The Europeans is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Katy Lee, a reporter in Paris, and Dominic Kraemer, an opera singer in Amsterdam. We talk about politics in Europe, but we also interview the artists, scientists, activists and chefs who are shaping this weird and wonderful continent.
We also never talk about Brexit. Because for goodness’ sake, we could all do with a break.
“This podcast is a miracle! Has everything I miss in German all-white-male-gravitas podcasts. A celebration of European diversity, committed to create optimistic vibes.” – Marian, Germany
Our music is by the ace composer Jim Barne. We love him.
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Countries all around Europe are dealing with the same dilemma: what to do with citizens who went to join ISIS. Tiny Kosovo is alone in opting to bring back a large group of its citizens when other countries are turning their backs. To find out why, Dominic talked to AJ Naddaff, who spent months researching why so many left Kosovo to fight, and the country’s humane response to bringing people back.
Over on the western edge of Europe Katy’s been chatting to the French writer Maxime Calligaro about why the Brussels bubble is a surprisingly great place to set a crime novel. Maxime and Katy also spoke at the Ancienne Belgique last week about how to make Europe less boring (you can watch it here). Thanks Liveurope for hosting!
Also this week: sheep, bears (you can read about the mystery here in El País) and an attempted coup.
We’ll be back next week for a special episode on how the European parliament works and why you should give a damn about the elections.
This week, a celebration of the quintessential Renaissance man: yes, it’s opera singer Dominic Kraemer with an interview about CHEMICAL ELEMENTS. We’re also marking the 500th deathday of some guy called Leonardo who was similarly talented in both the arts and sciences.
In Poland, the art world has gone bananas; in Spain, there’s life in socialism yet; and British chemist and YouTube sensation Martyn Poliakoff is here to explain why he wants to turn the periodic table upside down, literally.
In a week when we won a big prize, we want to say thanks more than ever for listening. Particularly huge thanks go to our Patreon supporters. If you want to throw a dollar or so into the tip jar, you can do so at patreon.com/europeanspodcast.
We’ve been featured in the very excellent European newsletter of the Italian newspaper Il Foglio, EUPorn, which promises to show off “the sexy side of Europe”. We approve.
Katy chatted on Twitter with Il Foglio’s Paola Peduzzi about our quest to make Europe feel less boring and faraway. You can check out the full conversation here.
We particularly liked this description of The Europeans: “The weekly podcast which gets you to Europe in half an hour, holds your hand so you don’t get lost, and leaves you with a smile.”
Grazie, Il Foglio!
Apparently pessimism works. After spending a not insignificant amount of last week’s episode lamenting the fact that we were almost definitely not going to win the Spinelli Prize, WE WENT AND BLOODY WON!!!
Katy was in Brussels to accept an uncommonly large certificate. Dominic watched the live feed from Amsterdam and may have teared up a bit.
Like so many podcasters, we’ve put untold hours of unpaid work into making this podcast since we launched in November 2017. What keeps us going is knowing that we’ve built an army of listeners all over Europe — and beyond — who love what we do.
The Spinelli Prize is an annual award for projects that increase understanding of the EU and help people get in touch with their European side. This year, it comes with a cheque for €25,000. We can scarcely believe it.
We’re planning on using this incredibly generous prize to make the show even bigger and better, and we’re so excited for what comes next. But first, a gin and tonic or two.
This week, European cultural greats past and present. We discuss the good, the bad and the Bauhaus with the American painter Henry Isaacs, who grew up surrounded by many of the key figures from the legendary German art school that marked its 100th birthday this month. And Katy chats to Kurt Oberbergh, artistic director of the Ancienne Belgique music venue, about new sounds, immigration and the return of Turkish psychedelia.
In Brussels? Come and see Katy at this great event at the Ancienne Belgique on May 7!
And finally, apologies for moaning in this episode about how we’re definitely not going to win the Spinelli Prize – WE WENT AND WON IT DIDN’T WE?!?! Apparently our pessimism did the trick. We are thrilled. Thank you all for listening and supporting this podcast that we love making!
This week a brilliant young journalist was shot dead in Northern Ireland, on the 21st anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement. The senseless death of Lyra McKee is a reminder of a conflict that most in the country have put behind them. Her friend, the writer Susan McKay, is here with a very moving tribute to a remarkable person.
Also this week: a rebellion in London, rising from the ashes in Paris, and the magnificent species that is the European honey bee.
No, European governments are not handing out ‘brothel vouchers’ to immigrants; and no, the EU is not trying to ban bendy cucumbers. Euro-myths are as old as the union itself, but with elections just around the corner, setting the record straight feels more important than ever. This week’s guest is on the frontlines of the fight against disinformation: Jules Darmanin, the coordinator of a new continent-wide band of fact-checkers.
Plus: Julian Assange, Swiss democracy, and the world’s greatest neighbours.
You can find the Fact Check EU website here in 11 beautiful languages.
That nice article about our former guest Flavia Kleiner that Dominic was talking about is here, and the Swiss podcast episode that Katy was raving about is available here.