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Talking Europe

Politicians, activists and researchers debate the issues facing the EU and a 'guest of the week' offers their insight in a long-format interview that gets to the heart of the matter. Saturday at 1:15pm.

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Politicians, activists and researchers debate the issues facing the EU and a 'guest of the week' offers their insight in a long-format interview that gets to the heart of the matter. Saturday at 1:15pm.

Irish Foreign Minister Coveney sees 'opportunity for a fresh start' as Boris Johnson quits as UK PM

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Ireland's foreign minister has told France 24 that Dublin sees the United Kingdom's search for a new prime minister as "an opportunity for a fresh start" in the two countries' relations. This Friday, the European Commission launched new legal action against the government of Boris Johnson — this, as it pushes on with moves to unilaterally breach part of the Brexit treaty relating to Northern Ireland.

Jul 22 2022

12mins

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The right to choose: EU lawmakers vote to protect abortion right after Roe v Wade overturned in US

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The ruling by a majority of judges in the United States’ Supreme Court to overturn the right to a legal abortion across the entire country has also sent shockwaves through Europe.

In our programme we examine abortion rights around the EU and look at how the situation might evolve.

Jul 22 2022

12mins

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Talking Europe’s summer look back: European decision-makers and debates from 2021-22

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France 24’s Europe team invites you to look back on the most recent parliamentary season (which started in September 2021) and some of the key European decision-makers we’ve been scrutinising, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

Jul 15 2022

17mins

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'The problem is Brexit, not the Northern Ireland Protocol', says MEP David McAllister

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In a tumultuous week for British politics, European Union lawmakers are continuing to appeal for Westminster to resume post-Brexit talks. Leading German-British MEP David McAllister is chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, and closely involved in Brexit-related issues on the EU side. He told FRANCE 24 that he “very much regrets” moves by the British government under outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to unilaterally breach parts of the post-Brexit deal relating to Northern Ireland. “This protocol was mutually agreed and painstakingly negotiated over many months, and in the end ratified by both sides."

Jul 08 2022

12mins

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'We are going to have to make decisions to invest today', says Arancha González Laya

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Across Europe, people are being hit by increased food, fuel and electricity bills. Even before the war in Ukraine started, the price of energy was rising. European leaders insist they will not waver in their support to Ukraine. They admit that helping Kyiv will come at a cost to European consumers. But what sort of cost, and potentially for how long? Arancha Gonzalez Laya has had top jobs in the field of international trade at the European Commission, the World Trade Organization, and at the United Nations. She also served as Spain's foreign minister from 2020 to 2021, a period marked by a diplomatic crisis with Morocco. She is now the Dean of the school of politics and international studies at Sciences Po university in Paris – and the first woman to lead that school. She spoke to FRANCE 24 about the economic challenges facing Europe.

Jul 08 2022

11mins

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Au revoir, French presidency of the EU: A mixed bag of results for Macron

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France is handing over the baton of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the Czech Republic. It’s a rotating role that every EU member state holds in turn for six months – meaning that with 27 member states, it only comes around once every 13 and a half years.

Jul 01 2022

12mins

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Ringing the changes: Are citizens' proposals for the EU's future being heard?

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At the most recent EU leaders’ summit last week, much of the talk was focused on the future of the European Union, particularly its potential enlargement. Varying degrees of assurances on possible membership were given to Ukraine, Moldova and to a different degree, the Western Balkans states. EU leaders gave less attention to the future of the bloc as sketched out by citizens during a year-long process called the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Jul 01 2022

12mins

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'EU candidate status is a kind of anti-depressant pill': Albanian PM Edi Rama

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This week on Talking Europe we take a look at some of the other countries, aside from Ukraine, that are knocking on the EU's door to join the bloc. EU leaders held a summit on Thursday with the Western Balkan states to discuss their accession process. For Albania, that started back in 2008 and still hasn't advanced to the negotiations stage. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke to FRANCE 24’s Luke Brown on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans leaders' meeting in Brussels.

Jun 24 2022

12mins

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Russia sanctions vs recession risk in Europe: EU states look to stem rising inflation

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Since Russia invaded Ukraine four months ago, the cost of living crisis has become a global issue. Prices have gone up around the world. In Europe, the countries that use the euro saw an average of 8.1 percent inflation in May. Pressure on prices, combined with stuttering economic growth, has sparked fears of a recession. These concerns could still come into play regarding the EU's response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In this programme, we're joined by two MEPs to discuss how the EU should balance sanctions against Russia with the risk of recession.

Jun 24 2022

12mins

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EU 'working very hard' to export grain from Ukraine amid food crisis, ambassador says

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Amid a growing food crisis sparked by disrupted grain exports from Ukraine and Russia, the EU's ambassador to Ukraine Matti Maasikas told FRANCE 24 that exports by land more than doubled between April and May, from 600,000 tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes.

