All five candidates for the European Commission Presidency have confirmed their participation in the Eurovision Debate, which will air live on primetime TV in around 30 countries on 15 May.
Starting at 2100 CET, the Eurovision Debate will be broadcast from the hemicycle of the European Parliament, in Brussels, a week before millions of European voters go to the polls.
In the build-up to the elections, the candidates have taken part in a number of different debates. But this is the first time all five would-be European Commission Presidents will compete at the heart of European politics to assert their views on the European Union’s future.
An unprecedented broadcasting milestone, it will also be the first time a European political debate of this scale will be beamed live across the continent and beyond by multiple national broadcasters.
"EU policies have a real impact on over half a billion Europeans, yet they can still seem remote from our daily lives. As public service media it is our role to help bridge that gap, and bring democracy to audiences," said EBU Director General Ingrid Deltenre.
"The EBU is proud to offer our Members an opportunity to bring the issues that matter closer to citizens in an exciting and pioneering format."
The Eurovision Debate will include the following features:
All five candidates nominated for the Commission Presidency by European political parties will take part – Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg, European People’s Party); Ska Keller (Germany, European Green Party); Martin Schulz (Germany, Party of European Socialists); Alexis Tsipras (Greece, European Left); Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe).
The debate will be moderated by veteran Italian journalist and TV presenter, Monica Maggioni. She will be supported by rising Irish TV presenter, 23 year old Conor McNally, who will give updates on the online conversation around the debate, using the hashtag #TellEUROPE
Social media will play an important role in the debate. Comments and questions submitted via #TellEUROPE are being used to shape the content of the discussions with an analysis of trends provided by the Social Media Intelligence company and Eurovision Debate partner, Vigiglobe. The public will also have the chance to be in the audience on the night by winning tickets via a social media competition launched by the EBU on social media channels.
The European Parliament will stream simultaneous interpretation in 23 languages so that outlets can broadcast in their national language.
Over 50 outlets in around 30 countries have confirmed they will show the debate, from Bulgaria to Belgium and the UK to Ukraine. National broadcasters will be showing the debate live on a mixture of mainstream channels (e.g. RTBF La Trois in Belgium and ORF 3 in Austria), main news channels (e.g. TVE/Canal 24 Horas in Spain, RAI News 24 in Italy and RTP Informação in Portugal), and political channels (e.g. BBC Parliament in the UK, and Phoenix TV in Germany). The debate will also be live streamed by a number of different outlets. See the full list here.
Eurovision is the programme producer and director, and all editorial decisions are taken by an independent board of experienced news journalists from EBU Member organisations. The European Parliament has agreed to host the debate and provide technical and logistical support locally.
Follow the Eurovision Debate on Twitter, on Facebook and via all social media platforms using #TellEUROPE.
More information at www.eurovisiondebate.tv