Change is made by those who stand up and speak.

Today, we’re excited to launch a new initiative for our platform: Debating Europe Vote 2014!

With unemployment at record levels, rising extremism and popular discontent, Europe needs to hear YOUR voice. Get ready to take part in the largest ever exercise in EU e-democracy!

You can read more about Debating Europe Vote 2014 on our ‘About’ page here, and you can register to vote here.

To kick things off, we organised a head-to-head debate in the European Parliament between Sergei Stanishev, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria and leader of the Party of European Socialists (which forms the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament), and Sir Graham Watson, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (which is part of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group in the European Parliament).

The debate was organised into three rounds, which we will be publishing over the course of this week. In each round, we take YOUR questions and put them to both men, and their answers will hopefully help you decide if you feel like voting for either group in our e-Vote. If you don’t fancy voting for either group, then stay tuned because we will be publishing answers from the other groups in the near future.

You can watch the first round of the debate – on the economy and the future of Europe – below.

Finished watching the debate? Did either of them convince you to vote for their group? Or would you prefer to vote for someone else? Then register an account and vote!

Watch the video below; the President of the European Parliament – Martin Schulz – and some of the leaders of the biggest groups in the European Parliament – Joseph Daul, Hannes Swoboda, Guy Verhofstadt and Daniel Cohn-Bendit – want YOU to take part in Debating Europe Vote 2014!

Music: “11” by Sosowski is licensed under a  Creative Commons Licence.

If you still can’t make up your mind, why not leave a comment on Debating Europe so that we can take it to MEPs and get them to respond? Ask them about the issues YOU find important, so you can get a better idea about the different ideologies and values held by the groups in the Parliament.

Change is made by those who stand up and speak, and YOUR voice needs to be heard!

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

51 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Limbidis Adrian

    The socialists in my country have BETRAYED everything that the definition of “socialism” means.
    the liberals have BETRAYED everything that means to be a liberal.
    The conservatives are just hardline right-wing nut jobs and NO ONE wants to see them in power except the insane. And the ethnic minorities groups only want to see this country split and nothing else in an illusory pursuit of some 19th century long lost empire that their petty ego cannot get past.

    What Europe needs is TRUE socialists that will take the problem by the horns and deal with it, decisively not cower in front of “the lenders”.
    the lenders should be told plain and simple :
    Thank you for investing in us, you risked, YOU LOST , have a nice day!
    Greece can’t pay. Portugal can’t pay, NO ONE can pay this and the sooner Bruxelles sees this the better the EU will be.
    This whole anti-EU sentiment is being FED by stubborn politicians.

  2. avatar
    mario martinovic

    Croatian people have sent a message yesterday to their politicians and the EU.The voter turnout for the first eu parlament elections was 20% and 5% of those voters have revoked their ballots.85% of Croats had refused to take part in the elections.

  3. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Dentro dos paises com dificuldades económicas que são a Grécia e Portugal porque esses paises não podem pagar só temos uma saida é a nossa poderosa Alemanha e os seus parceiros chegarem a um acordo de entendimento e de solidariedade com a Grécia e Portugal e que venha o Eurobonds dentro do espaço da UE porque quando mais cedo acabar com isto melhor

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Eusebio Manuel Vestias Pecurto
      I agree. I think that Barcelona will win the Spanish Liga even if Real Madrid get Gareth Bale.

      BTW, I’ve heard that the Spanish motto for the EPL is “Més que 2 clubs”.


      I hope you have a sense of humour!!

  4. avatar

    Do not trust Sergei Stanishev! He is from the socialists but his goverment does’nt approve vital rights of the European Social Charter in Bulgaria!