Jun 10 2022

12mins

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Putin 'will probably never stop' denying existence of Ukraine: Austrian FM

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Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg speaks to FRANCE 24 about the latest comments by the Russian president that his country needs to "take back" lands that were once claimed by Russia – saying that Vladimir Putin "will probably never stop" denying the existence of Ukraine.

Jun 10 2022

12mins

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Hungary's Russia oil embargo exception 'detrimental to security of Europe': Polish deputy FM

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In the week that EU leaders agreed on a sixth round of sanctions against Russia, Polish Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Pawel Jablonski speaks to FRANCE 24 about the effect he hopes the measures will have on the Russian economy, his disappointment at the Hungarian government's stance regarding sanctions and the latest developments in Poland's rule of law dispute with the European Commission.

Jun 03 2022

12mins

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Europe on the defensive: EU states move towards more military spending, co-operation

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"When there is war again on our continent, you cannot be neutral." Those were the words of Denmark's prime minister after her country voted by a two-thirds majority to end the Danish opt-out from EU defence and security policy. As Vladimir Putin continues his bloody war against Ukraine, Denmark is not alone in the European Union in making historic moves regarding European defence capacities. We take a closer look with three MEPs.

Jun 03 2022

12mins

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EU is at a 'watershed moment': Historian Luuk Van Middelaar

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This week's episode of Talking Europe takes a bird's-eye view of current events in Europe, with Luuk Van Middelaar, a Dutch historian and political theorist and a professor of EU law at Leiden University. Speaking to Armen Georgian, the historian addresses the EU's approach to the major crises of the past decade, as well as the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

May 27 2022

12mins

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EU digital wallet: Convenient for users, bad for privacy?

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Imagine using an EU-wide app to pay your bills, to access your local government services or to upload a medical file or a driving licence. You would log in with a unique, life-long ID number. To some, this might sound convenient – much like travelling smoothly across borders with a digital Covid-19 certificate. To others, it's the stuff of Orwellian nightmares – a step towards mass surveillance and control. Either way, plans for an EU digital identity are coalescing, with a "common toolbox" expected this September. We debate the issues at stake with two MEPs.

May 27 2022

12mins

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Finland's Europe minister appeals for 'swift' NATO membership amid security 'grey zone'

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Finland’s Europe minister has told FRANCE 24 her country is appealing to NATO members to "swiftly" accept Finland's application to join the military alliance. Tytti Tuppurainen acknowledged that her country is in a "security grey zone" and asserted that she is confident that opposition from Turkey can be overcome.

May 20 2022

12mins

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EU enlargement: What are the limits?

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The war in Ukraine has forced a major rethink of European security, with further enlargement of both NATO and the EU now on the table. Kyiv has asked for a fast-track procedure for EU membership. Moldova and Georgia have also applied. The EU has made it clear that Ukraine belongs to the European family. However, admitting several more nations would be highly challenging. And even before the war, the EU was already negotiating with candidate countries Albania, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. We discuss how far the EU should grow, and how fast that process should be, with two MEPs.

May 20 2022

12mins

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Hungary 'holding EU decision makers hostage' over Russia oil embargo: Lithuanian FM

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Hungary's government is "holding European Union decision makers hostage" by refusing to join an EU-wide embargo on Russian oil, according to Lithuania's foreign minister. This comes as EU leaders continue their efforts to gather support for a sixth sanctions package on Russia from all 27 EU member states. The government of PM Viktor Orban has claimed that an import ban on Russian oil would ruin the Hungarian economy. Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis tells FRANCE 24 that "Europe is weaker" as a result, and that he is "still hoping Budapest will be responsible in their decisions".

May 13 2022

11mins

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EU's Sefcovic 'appeals to UK to return to negotiations' over N. Ireland Protocol

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As the British government indicates it is preparing to deviate from the Northern Ireland Protocol – a key part of the Brexit deal – the European Commissioner overseeing EU-UK relations tells FRANCE 24 he is "appealing to the UK government to come back to the negotiating table". Maros Sefcovic spoke to our Europe editor Catherine Nicholson.

May 13 2022

12mins

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Latest Kyiv attack 'clear sign of disrespect for the UN': Germany's Franziska Brantner

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Germany has been in focus this week after lawmakers in the Bundestag on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a decision to send heavy weapons to Ukraine. Meanwhile, as Russia cut off gas supplies to EU member states Poland and Bulgaria over their refusal to pay for the fuel in roubles, Germany remains heavily reliant on Russian gas imports – more so than the EU average. We speak to Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry for Economy and Climate, Franziska Brantner, a German MP with the Green Party.

Apr 29 2022

12mins

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