THE WORLD IN 30 MINUTES WITH MARK LEONARD

Latest episodes

A triangle deal - How covid-19 is reshaping the global order and EU-China relations

Last year, the European Union published a strategic outlook in which it reviewed China as a partner, competitor and a strategic rival, creating a lively debate about the nature of the EU-China relations. However, this outlook was designed for a pre-corona world. How has covid-19 reshaped the EU-China relations? What changes to the global order will the pandemic bring? Who will be the main actors in the international arena? In this week’s podcast Mark Leonard welcomed Lanxin Xiang,…Listen to podcast

Xi Jinping and his delegation, during a meeting with the EU delegation, at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse - European Union, EC - Audiovisual Service - ©

“We are all in this together” - The coronavirus crisis as a collective emotional experience?

Emotions are an increasingly important part of contemporary politics. Strategies based on fear, nostalgia or hope are used by political leaders all over Europe to mobilize populations. Sociologist Karolina Wigura explored the role of emotions in times of corona in the latest episode of our ECFRQUARANTIMES series. In this week's podcast, this topic will be analysed further with a strong focus on the situation in Poland, the US and France. What are the dominant emotions in these countries?…Listen to podcast

Dan Gaken (cropped) - CC BY

Covid-19 as the first pandemic of globalisation

Epidemics like the coronavirus outbreak are a mirror for humanity. Mark Leonard talked in our ECFR QUARANTIMES session to Frank Snowden, Professor Emeritus of History and History of Medicine at Yale University, about how infectious diseases have shaped societies, inspired political reform, altered the outcome of wars, transformed religion, and entrenched racial and economic discrimination. What lessons can we draw from post pandemic's to prepare our politics, economies and societies for…Listen to podcast

The plague of Ashdod 1630 by Niccolò Possino

An energizing side-effect? How covid-19 could revive multilateralism

Recently, we have seen funding cuts to the WHO in the middle of the coronavirus crisis and national governments closing borders instead of calling for a G20 or G7 summit. On the positive side, we heard Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González in our ECFR Quarantimes session arguing that covid-19 could serve as a catalyst for multilateral solutions on global health. But do this week’s podcast guests agree? Mark Leonard is joined by Gunilla Carlsson, former Swedish Minister for…Listen to podcast

World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee - CC BY-ND

Stumbling into its moment of truth: the EU’s debate over its economic response to covid-19

“We are at a moment of truth, which is to decide whether the European Union is a political project or just a market project. I think it’s a political project… We need financial transfers and solidarity, if only so that Europe holds on”, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with the Financial Times. In yesterday’s virtual EU Council Meeting, the EU tried to rise to this challenge. But did it succeed? Host Mark Leonard is joined by Henrik Enderlein, President at the Hertie…Listen to podcast

EUCO Meeting 23 April 2020 (c) European Union - ©

App-solutely necessary? Technology as a way out of the coronavirus crisis

Word on the street seems to suggest that technology will be the way out of the coronavirus crisis and the lockdowns in many European countries. This seems to be confirmed by a multitude of projects such as the EU’s Pan-European Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing (PEPP-PT), whose the aim of which is to make it possible to interrupt new chains of infection with the coronavirus.Through apps and data sharing, we will be able to track the spread of the virus, those infected and those who…Listen to podcast

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As covid-19 arrives, Putin disappears – Russia in the age of corona.

How is Russia dealing with covid-19? What impact does the pandemic have on the other underlying political issues in Russia – such as the change of the constitution and Putin’s decision to essentially stay in power until 2036? Our ECFR experts also point out the strange absence of the Russian leader from the fight against corona – has covid-19 as well as the oil price crisis caused more turbulence and chaos in the country as he wants to admit? Host Mark Leonard, Gustav Gressel, Kadri Liik…Listen to podcast

Kremlin.ru - CC BY-SA

Bonding over coronabonds? How the financial question divides Europe

The EU members states have been caught up in a heated discussion on possible European ‘coronabonds’, a joint debt assistance by the Union to help those countries hit by the virus particularly hard. Soon enough, the discussion seemed to produce little of substance and rather to ignite previously existing divides between the member states in regard to a common fiscal policy and mutualisation of debt. In this unprecedent crisis, in which solidarity should be more than ever the Union’s…Listen to podcast

Christoph F. Siekermann (cropped) - CC BY

Geopolitics in the coronavirus era – who will be crowned winner?

Last week’s episode saw our experts dissecting the coronavirus’ implications for Europe. In today's episode, we’re breaking down how the crisis is unfolding in the rest of the world. From the Middle East to Russia and Asia, and all over across the Atlantic – what long-term effects could it have on these regions? And what does it mean for geopolitics, the global system and its institutions? Our Host Mark Leonard is joined by the ECFR heads of programme Julien Barnes-Dacey, Susi Dennison,…Listen to podcast

Coronavirus global (c) Mohamed Hassan

Corona Angst – How the virus puts the European Project and globalisation at risk

Recently declared a global pandemic, it is undeniable that the coronavirus will be a global political, social, financial and economic crisis - requiring actions that reach far beyond unilateral measures by single states. Within Europe, the virus seems to be calling into question the fundamentality of a shared European solidarity also due to rising dissatisfaction at the lack of a coordinated response. Whilst it is too early to tell, to what extent, it seems more and more certain that…Listen to podcast

European Parliament

Many elephants in the room: the EU and the Turkey, Syria, coronavirus and refugee crises

The European Union faces a multi-crisis situation at the moment. As the conflict in Idlib and the circumstances at the Greek-Turkish border has erupted, Europe seems to have troubles to respond to latest developments in the Syrian war and threats from Turkey. Host Mark Leonard is joined by ECFR co-chair and former Prime Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt as well as by the ECFR experts Asli Aydintasbas and Julien Barnes-Dacey to discuss the reasoning behind Ankara’s recent moves and the EU’s…Listen to podcast

European Union And Turkey / Vera Kratochvil

The EU as regulatory superpower: can EU law be a geopolitical tool?

This week’s podcast episode sees very special participation from Anu Bradford, law professor at Columbia and author of “The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World”. Bradford’s book focuses on the way the EU manages to continuously set standards and have a say in the global playing field by unilaterally regulating its powerful single market, and consequentially reinforcing its status as a global powerhouse. Joined by our usual Host Mark Leonard and Head of ECFR Berlin…Listen to podcast

Amio Cajander (cropped) - CC BY-SA

You better bring a book – the start of the EU’s lengthy budget talks

Negotiations over the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021 – 2027 just have started. But as tensions and divergences between the EU member states are rising, a final agreement seems considerably far away for now. The European Union is subject to a series of unprecedented constraints, the most significant one being the UK’s departure and the withdrawal of the money it once granted. Still, the implications of the budget allocation are manifold and extremely far-reaching. It will…Listen to podcast

President Michel meets MFF Contact Group of the EU Parliament (c) European Union

Feeling the Westlessness at the Munich Security Conference 2020

The annual Munich Security Conference was themed "Westlessness", defining “a widespread feeling of uneasiness and restlessness in the face of increasing uncertainty about the enduring purpose of the West”. Is the West becoming less relevant in global affairs? Are the West’s international partnerships endangered? And if so, what will the world look like in the future? Our Director Mark Leonard is joined by an all-star ECFR cast including Janka Oertel, Ulrike Franke, Ellie Geranmayeh and…Listen to podcast

MSC / Kuhlmann - ©

Trump’s “Deal of the Century” debunked: is there something in it for Palestine at all?

When US-President Donal Trump revealed his much-awaited plan for peace for Israel and Palestine it was set to solve one of the world's longest-running conflict. But this “deal of the century” was not met with the same enthusiasm in Palestine as it was seen on Trump’s and Netanyahu’s faces – to say the least. Host Mark Leonard and our MENA experts Hugh Lovatt and René Wildangel are analysing in depth the “Peace Plan” and show how little there is actually in it for the Palestinians. “The…Listen to podcast

Trump annouces his Peace Plan - ©

To Huawei or not to Huawei?

Last week the European Commission published its EU Toolbox on 5G Cyber Security, with the aim of aiding the member states in evaluating the risks associated with future usage of 5G infrastructure and networks. This was a step forward given the polarising debate surrounding the role of Chinese telecommunications firms like Huawei and ZTE within a future 5G network in Europe. The decision, however, will ultimately be a national one taken by individual member states. Our Director Mark…Listen to podcast

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Reshuffling Russia's leadership - old wines in new bottles?

It came as a surprise when Russia’s government resigned just hours after Putin’s announced his plans for a possible referendum of constitutional changes. Host Mark Leonard is joined by Kadri Liik and Gustav Gressel to elaborate on the recent political changes that have happened in the world’ largest country over the course of just the past weeks. What role will Putin play in the future in Russia and on the global stage? Is there a change to recent the relationship between the EU and…Listen to podcast

Putin and Mishutin (c) government.ru - ©

The Berlin Libya Conference: a moment to shine for European foreign policy?

Anthony Dworkin stands in for our usual host, Mark Leonard, to de-brief the Berlin Conference on Libya. Together with the ECFR’s experts Asli Aydıntaşbaş, Tarek Megerisi and Arturo Varvelli, he discusses Europe’s attempt to get back in the game in Libya after the country has been torn apart by many foreign forces and players. They evaluate the conference’s turnout and analyse the final agreements – while also looking at another question: what does this all say about European foreign…Listen to podcast

Libya talks in Berlin (c) Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung / en.kremlin.ru (cropped) - CC BY

Can Europe catch up in the digitalisation and innovation race?

During the Munich Strategy Forum 2019, host Mark Leonard sat down Toomas Ilves, the former president of Estonia aka the first smart country and “digital nation” in the world. What could we learn from this small EU member state when it comes to digitalisation? How did the digital revolution change foreign relations and international relations? And what role does Europe play it in? Frankly, does it play any role at all? Toomas Ilves points out how the lack of a common digital market puts…Listen to podcast

Man looking at Hologram 8C) Ashwin Vaswani - ©

Multilateralism is dead – long live multilateralism!

Today, 100 years ago, the Versailles Contract went into effect which established the League of the Nations and laid the foundations for multilateralism. In 2019, Germany and France launched the Alliance for Multilateralism aiming at showing that countries still "support multilateralism and support the United Nations (to) remain the majority in the world," as French Foreign Minister Le Drian said. Planning to establish a network of countries ready to join forces and efforts on inequality…Listen to podcast

Security Council (cropped) - CC BY