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On 29 April 2019 from 19h00 till 20h30 at Theater aan het Vrijthof in Maastricht will again be the venue for the Maastricht Debate in advance of the European Parliament elections between candidates designated by their European political party for the post of European Commission President. Already in 2014 (video in the right column) four candidates, including Jean-Claude Juncker, the present President of the Commission, took part in a debate in which they defended their vision for Europe and outlined what they would do if elected.
Five years later Maastricht University, the Province of Limburg, the Municipality of Maastricht, the European Journalism Centre based in Maastricht and the European Youth Forum have come together to organise this debate. As in 2014, the debate is particularly focussed on the concerns of students and young people across Europe, many of whom will be voting for the first time. Therefore, registration for the debate is only open to people between 18 and 29 years old at the time of the debate.
The event will be co-moderated by POLITICO, the leading European publication for EU influencers, to ensure an extensive reach with the widest possible audience.
The organisers have invited all the European political parties who have formally designated or intend to designate a candidate for the post of President of the European Commission to take part in the debate. The sole condition for a candidate to participate is that she or he accepts to speak in English.
Moderators of the debate are Prof. Dr. Rianne Letschert, Rector Magnificus of Maastricht University, and Ryan Heath, political editor at POLITICO. The moderators will be asking questions to the Spitzenkandidaten along three main themes: Digital Europe, Future of Europe, and key issues voiced by young people in Europe.
The Maastricht Debate 2019 is being jointly organised by the three partners of Maastricht, Working on Europe – Maastricht University, the City of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg - as well as the European Youth Forum and the European Journalism Centre. The partners work with POLITICO in order to reach a wide audience.
Leading up to the debate, we are carrying out a survey with the aim to get a sense of the issues students and young people view as being particularly pressing. The results of the survey will influence the formulation of some of the questions the Spitzenkandidaten will be asked during the debate. The survey is available at the following website and can be widely circulated: