topcandidates-partycoloursOne of the supposed advantages of the European Commission top candidate / Spitzenkandidat process is that it gives some personality to the European Parliament election campaigns for the first time. I am hence very happy to see that televised debates between the main candidates are now also starting to take shape.

At the time of writing 4 7 such debates are currently known about:

  1. 9th April at 1710 CET on France24 TV, and 1910 CET on RFI radio (France), a debate between Schulz and Juncker, presumably in French (details here)
  2. 12th April at 1100 CET on TV5 Monde (global, in French), and repeated evening of 13th at ?? CET on RTBF, in French, and pre-recorded and edited (only details in this tweet)
  3. 28th April at 1900 CET on Euronews, with Juncker, Schulz, Verhofstadt and Keller, details and a live stream here, and the Twitter tag is
  4. 8th May, 2015 CET on ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany), a debate between Juncker and Schulz on the “Duell” programme, presumably in German (details here)
  5. 9th May at 1830 CET on RAI (Italy), a debate between Schulz, Juncker, Bové and Verhofstadt at EUI Florence, I presume in English, interpreted? (details here (scroll down to the bottom)), follow on Twitter #SoU2014
  6. 15th May at 2100 CET from Eurovision and EBS, and made available to national broadcasters (inc. BBC!), predominantly in English but also with interpretation (details here), and to be debated on Twitter using the tag #TellEurope, with 5 candidates – Schulz, Juncker, Verhofstadt, Keller and Tsipras
  7. 20th May, 2100 CET on ARD (Germany), a debate between Juncker and Schulz and the leading candidates of German political parties for the election on the “Die Wahlarena” programme, in German (details here)

I’ll add others here (and please leave a comment if you know of more) if and when I hear of them, but this is starting to look good!

9 April, 1447 – I’d missed the Euronews debate. Now added above! Thanks @kosmopolit on Twitter.
9 April, 1519 – I’d missed the EUI debate, now added. Thanks @DijkstraHylke.
10 April, 2311 – Now added the pre-recorded TV5/RTBF debate. Thanks @NatashaBertaud and Dana in the comments below.


  1. Mike Wood

    Saw the first debate on France 24 and read a similar debate on the SPIEGAL website where I complained about the lack of democratic accountability : a key euro job being contested by (I think) four candidates none of whom are remotely known in the UK. Several other correspondents shared my point of view.

    Its good to see that some steps are being taken to rectify this but I note that most of the debates (except 2) will be broadcast in French or German and neither of the two political campaigns include the UK among their stops. Consultation of UK voters is at best an afterthought.

    Whilst I didn’t learn much that was new by watching the debate it was interesting to have two nuanced views about how key issues like: bugetary control, european banks, economic growth, reduction of unemployment, immigration and subsidiarity might be collectively addressed. The UK debates seem completely dominated by this in/out referendum discussion.

    Whatever one’s views on Europe it seems to me that we, the people, are being politically disenfranchised. None of the european debate at this critical time has leaked onto UK shores at all (I have mentioned that most brits probably have no idea who Schultz or Juncker are ). Whether one can lay responsibility for this at the door of the UK political establishment, the UK media, or both is moot.

    Wherever one lays the blame, this is a scandelous situation.

  2. Great calendar, thanks Jon!
    Also see cf. Philippe Ricard: “Jeudi 10 avril, TV5 Monde et la chaîne publique belge RTBF devaient elle aussi enregistrer “leur” débat, à Bruxelles”

  3. Please support my petition calling on the BBC to broadcast a televised debate of the leading candidates to the EU Commission President at

  4. @Wiredonkey – yes, that’s pretty much correct!

  5. Basically French, German and Italian television organise EU commission candidate debates, the BBC may take a broadcast from Eurovision?

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