The future of European politics

Mark Leonard welcomes the heads of ECFR’s national offices to discuss key players outside the traditional halls of European power

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A year ahead of the EU elections, commentators are already feverishly speculating about whether Ursula von der Leyen will stay on as president of the European Commission. Meanwhile, others lament the ongoing lethargy of the Franco-German motor. But focusing too much on these questions risks ignoring key players outside the traditional halls of European power, some of whom have been growing in influence. What can these countries and their domestic politics tell us about the future of the EU? 

In this episode – live from ECFR’s staff retreat in Porto – Mark Leonard welcomes the heads of ECFR’s national offices: Nacho Torreblanca, Arturo Varvelli, Vessela Tcherneva, and Piotr Buras. Has it become harder for the Polish government to attack the EU, given its pro-Ukraine policies? What is the status of coalition talks in Bulgaria? And how will Spain’s EU presidency shape the political agenda from July to December?  

This podcast was recorded on 10 May 2023.  


Cover image:
People carry a European flag during celebrations of Europe Day at the San Jaume square in Barcelona, Spain, 09 May 2023
Image by picture alliance / EPA | Quique Garcia

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