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The Fifth Estate

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Elections Across Europe

In 2017, Europe is in a period of heightened uncertainty: the rise of populist politics, the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, the prospect of a weakened European Union and an increasingly assertive Russia on its doorstep.

French voters recently rejected both major parties to elect an unknown quantity in Emmanuel Macron, who has never before held elected office. The UK’s new Prime Minister Theresa May has made a virtue of being an ‘unclubbable’ Conservative, and she’s riding high in the lead-up to the June election on a manifesto of 'country and community'. What will happen when Germany goes to the polls in September? Angela Merkel's popularity has been waning since 2015, but 21st-century Europe has become hard to imagine without her steady, predictable presence.

Gone are the days of politics as usual. To discuss the state of play in the UK and Europe, Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by Mary Gearin and Georgina Downer.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Mary Gearin

Mary Gearin

Mary Gearin is the ABC’s National Sport Correspondent.

A former Europe Correspondent, based in the London bureau, Mary led the ABC's coverage of major breaking world news events, such as the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, the Germanwings disaster, Greece's 2015 elections and financial crisis, and the birth of Prince George. Mary also covered the Ukraine crisis, the 2013 papal elections and the Cyprus financial crisis. Her versatility and love of sport came to the fore as the face of the ABC's coverage of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Portrait of Georgina Downer

Georgina Downer

Georgina Downer is an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. Georgina has extensive experience in foreign policy, most recently as the Director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne. Previously, she was a diplomat at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, and occupied various positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.

The Fifth Estate

For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate. 

This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.

Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.

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