Press Release – Save the date: Monday 28th April – First Ever European Presidential Debate, live on TV and Internet.

March 26, 2014

The First European Presidential Debate will take place on Monday 28th April in Maastricht. The debate, hosted by the City of Maastricht, Maastricht University, Connect Limburg and the European Youth Forum, will see the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission battle out key issues on the future of Europe. The debate will be held in front of an audience of 700 young people and broadcast live worldwide in 13 languages on Euronews.

The candidates, Jean-Claude Juncker (European People’s Party), Martin Schulz (Party of European Socialists), Guy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party), one of the two European Green Party candidates José Bové or Ska Keller, and Alexis Tsipras (Party of the European Left, tbc) will answer questions from thousands of young people all over Europe. The candidates will then debate key issues such as unemployment, education and young people’s engagement in politics.

The debate, officially known as “The First European Presidential Debate”, is being organised by Maastricht University, the City of Maastricht, Connect Limburg, the European Youth Forum, and with Euronews as the main media partner. Given the European nature of both the city and the university, Maastricht is the logical place to hold this very first EU Presidential debate. The theatre audience will be made up of international students, youth civil society, and young people from across Europe. The debate will focus on the issues that matter most to young Europeans; the questions will be gathered using a unique participatory process through collaboration between the University of Maastricht and the European Youth Forum/League of Young Voters.

Moderated by Euronews lead presenter Isabelle Kumar, the debate will be available live through Euronews’ worldwide TV network (covering 415 million homes in 156 countries), simultaneously in 13 languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian. The debate will also be streamed live on and on Euronews’ mobile apps.

Media contacts:


European Youth Forum: Sarah Farndale +32 2286 9436

City of Maastricht: Gertjan Bos +31 (0)6-27850516


Maastricht University: Caroline Roulaux: +31 (0)6-46024992


Euronews: Grégoire Olivero de Rubiana: +33 (0)6-60693034

Connect Limburg: Marcel Abrahams: +31 (0)6-1187346

Notes for editors:


About the debate


The debate will take place at 7pm-8.30pm, Monday 28th April, at Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht. It will be broadcast live by the main media partner Euronews and will be streamed live on the debate’s website (to be launched soon) and on, and Euronews mobile apps. The debate will be in English and simultaneoustly available in Arabic, English, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian on Euronews media platforms.

The questions posed to candidates will be gathered using a participatory process: the University of Maastricht is gathering questions from students at universities in every EU Member State. Young people can also contribute their ideas for questions via the League of Young Voters website ( or through participating universities who will be contacting their students to request that they submit questions.

Journalists and media organisations will be able to attend the debate and interview candidates afterwards. Transport from Brussels will be arranged. You can register on the EU debate website; we will inform you as soon as this website is launched.

European Youth Forum AISBL

Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 793 75 20
Fax : +32 2 893 25 80

With the support of
The European Commission
The European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe