TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

EU presidential contenders square off on TV in first debate of its kind

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Monday, April 28, 2014, 5:48 p.m.
 

BRUSSELS — Four would-be presidents of the European Union's executive arm clashed on Monday evening in the first debate of its kind, each making a pitch on live TV for the support of European voters.

Ska Keller of Germany from Europe's Green parties directly asked viewers: “Do you want to have more of the old politics for the European Union, or do you want fresh ideas?”

The debate, in the Dutch city of Maastricht before an auditorium of mostly students and young people, brought together four of the five candidates vying to become European Commission president in the European Parliament election beginning May 22. For the first time, the parliamentary election results are to be taken into account when the EU's 28 member states nominate a person to fill the position. That nominee must be ratified by the new parliament.

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt and former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker are candidates for the commission presidency, which is held by Jose Manuel Barroso of Portugal.

Schulz, a German who represents Europe's socialist parties, said he wants a “Europe of citizens,” instead of one of banks and speculators. Juncker, flagbearer for conservative EU parties, said he wants to “unite and reunite Europe.”

Debate moderator Chris Burns told viewers that a fifth candidate, Alexis Tsipras of Greece, the choice of the EU's leftist parties, had declined to participate.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. ‘Early Mona Lisa’ painting traced to English noble
  2. Kurds bring fight to Islamic State in contested Iraqi town
  3. Arrests made in Pakistan school massacre
  4. Nigeria’s Islamic terrorist Boko Haram group poses threat to Cameroon
  5. Exit poll: Ex-regime official Essebsi is Tunisia’s new president
  6. Israel responds to rocket strike by rogue jihadists in Gaza Strip
  7. Pakistan fervent about anti-blasphemy law
  8. Australian woman denied mental health court hearing in slayings of 8 children
  9. Liberia holds senate elections delayed by Ebola epidemic
  10. North Korea proposes joint probe over hacking attack against Sony
  11. No movement yet on Afghan cabinet
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.