POLITICO's EU Confidential

Ep 189: Message to Moscow — Frontier fracas — Euro English

Episode Summary

Sanctions on Russia and trouble at the EU's internal borders are up for discussion this week, along with the question of whether the European Union and its citizens should embrace their own form of English now the Brits are gone.

Episode Notes

EU foreign ministers this week gave the go-ahead for sanctions on Russian officials in response to the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. POLITICO's David M. Herszenhorn, Andrew Gray, Rym Momtaz and Matthew Karnitschnig debate whether this will have any impact on Vladimir Putin.

Citing concerns about new strains of the coronavirus, multiple EU countries including Germany have imposed border restrictions, leading to big bottlenecks and tailbacks. Will Brussels get them to back down? And how much is domestic politics driving the new measures?

Our special guest is Marko Modiano, a professor of English at Gävle University in Sweden. He makes the case for the EU to define and embrace its own form of English — Euro English. We also hear from a former senior translator at the European Court of Auditors, Jeremy Gardner, who takes a different view on how English should be used in the EU and its institutions. And what about the chances of a French comeback? (Voici un spoiler: They're not good.)

The podcast panel returns with lockdown recommendations. Rym's attention has been captured by a fledgling superstar podcast. In keeping with this week's language theme, Matt suggests a classic documentary series from the U.S. And Andrew takes up a recommendation from a listener, who says this Brussels-based novel is a must-read.