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212 channels air coverage of the Eurovision Debate 2024

21 June 2024
212 channels air coverage of the Eurovision Debate 2024

212 channels across 51 countries aired coverage of the Eurovision Debate 2024. Social media saw a spike in interest. The debate, organized by the EBU and European Parliament, featured candidate Q&A sessions and was broadcast in 23 languages with efforts to engage young and first-time voters.

On 21 June, the EBU revealed the usage figures for the Eurovision Debate. 212 channels in 51 countries aired coverage of the debate, which was held on 23 May and organized by the EBU in partnership with the European Parliament.

On the day of the debate, social media saw a spike in interest in the European elections with thousands of comments and posts across X, Tiktok, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitch.

The EBU’s Director of News, Liz Corbin said: “The dust has settled on the European elections and the people have spoken. In the run up to the elections, it is the role of public service media to present the issues to voters so that they can make informed decisions. We asked the candidates the questions that voters cared about and took special time and attention to include young and first-time voters’ needs into account. The Eurovision Debate clearly resonated, with 80 broadcasters featuring coverage from the debate.”

The European Parliament’s Director for Media, Jesús Carmona, added: “The European elections are a key moment to remind citizens of their commitment to Democracy. The Eurovision Debate proved that voters are engaged and want to see what lead candidates have to offer. We appreciate the partnership with the EBU, and can confirm that public service media are great allies for reaching the broadest possible audience.”

The debate’s format took special note of young and first-time voters, including question segments beamed in from special screenings throughout European capitals and first time voters in the audience, addressing their concerns directly to the candidates. In the spotlight section lead candidates could speak to voters and the public service media moderators could follow up with insightful follow up questions. It was carried live by the Eurovision News Exchange, with translation into 23 European languages and was designed to be “audio-friendly” for radio and podcasts.

Relevant links and documents


Andrea Campbell

Brussels Communications Lead

Notes to editors 

The Eurovision Debate took place on 23 May between the lead candidates for European Commission President that were designated by their parties (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 were public service media journalists Annelies Beck, from VRT in Belgium, and Martin Řezníček, from Czech TV in Czechia.

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 was 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 nominated a lead candidate. Two parties, the ECR and ID, declined to nominate a lead candidate and therefore made themselves ineligible for this particular event.