig weighs in on the sanctions from Vienna. He also attempts to explain why German Chancellor Olaf Scholz can't seem to get over the snubbing of Steinmeier, who was declared unwelcome in Kyiv three weeks ago. And Matt gives us insight into his latest piece, "12 Germans who got played by Putin."[17:12] Our special guest is Helen Thompson, professor of political economy at the University of Cambridge and author of a new book, "Disorder: Hard Times in the 21st Century." In conversation with Matt, she discusses the historical reasons for Europe's dependence on Russian oil and gas — and explains why energy will continue to drive political turbulence for years to come, even if the EU can wean itself off supplies from Moscow.