JEF Europe, European Liberal Youth, Young European Socialists and Federation of Young European Greens call on the EBU to ensure that TV debates of the lead candidates in the European elections are broadcasted on the main channels across the Union


The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe has kicked off its European Parliamentary elections campaign, calling for the TV debates between candidates running for the position of President of the European Commission to be shown on main public channels. “This week, we’ve been watching Eurovision, a beloved show programme across Europe and beyond, on all main public channels. We should also be able to watch the European Presidential debates on those channels, too. These debates inform voters about the different political programmes and are hence crucial for democracy in Europe. European Broadcasting Union and national broadcasting channels, this is your chance to write history and show us a Europe with a vision - we are here to watch it!”, states Leonie Martin, Vice-President of JEF Europe.

Live televised debates of the European parties’ candidates for the next European Commission presidency are an important step towards increasing democratic quality and voters’ turnout at the European Parliament elections in May 2019. These debates will help bridge the gap between policy-makers and citizens, and will allow voters to take informed decision based on the positions of the candidates presented at the TV debates.

Broadcasting national election debates is common practice in most democracies across the globe. The Eurovision debate between the lead candidates in 2014 organised by EBU was broadcasted only in some Member States, and mostly on the ‘special interest stations’. In 2014, JEF sections, most notably in Germany, kick-started online petitions addressed at the national broadcasting channels. “One year ahead of the elections, it is time to arrange the settings to ensure visibility of the European debates to our citizens by airing them on prime channels in all Member States”, explains Martin.

JEF Europe, European Liberal Youth, the Young European Socialists and the Federation of Young European Greens call on the European Broadcasting Union and its members to contribute to common European idea by ensuring that every citizen in Europe can easily watch TV debates between European candidates on mainstream media channels.

  • Young European Federalists (JEF)
  • European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)
  • Young European Socialists (YES)
  • Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG)

Visuals from pictures by euranet_plus (Big Crunch Presidential Debate) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

More information on JEF Europe

The Young European Federalists (JEF) Europe is a non-partisan youth NGO with 13.000  members active in more than 35 countries. The organisation strives towards a federal Europe based on the principles of democracy and subsidiarity as well as respect for human rights. JEF promotes true European Citizenship, and works towards more active participation of young people in democratic life. While the umbrella organisation JEF Europe was founded in 1972, its sections have been operating continuously since the end of the Second World War, making it the oldest pro-European and only federalist youth organisation.

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