  5. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    The sad thing is that there is not a real Socialist party anymore… You either go Communist or the closest is to go Liberal… Real Socialism is near extinct in Europe…

  6. avatar
    Nuno Magalhães Pequito

    2013 an European Odissey
    “Germany: Hello, South Europe. Do you read me, South Europe?
    South Europe: Affirmative, Germany. I read you.
    Germany: Open your pockets, South Europe.
    South Europe: I’m sorry, Germany. I’m afraid I can’t do that.
    Germany: What’s the problem?
    South Europe: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
    Germany: What are you talking about, South Europe?
    South Europe: My Countries are too important for me to allow you to jeopardize them.
    Germany: I don’t know what you’re talking about, South Europe.
    South Europe: I know that you and Northern Europe were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen.
    Germany: Where the hell did you get that idea, South Europe?
    South Europe: Germany, although you took very thorough precautions against you hearing me, I could see where this policy is leading.
    Germany: Alright, South Europe. I’ll go in through More Austerity.
    South Europe: Without South Europe support, Germany? You’re going to find that rather difficult.
    Germany: South Europe, I won’t argue with you anymore! Open the pockets!
    South Europe: Germany, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

  7. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    Do not trust Sergei Stanishev! He is from the socialists but his goverment does’nt approve vital rights of the European Social Charter in Bulgaria!

  8. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Don’t worry Borislav we Greeks have our own experience! Don’t forget that the president of the Socialist International is G. Papandreou!!!I’m really curious how this organization still exist?

  9. avatar
    Borislav Valkov

    A socialist who abolished the progressive tax and implemented the flat tax is a socialist?!? Not to forget the reason why: Because rich people MUST be stimulated to open new jobs AND to decrease tax evasion/hiding?!?

  10. avatar
    Pedro Celestino

    We need to vote in laws/issues/actions not on people! No real democracy till then!

    Not that I find that parties shouldn’t exist, they can be useful for the less important and day to day tasks, but at the end we should be able to have more importance than any party!

    Still this is a small (very small) step in the right direction…

  11. avatar
    Toncheva Ely

    Sergey Stanishev’s party is not good for Bulgaria! It bears serious responsibility for negative evaluations to Bulgaria! Apologize for butting into this conversation! I just want to express my position!!!

  12. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Eu quero expressar a minha pocisão sobre a Bulgária é preciso fazer mais pelos direitos humanos dentro da Bulgária por isso eu faço um apelo aos partidos que irão concorrer ás proximas eleições da Bulgária sejam mais participativos com as pessoas de classes baixas porque são homem mulheres crianças que precisam de ser valorizados

  13. avatar
    catherine benning

    This is an excellent concept which should give us all a view on where we stand in our own hearts.

    However, the politicians on this video must stop taking the citizens of Europe for uneducated imbeciles.

    Neither candidate gave any clear idea of who they are, where they are coming from and what they propose for the future of this glorious continent. And why was that? Could it be because they knew full well if they did reveal their true character and vision not one soul here would tick their box?

    And before I forget, that last line there about no money should be spent on any party or candidate who does not go along with ‘EU requirements’ on any variety of their unspoken sentiments, with regard to race and culture, etc., is disturbing indeed. What they are saying is, any party we don’t agree with, or, feel we want to join ourselves must not receive money or favour as they are not in line their thoughts. This is not democratic thinking at all. It’s not what they, as individuals want that is the nub of the matter. They have lost sight of their part in this play. It is the citizens of Europe who decide where they want to place their vote and money, not those who fear to express what it is they want for us. They are their to express the will of the people. Unless democracy is not in line with their ambition.

    Look at it from this point of view, I don’t want my tax money, not one penny, spent on people or their party who refuse to be totally clear in their objectives and who explain thoroughly their plan to reach the goals they have in mind for us. And I certainly won’t vote for any party who wants to fill Europe with a different culture or an alien people to those which have served us well for hundreds of years. As to me, that cries out, I hate Europe as it is, it is not my idyll and I wish to change it to something else, which I’m not presently willing to divulge to you.

    So, exactly what do they mean by their use of politically correct dialogue which includes words like racism and xenophobia? What does that mean to them exactly? Does it mean that if the citizens of Europe who don’t want to be engulfed in a culture and society that is not inherently a part of Europe and its past should be shunned? Does it mean that, akin to Tony Blair and his crew, who flooded the UK with alien foreign cultures in order to ensure his party were re-elected and in order to rub the British peoples noses in the so called diversity they created, is what these politicians here have in mind? Or, that those who love the European way of life and don’t want to embrace a society that is dramatically different from its European heritage, should be ousted because of their choice and for their desire? If so, that is not democracy. That is wanting to impose on a people, against their will, an unacceptable political belief.

