On Thursday evening (15 May), five contenders for the European Commission presidency faced each other in the ‘Eurovision Debate’ in Brussels. Review the debate and read up on the discussion as it happened, in our wrap-up below.
22-25 May’s European elections are the first to be held under the Lisbon Treaty, which grants the European Parliament the power to vote on the president of the EU executive, the European Commission.
Five European parties have nominated a campaign figurehead, or 'Spitzenkandidat', that serve as their candidate to head the EU executive. Putting such 'faces' on the pan-European campaigns is hoped to counter the decreasing voters’ turnout.
In the weeks before polls open on 22-25 May, the candidates face each other in a series of 'Presidential Debates'. These debates are broadcasted by national and European media.
- 28 April: 'First European Presidential Debate' at the Maastricht University, broadcasted by euronews
- 29 April: 'Big Crunch' radio debate on euranet, at the EU Parliament in Brussels
- 8 May: 'Duell' between Schulz and Juncker in Berlin, by ORF and ZDF
- 9 May: 'The State of the Union' full debate in Florence, broadcasted on RaiNews24
- 15 May: Date for a presidential debate in the EP in Brussels, organised by the EBU.
- 20 May: 'Die Wahlarena' debate between Schulz and Juncker in Hamburg, on ARD
- 22-25 May: Elections for the European Parliament in all 28 EU member states