French election preview — Orbán’s victory — Transparency International Ukraine

We preview this Sunday’s presidential vote in France, discuss the latest Western responses to Russia’s war in Ukraine and reflect on Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s reelection. Our special guest is Transparency International Ukraine’s Kateryna Ryzhenko.

POLITICO’s Elisa Braun in Paris joins Andrew Gray to set up the first round of the French presidential election. She explains the mood in the Macron camp, as the president tries to clinch reelection in the face of headwinds including a lackluster campaign, a strong showing by far-right leader Marine Le Pen and uproar over his government’s use of consulting firms to develop policies.

POLITICO’s Matthew Karnitschnig in Berlin looks at whether the West is moving closer to energy sanctions on Moscow after condemning Russian forces for war crimes over the killings of Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha.

And POLITICO’s Lili Bayer unpacks how Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his right-wing populist Fidesz party managed to clinch such a decisive victory in last Sunday’s election. Lili also explains the EU’s subsequent move to trigger a procedure that could cut funds to Hungary over concerns about the rule of law in the country.

Kateryna Ryzhenko, deputy secretary-general of the Ukraine branch of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International, tells us what she’s asking EU policymakers to do to help her country — now and after the war.

Programming note: Andrew Gray will host a live taping of EU Confidential on Twitter on Sunday at 10 p.m. CET with our team in France to break down the results of the first round of the French presidential election. We will also bring you a special edition of the podcast early Monday morning, so be sure to follow or subscribe to EU Confidential on your podcast app so you never miss an episode.

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