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POLITICO's EU Confidential

262 EpisodesProduced by POLITICO EuropeWebsite

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


Episode 34: Alexander Stubb — Spitzenkandidat — MEP of the Week

This week's special guest is Alexander Stubb, the former Finnish prime minister and ex-MEP who is now vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB). Stubb talks about how the bank will handle Brexit and how it will play an increasing role as the EU tries to do "more with less" in its next long-term budget.

The podcast panel discusses the Oxfam sex scandal, the controversial Spitzenkandidat system for picking the Commission president and the intriguing backstory of a notable MEP.

Highlights from the show:

Stubb on the EU budget after Brexit: "The basic idea is that you have to be realistic. That the EU budget is not going to grow, especially after Brexit, so then you're going to have to come up with different types of ideas of leveraging or getting more bang for the buck or for doing more with less."

Stubb on the impact of Brexit on the EIB: "We will have less money to invest as the U.K. leaves the EU... but then again we'll also have less population and we'll have less member states in the EU. At the end of the day, these things balance out, and you must remember the EIB is a rather flexible bank in the sense that during difficult times we are able to increase our firepower."

Will Stubb run for Commission or Council president? He’s open to it, but POLITICO’s Finnish sources suggest Stubb will not try to elbow his compatriot and party colleague Jyrki Katainen out of the way. "It's always a big hypothetical ... if someone was asking if I'll go back to national politics, the answer is no. But European politics is always an appealing affair to me,” Stubb says.

EU WTF — Oxfam sex scandal: The Brussels brains trust talks about the Oxfam sex scandal over the behavior of its staff in countries including Haiti and asks how the EU, as a major aid donor, will react.

EU Thumbs Up — One Brussels, One Vote: A group of Brussels residents has urged the Belgian government to change the law — and potentially the constitution — to allow more than 300,000 non-Belgian citizens to participate in regional elections.

Feud of the Week — Spitzenkandidat: The podcast panel debates the pros and cons of a feud that will last more than a week — and tries to outdo the Commission and the Council with some blue-sky thinking of its own on how to make the EU more democratic.

MEP of the Week: Panelist Ailbhe Finn did her homework on an MEP we picked out of our big box of parliamentarians two weeks ago — France's Marc Joulaud. She tells us why Joulaud was at the center of a recent big French political scandal.

Listen to the podcast to find out more — and discover our new MEP of the week, a former TV journalist.

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