TV debate on the European elections: when six candidates discuss


Updated May 16, 2019, 6:37 am

It was the only European electoral debate to which the six major political groups of the European Parliament sent their top exponents. They had an hour and a half to convince the public. For a vision well founded too little – and yet it was worth it.

More arguments on the European elections can be found here

The fight against climate change is becoming a hot topic in the election campaign of the European elections. The duel candidate on Wednesday evening in Brussels was also discussed violently.

CSU politician Manfred Weber, who as the main candidate of the conservative European People's Party has a good chance of success of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, was attacked by his opponents as a brakeman. Impressions of an evening that provided a good overview:

The format

90 minutes, 6 candidates, 3 journalists. It was the only event in the electoral campaign in which the best candidates of the six major groups of the European Parliament challenged each other for Rededuell.

There were 60 seconds each for a response from Weber, Frans Timmermans (social democrats), Margrethe Vestager (liberals), Ska Keller (Verdi), Nico Cué (left) and Jan Zahradil (conservative-liberal reformer).

The debate was moderated, among others, by the German journalist of the ARD Markus Preiß.

The content

The selection of topics was the responsibility of the European Broadcasting Union, a consortium of dozens of radio stations from 56 European countries. The producers were looking for the widest possible program.

Among other things, it concerned unemployment, migration, climate change and the role of Europe in the world. These are some of the issues that Europeans are most concerned with based on recent polls.


Once again, the fight against climate change has caused conflicts. Timmermans and Keller accused Weber of putting his party on the brakes on the subject.

Timmermans has again asked for an aviation fuel tax and a CO2 tax for all companies. At the same time he tried to forge an alliance with the Greens and the Left on the subject.

His appeal: "Let us ensure that the next European Commission puts the topic on top of the agenda". Weber rejects the mandatory tax on the emission of carbon dioxide which is harmful to the climate and relies on innovation.

Otherwise, the differences between the candidates have become clear. Jan Zahradil of the liberal-conservative reformers has asked that the European Commission interfere less in the affairs of the Member States. He also denied that any state of the EU should accept asylum seekers. Timmermans, Keller, Vestager and Cué, on the other hand, were favorable.

How the candidates fought each other

Within the 90 minutes, each individual had little time. Especially for the less informed viewers, the evening provided a good overview.

Most verbal attacks had to parry Weber – which he usually managed to do. He couldn't put his accents.

Timmermans succeeded in this, which received strong applause for suggestions such as the right to vote from the age of 16. In addition, he expressed his hold – as in his commentary on the British exit of the European Union: "Look what the Brexit dispute has done in the UK Today, Britain looks like the" Throne of Swords "with steroids ".

Although concise statements also reach Vestager ("For me, a tax haven is a place where companies pay taxes"), on the whole, Dane usually thinks so quickly, but rather pale. He rarely gave up his ideas.

Who has the chance to become the next president of the European Commission?

Weber and Timmermans actually have the best prospects as candidates for the major political groups. Weber's EPP should return to the Social Democrats.

However, the heads of state and government do not want to engage in the fact that even the best candidate from the strongest group will become head of the commission. Many of them have been skeptical about this principle and in the end have the right to propose the place.

This is why Weber could hinder others, such as the French Michel Barnier, who has gained much respect as Brexit's chief negotiator.

After the duel it is before the duel

Weber and Timmermans discussed the one with the other last week in the ARD election arena. On this Thursday (20.15 clock) they present the ZDF and the Austrian ORF the second stage.

From 22:15 on ZDF we discuss the best German candidates of FDP, Left, Greens and AfD.

(Dpa / ANK)

Numerous large chain stores from Edeka to Ikea, together with the HDE industrial association, promote their employees to a high degree of participation in the European elections.

. (TagsToTranslate) # EP2019


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