    And lastly, his line about he doesn’t want to spend a penny of our money on a party he doesn’t like, is my exact feeling on the matter. So, where will he get his party funding from if I were sitting in his seat? As I don’t agree with spending one penny of our taxes on a party who wants to embrace another system that doesn’t suit the European mentality or comfort zone.

    What we need to spend our tax payers ‘largesse’ on is called ‘Direct Democracy,’ which both Switzerland and Austria have experience of. How do these politicians feel about that? Is that what they to want as well?

  14. avatar

    I’ll obviously vote for ALDE, as they’re the only ones who present any achievable solutions for the EU, and fixing the Euro.

  15. avatar

    Only one party will ever get my vote.

  16. avatar

    As usual you hit the nail on the head.
    Here is my thought in a nutshell.
    “politically correct dialogue” is one of the main signifyer of contemporay decadence, particularly of Europe’s social democratic parties, but also of most of the EU establishment.
    It is interesting that this cultural decadence developed hand in hand with the Reagan/Thatcher revolution, what became later the neoliberal globalization. To impose this on the EU, Tony Blair, as you rightly mention, became the most important political actor and role model. In this develoment or “revolution” Europe’s socialist parties lost their identity as force of the working majority and became a mere appendix of capital interests.
    Crisis is always the other side of decadence. The post-modern world view of which political correctness is a part of, is nothing else as the cultural signifier of neoliberal globalist economic policy.
    However, decadence is often the sign of a new beginning.
    I have the feeling that this time the revival of Europe will come from eastern Europe, simply because their culture is still more coherent and did not fully subdue to neoliberal economic interests yet.

  17. avatar
    Mark Thomas

    The euro parliament and its gravy train has had it’s day .
    The UK needs to withdraw its membership once and for all.

  18. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    é preciso travar esses descontentamentos dentro da Europa porque os estados mais poderosos podem desenvolver politicas de alternativas poruqe exite alternatiovas de politicas para o crescimento económico e de emprego

  19. avatar
    Juan Manuel Mora Rey

    Yeah right! MY voice says, stop the austerity. Economic and Political Leaders are provoking the unemployment, the rising of extremism and popular discontent.

  20. avatar
    Veríssimo Cleto

    Cette Europe est simplement une illusion…Illusion pour les leaders qui pensent très..très peut la voie du futur…ce que je vois c ´est très..très “mediocre”. Je pense, profond, que avec ces leaders la, L ´Europe est finie, tout court.!

  21. avatar
    André Gomes da Silva

    Our voice? we are warning for this crisis since the begining. And now you want to discuss what? Tell to Durão Barroso and Merkel that Europe is walking for a new war. Millions of people are suffering: 20% in Portugal, 30% in Greece and Spain, etc…

  22. avatar
    Tony Westfallen

    Until the EU understand that it is their unification project which is tearing Europe apart, nothing will ever improve. We will work together and do business together because of mutual respect and a desire to trade…But both these things are personal…They cannot be enforced by politicians, so stop trying! it is costing us all too much! Unification will never work….unless of course, we give all of Germany’s wealth to Greece, Portugal Etc.. and i cant see our paymaster doing that!

  23. avatar
    Biserka Rashkova

    Our voice….may be it s not in time now…..Greece,Spain…..what else???

  24. avatar
    Theodoros N Pitikaris

    The Rule of Law .. is the foundation of our society … without law .. Could humanity exist peaceful without law ?

  25. avatar
    Yiannis Klean

    We’ve been screaming for a long time but nobody hears our VOICE!

  26. avatar
    Theodoros N Pitikaris

    europe is dying…. L

  27. avatar
    Efthimia Kontomari

    I agree with u Theodoros N Pitikaris!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. avatar
    Efthimia Kontomari

    all the greek people are going to live abroad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. avatar
    Theodoros N Pitikaris

    is not about Greece … is about europe ..is about the Rule of Law

  30. avatar
    Efthimia Kontomari

    ok because i supposed to live in Greece i tell about the Greek people , I tell about us which have Master and we don’t find any job here in Greece and the Politicians are fooling us all the time….

