The top candidates for the European elections make their second TV duel. Frans Timmermans (European Social Democrats) and Manfred Weber (European People's Party) will be guests at the ZDF Capital Studio on Thursday (16 May). The station broadcasts “Das #tvDuell zum Europawahl” on Thursday (16 May) live from 20.15 clock and shows the TV duel in the livestream.
Timmermans was Foreign Minister of the Netherlands from 2012 to 2014 and since then has been the First Vice-President of the EU Commission under Jean-Claude Juncker. Weber has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 and, since 2014, Group Chairman of the European People's Party.
Before the last Bundestag election 2017, the TV duel of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and her challenger Martin Schulz (SPD) was a quota hit. More than 16 million viewers watched as the two responded to the moderators' questions in front of the camera. That was almost every second television show in prime time – an exceptional value.
The interest in the two top candidates for the European elections is noticeably lower: The first TV duel in the ARD “Electoral arena for European elections” on Tuesday evening last week pursued an average of only 2.03 million viewers, the market share was a meager 6.9 percent.
Now follows the second round on ZDF, which also transmits the Austrian public broadcaster ORF. The moderator is ZDF Editor-in-Chief Peter Frey and Editor-in-Chief of ORF III, Ingrid Thurnher. They have 90 minutes to tweet Timmermanns and Weber and want to discuss the important issues of the European election campaign and the future of the European Union with live audiences.
Then followed the “heute journal” with current news, then from 22.15 clock the program “Schlagabtausch”, in the ZDF political director Matthias Fornoff the German top candidates of the Greens, FDP, AfD and left as a guest – also in the ZDF capital city studio in Berlin ,
According to the broadcaster, the key election statements of the parties should be taken up as well as quotes from the TV duel. According to the ZDF, the focus of the program is on important topics of the European election campaign, such as the inner cohesion of Europe, migration / immigration as well as economic and social policy. Guests are Nicola Beer (FDP), Özlem Demirel (The Left), Ska Keller (Alliance 90 / The Greens) and Jörg Meuthen (AfD).