Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg — New German government — Luuk van Middelaar

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Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg, France’s Europe minister Clément Beaune and Dutch political theorist and author Luuk van Middelaar all feature in this episode. Plus, we dive into Germany’s new government.

POLITICO’s Matthew Karnitschnig has the details on the coalition agreement struck this week between Germany’s Social Democrats, Greens and liberals. Matt also brings us an exclusive interview with Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg about his plans for Europe’s first compulsory coronavirus vaccine law.

Also this week, Rym Momtaz and Brussels Playbook co-author Jakob Hanke Vela spoke with Clément Beaune, France’s secretary of state for European affairs. In the podcast, Beaune addresses how France will try to balance a presidential election in April with its presidency of the Council of the EU, which begins in January. He also responds to the latest fishing row between the U.K. and the EU. You can watch the full POLITICO Live interview here.

We hear too from Luuk van Middelaar, the Dutch political theorist and former EU official who is also the author of an acclaimed series of books on the European Union. In conversation with POLITICO’s Andrew Gray, van Middelaar walks us through the ups and downs of the EU’s pandemic response, as described in his new book: “Pandemonium.” He also addresses the growing tensions within the EU over the rule of law and democratic norms.

And finally, back in January, we introduced you to Dutch documentary filmmaker Nadine van Loon, who was working on a film called “Notes from Brussels” — chronicling the struggles of people, particularly women, trying to thrive both personally and professionally in the so-called “EU bubble.” After she appeared on the podcast, Nadine secured crowdfunding to finish the film, which will be showing at the Cinema Galeries in Brussels next month. You can find more details here.

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