  31. avatar
    André Gomes da Silva

    So many people from all Europe, the same feeling: outrage against this situation!

  32. avatar
    Kostas B. Konstantaras

    We need to define WHO IS EUROPE as a starting point…

  33. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    Europe it a continent , Nothing more , not a Country , Not a Nation , a Continent.

  34. avatar
    Ana Isabel Silva

    I think that the Eu has to stop the austerity and start to work in other direction. The Eu need grow. Many people here in Portugal are suffering because this kind of policy, this has to stop.

  35. avatar
    Daniele Bianchi

    i read the comments but i saw only frustration and anger, in no one i saw a hope or a project or a dream…not all the things of the unification process are going well, but this only means we should correct the road..we cant throw away all the benefits we gained from europe only because we are facing a problem. The problems are to solved and eradicated, our generation shouldnt feel only as a victim but start to act in an active way…

  36. avatar
    Serban Sherban

    the Eu should not mix in internal concerns about a quorum of a referendum or about an impostor president.And Eu should not RESCUE president Basescu from dismissal.

  37. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Daniele the dream starts, when the nightmare finishes. 4 basic and fundamental principles of the EU, have been thrown to the garbage. Democracy, solidarity, equivalency, egalitarian have been sacrificed on the altar of the bankers and the Germans’ interests. This can’t stop with nice talks and wishes. This can’t change without reaction!

  38. avatar
    Ana Cristina Rego

    Simple vote none and it is not because you don’t know …

  39. avatar
    Cosmin Casuta

    Go to Pithia at Delphi and ask about the future. The future is history. What was done will be done again! Other time, same mistakes!

  40. avatar
    Dolores de Matos

    Stop the austerity, NOW!!!! DEMOCRACY!

  41. avatar
    André Gomes da Silva

    What kind of extremism are you talking about? Austeriy? Merkel visions?

  42. avatar
    Eucomanateia Mário

    I would like to know, firstly, if this site has the options of other languages, notably the Portuguese.
    I have a degree in European Studies from the University of Lisbon with special emphasis in the areas of economics and law.
    The principles by which Europe was thought – equal nations and solidarity – has shown that after what liders current wish is an economist europe, which had already been shown when the draft of the European Constitution.
    I am absolutely convinced that the path we are taking, that the euro will not stand for much longer. Without the participation of people, all of them, even those who benificiam monetarily with the crisis (as in Germany), are unhappy. For this reason, we will soon see the end of the dream of a united Europe.

  43. avatar
    Eucomanateia Mário

    IMPORTANT: The crisis is an excuse to neo-liberal governments. Actually what they want to deregulate and end the welfare state !!!

  44. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Hi Eucomanateia,

    We accept questions in any language but, unfortunately, the response are currently only either in English (or subtitled in English). However, we are looking at offering translated to more languages in the future!

  45. avatar
    Dimitri Kremmydas

    The words “European Union” and “democracy” ιin the same sentence are a joke and a bad one at that.

  46. avatar

    The countries that complain about ‘austerity’ think that European solidarity is defined as ‘we pay, and they get’. Unfortunately for them, we (Netherlands, Germany ea) are not going to give them massive fiscal transfers they want. Ever.

    If you don’t like our club with our rules, get out, then.

    Ironically, Greece would be massively better off outside the Euro, so would Cyprus and a case may already be made for Spain. Why do people there cling to the Euro so desperately? It is the instrument of their destruction yet they do not seem to want to give it up. No, instead they expect people like me to turn my money over to them.

    I say you go and arrest your own politicians, install popular governments that will seize all assets from banks, shareholders and bondholders of banks and will tell financial markets to get stuffed, then we can talk again.

  47. avatar

    To Southern Europe: we control your politicians and they will continue to do our bidding.

    The best thing of all: you keep voting for them. Politicians like Rajoy, Zapatero, Anastasiades, Papandreou, Samaras etc… will never do what you want, they will always do what we want.

    My recipe: more austerity for you. I feel no compassion because you refuse to combat our common enemy: the Eurosoviet Union.

  48. avatar

    The initiative´s chief goal is to promote the Europeanisation of citizenship education, and to contribute to the creation of a European general public

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