PRESS RELEASE published on 15 May 2019 • Department / Unit Media

Candidates for Presidency of the European Commission take to the stage

Today, the EBU is organizing the largest debate between the candidates selected by the political parties to become the next president of the European Commission.

The participating candidates are Nico Cué, European Left; Ska Keller, European Green Party; Jan Zahradil, Alliance of Conservatives & Reformists in Europe; Margrethe Vestager, Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe; Manfred Weber, European People's Party; Franz Timmermans, Party of European Socialists.

Over 20 public service media channels from throughout Europe will broadcast the debate, live or with a slight delay. The EBU will offer the signal free of charge internationally, which means that it will also be broadcast on many other channels worldwide, as well as via Youtube and the web.

The debate is aimed at informing citizens about the key issues ahead of the European Elections later this month and stimulating debate across borders.

"We believe it is a key part of public service media’s mission to support democracy by helping citizens shape their opinions and encouraging them to take an active role in elections.

“Pre-election political debates are a long-standing tradition in public service media. Bringing such a debate to viewers throughout Europe, going beyond the usual Brussels circles, was a bold move. We are proud to have taken the step 5 years ago and to do it again now" said Jean Philip De Tender, Director of EBU Media.

The debate is hosted in Brussels by the European Parliament and obeys the strictest rules in terms of participating candidates and speaking times.

The EBU wants to ensure a balanced and transparent approach to this unique trans-national political discussion. The candidates will be debating 6 topical themes, selected by an Editorial Board on the basis of their importance to European citizens.

The debate will be hosted by three European journalists: Émilie Tran Nguyen, France Télévisions and Markus Preiss, ARD Germany, will lead the debate on stage; while Annastiina Heikkilä, YLE, will feed the debate with input from social media.

Follow the debate live at 21.00 CET on 15th May #TellEurope @EUDebate

For background information:

The debate will be broadcast by the following EBU Members and media organizations: Azerbaijan: Ictimai, Belgium: VRT & RTBF, Czech Rep: CT, Denmark: DR TV, Italy: Rai News 24, Germany: Phoenix, Spain: RTVE Canal 24h, TVG2 and Canal Sur 2, NL: NPO, Bulgaria: BNT, Cyprus: CYBC, Croatia HRT, Estonia: ERR, Ireland: RTE, Finland: YLE, France: France Info, Arte, Public Senat, TV5 Monde, Greece: ERT, Georgia : GPB, Poland: TVP & PR, Romania: TVR, Sweden: SVT, UK: BBC Parliament, USA: Kingston TV

More info: https://www.ebu.ch/eurovision-debate

Contact detail

Florence Ranson
Public Affairs Communications Lead
+32 22 869 115
ranson@ebu.ch