This week, the increasingly worrying politics of a country with one of the most complicated governments in the world. We’re talking to the Bosnian journalist Aleksandar Brezar about troubles that go ignored all too often in Europe and wartime scars that have yet to heal. We’re also talking about European countries’ varying approaches to regulating what women do with their bodies, and a transatlantic romance that has stood the test of time.
Hands up if you’ve got a better idea of what’s happening in American politics than European politics, despite living on this side of the pond?
This week André Wilkens, the new director of the European Cultural Foundation, argues that Europeans need to get better at telling their own story — whether it’s in the form of a Hamilton-style hit musical or otherwise.
Also: scooter wars, holograms, and when the left gets tough on immigration. You can read Katy’s piece on the arrival of electric scooters in Paris last summer here in the Guardian, and see a holographic elephant here.
We’ve just elected a bunch of people to represent 500 million of us. But when it comes to the results of the European elections, most of us have been preoccupied with what happened in our own countries. This week we’re zooming out to take a look at the continent as a whole with Caroline de Gruyter, the Oslo-based Europe correspondent for the Dutch newspaper NRC.
Plus: Ibizagate, part 2; rural PR stunts; and the importance of correctly-spelled tweets.
Should machines have the power to decide whether a human on the battlefield lives or dies?
Ulrike Franke spends her days imagining the wars of the future. We chatted to her about ‘killer robots’ and rogue drones.
Plus: a far-right honey-trap and Germany in the age of the influencer.
Katy’s never voted in a European election before. This week she tries to make amends by figuring out, finally, what the European parliament is and what MEPs actually do.
The elections are May 23-26 depending on what country you’re in. Please vote!
This episode was made with support from the European Cultural Foundation. They support initiatives which rethink Europe as an open and democratic space.
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.
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.