Ep 182: Vaccine vexation — EU-UK deal — Previewing 2021
We look back on the big news of the holiday period and forward to the stories we expect to shape 2021 in another bumper podcast panel edition of EU Confidential.
POLITICO's Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz, Matt Karnitschnig, Sarah Wheaton and Charlie Cooper discuss an unusually newsy Christmas and New Year, including Europe's coronavirus vaccination travails, the trade deal between the EU and the U.K., and an investment pact between Brussels and Beijing that hasn't gone down well in Washington.
Then it's onto the year ahead. Among the questions we try to answer:
Who will take over from Angela Merkel as German chancellor? Armin Laschet, Friedrich Merz and Norbert Röttgen are running to lead her party — but could Bavarian premier Markus Söder or Health Minister Jens Spahn end up running the government?
Does Emmanuel Macron have a shot at succeeding Merkel as Europe's pre-eminent leader?
How will Brexit Britain fare as it moves to the center of the international stage, hosting a G7 summit and the COP26 climate conference?
Where will the Biden administration find common ground with the EU and the U.K. — and where might they differ?
We also have a few suggested New Year's resolutions for some European politicians.
Finally, we invite you to check out a brand new POLITICO podcast — Westminster Insider, hosted by U.K. Political Editor Jack Blanchard. In the pilot episode out on Friday, Jack explores how Western leaders struggling with the coronavirus pandemic are repeating the same old mistakes politicians have made for centuries.