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Eurovision Debate: Further details announced

16 May 2024
Eurovision Debate: Further details announced

On 16 May, the EBU and European Parliament announced final details for the Eurovision Debate for Lead Candidates in the running for European Commission President at an event that was live streamed from Brussels. The Eurovision Debate will take place on 23 May at 15:00 CEST with live audiences in all 27 Member States, and will be broadcast by public service media throughout Europe and on the EBU’s website

Following the draw that took place today: 

The position of the candidates on stage will be (from left to right): 

  • Ursula von der Leyen, European People’s Party 
  • Nicolas Schmit, Party of European Socialists 
  • Terry Reintke, European Greens 
  • Sandro Gozi, Renew Europe Now
  • Walter Baier, European Left  

First speaker on each topic: 

  • Topic 1&6 Nicolas Schmit, Party of European Socialists 
  • Topic 2 Sandro Gozi, Renew Europe Now 
  • Topic 3 Ursula von der Leyen, European People’s Party 
  • Topic 4 Walter Baier, European Left
  • Topic 5 Terry Reintke, European Greens  

The order for the “Spotlight” interviews will be: 

  • Nicolas Schmit, Party of European Socialists
  • Sandro Gozi, Renew Europe Now 
  • Terry Reintke, European Greens 
  • Ursula von der Leyen, European People’s Party 
  • Walter Baier, European Left 

The EBU is also announcing publicly today that the six debate topics are: 

  • Economy and Jobs  
  • Defence and Security  
  • Climate and Environment  
  • Democracy and Leadership  
  • Migration and Borders  
  • Innovation and Technology  

The EBU’s Director of News, Liz Corbin said: “The Eurovision Debate is an important moment to get to know the lead candidates and their parties’ platforms. This is why we organised this public draw to decide the order, announce the procedure and share the topics with our audience. We know that many of you care about this debate which is why we aim to be transparent with you on how decisions are made and what to expect in a week’s time.” 

The European Parliament’s Director for Media, Jesús Carmona, added: “The Eurovision Debate between Lead Candidates to the Presidency of the European Commission takes place exactly one week from now. The European Parliament has always tried to ensure that, by voting in the European elections, citizens not only elect the Parliament itself, but also have a say over who will lead the European Commission. We thank the EBU for their very professional approach to the organization of this debate.” 

The lead candidates that have been designated by their parties for the Eurovision Debate are (in alphabetical order):  

  • Walter Baier, European Left 
  • Sandro Gozi, Renew Europe Now 
  • Ursula von der Leyen, European People’s Party 
  • Terry Reintke, European Greens 
  • Nicolas Schmit, Party of European Socialists 

The moderators of the debate will be public service media journalists Annelies Beck, from VRT in Belgium, and Martin Řezníček, from Czech TV in Czechia. 

The debate will take place in English, with simultaneous translation into all 24 EU languages.  

Watch the Eurovision Debate live on 23 May at 15:00 CEST here. 

Relevant links and documents


Andrea Campbell

Brussels Communications Lead

Notes to editors

Concerning the selection of the candidates: 

As it was in both 2014 and 2019, the Eurovision Debate is a forum for lead candidates for the position of European Commission President under the European Parliament’s  ‘Spitzenkandidat’ system.  The EBU’s agreement with the European Parliament is to produce a debate based on these principles. 

In coordination with the European Parliament, the EBU invited political parties in the European Parliament to nominate one Lead Candidate from each of the 7 official political groups, namely: 

  • Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) 
  • Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament 
  • Renew Europe Group 
  • Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance 
  • European Conservatives and Reformists Group 
  • Identity and Democracy Group 
  • The Left group in the European Parliament - GUE/NGL 

Invitations were sent to representative parties from the above listed political groups in the European Parliament. Five parties responded and have nominated a lead candidate. Two parties, the ECR and ID, declined to nominate a lead candidate and have therefore made themselves ineligible for this particular debate.