Nordic NATO bids — Commission half-time report — Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly

We unpack Sweden and Finland’s historic bids to join NATO, provide a POLITICO half-time report on the European Commission’s performance so far, and hear from Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly on relations with the EU and more.

POLITICO’s Andrew Gray is joined by Correspondent Charlie Duxbury in Stockholm, Senior NATO Reporter Lili Bayer and Chief Europe Correspondent Matthew Karnitschnig, who calls in from Warsaw. The team breaks down the strategic thinking behind Finland and Sweden’s big shifts on NATO, the implications for the alliance, possible reactions from Russia and Turkey’s tough talk on the membership applications.

Lili brings us insight from Finland’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Pekka Haavisto.

We also take you inside a POLITICO newsroom-wide effort to assess how the European Commission has performed at the mid-point in its five-year term. Who’s been a star player? Who’s been relegated to the bench? Senior Policy Reporter Joshua Posaner has some of the answers and you can read the full report here.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly is our special guest. On a visit to Brussels this week, she spoke with POLITICO’s David M. Herszenhorn about Canada’s efforts to help alleviate global food and energy problems caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine and relations with the European Union. Joly also sheds light on the challenges she and others face in balancing political responsibility and personal life.