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Countdown to the Commission: Top EU Candidates Face Off in Live TV Debate



European Election: Television Debate Among Leading Candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission

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The live Eurovision debate featuring the leading candidates for the presidency of the European Commission is scheduled for Thursday, May 23, from 3:00 to 4:45 PM at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The discussion taking place in the plenary hall of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels is orchestrated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in partnership with European political parties and the European Parliament itself.

The UER has announced the leading contenders for the presidency of the EU Commission who have confirmed their participation in the debate scheduled for May 23.

– Walter Baier from Austria, European Left Party

– Sandro Gozi (Italy), Renew Europe Now

– Ursula von der Leyen from Germany, represents the European People's Party (EPP)

– Terry Reintke (Germany), European Greens

– Nicolas Schmit from Luxembourg, a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES)

The candidates will speak in English. Interpretation will be provided in 24 languages.

The discussion is being hosted by Martin Řezníček of Czech Television and Annelies Beck from VRT, Belgium.

The five contenders will engage in discussions on a range of critical topics. Questions will be posed by the audience in the assembly hall, viewers at events hosted by the Parliament's liaison offices across EU member states, through social media, and by the two hosts. Furthermore, in a new twist for the 2024 Eurovision debate, the hosts will conduct individual "Spotlight" interviews with each contender.

Across the European Union, public broadcasters, in collaboration with the liaison offices of the European Parliament in member countries, will be organizing events where the live broadcast of the debate will be the main focus.

On May 16th, media professionals are also invited to attend a drawing organized by the EBU, which will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels (Agora TV Studio, adjacent to VoxBox on the 3rd floor, Spinelli Building, at 4:00 PM). This drawing will determine the onstage positions of the candidates for the debate, identify the initial speaker for each of the planned thematic focuses, and establish the sequence of the "Spotlight" interviews.

The subjects of the debate and the rules will also be disclosed by the EBU on May 16.

Wie kann ich die Diskussion zum Eurovision Song Contest verfolgen?

The broadcast scheduled for May 23rd will be showcased on EbS and by the UER, featuring the names of the participants and other key visual elements on the screen. On EbS+, viewers will have access to an unadorned "clean feed" of the debate intended for use by the editorial teams of interested broadcasters, rather than for a complete live broadcast. Additionally, the debate will be streamed on the Parliament's website (in the Multimedia Center) and will be available through UER platforms. Independent video recordings of the debate from within the plenary hall are prohibited.

The Parliament's Multimedia Center will offer broadcasts in International Sign Language and Velotype (real-time transcription in English), as well as subtitles in the official EU languages upon request, once the debate concludes. These files will be available before 7:00 PM. If you're interested in accessing this format, please email

The candidates are scheduled to arrive at the protocol entrance of the European Parliament around 12:45 PM, allowing the press to capture any impromptu statements they might make. Following the event, press briefings will be arranged close to the assembly hall. Both the impromptu statements and the press briefings will be broadcast live on EbS and through the Multimedia Center.

Accreditation and Entry to the Eurovision Debate

All media accredited across EU institutions and holders of the European Parliament's annual accreditation can access the Parliament for the debate by showing their accreditation badges, without the need for separate accreditation.

All journalists interested in participating in the debate need to apply for a short-term accreditation through the online accreditation system (JOUREG). Those who already have an EP badge will have it remotely activated once the accreditation through the portal is approved. Reporters without an EP media pass can collect it at the accreditation center located in front of the Parliament (Esplanade Solidarność, Office 01F035) once their application through JOUREG is approved.

Media representatives will have the opportunity to observe the debate from a limited number of seats located at the back of the assembly hall, which are specifically set aside for press members. You can reserve a seat using this link until Thursday, May 16th.

Should you wish to reserve additional audiovisual services and facilities for the discussion,">kindly email your request to by Thursday, May 16th, as well.

There will be a photo opportunity in the plenary hall around 1:45 pm for visual media.

Access to parking spaces on the day of the debate

Media professionals">king to secure a parking spot in the parliament's parking garage are required to reserve their space a few days ahead of the event via the IZIX APP. Reporters who do not yet have the app can request it by emailing

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