WP-template_round3Today, Debating Europe is publishing the third and final round of its head-to-head video debate in the European Parliament between Sergei Stanishev, former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and President of the Party of European Socialists, and Sir Graham Watson, British Liberal Democrat MEP and President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.

You can watch all three rounds in the videos below. For the final round, we asked both men to give short responses to a series of questions on a wide range of issues affecting Europe and the EU. Hopefully, this will give you an idea of some of the different policies that the two parties are advocating. Remember, however, that there are many political groups, ideologies and parties within the European Parliament, and you can cast your vote for any of them. Over the coming days, we will be taking your comments and questions to MEPs from each of the different parties, so you can get a sense of which issues seperate the different sides.

What do YOU think? Are rule of law and anti-corruption measures in Bulgaria and Romania strong enough to justify Schengen membership? Is the EU too dependent on Russian oil and gas? Should the EU support the arming of rebels in Syria? And should the UK hold a referendum on EU membership? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their response.

Vote 2014

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

47 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar

    I’ll vote for ALDE. At least, for now I think they’re the only ones who offer any solutions to the failures of the Euro, and offer solutions to fix the Eurozone.

  2. avatar
    Gatis Gailitis

    To me, ALDE sounds like the most reasonable choice so far.

  3. avatar
    Maria Bento

    ja nao a palavras para os fachistas a conta do ze povinho e uma vergonha nao tem palavra eles so cumprem quando a galinha tiver dentes .

  4. avatar
    Luly Nurediny

    For me this is the heart of world crises, but is not only Russia the player. We have too look more widely for any analysis.

  5. avatar
    Maro Kouris

    Independence and full sovereignty for KURDISTAN from Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran.

  6. avatar
    Nikos Sarikas

    Dont worry europe…Greece has much oil and gaz.And thanks the bailouts you can have it for FREE!!!

  7. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    I start to believe that the all story with the crisis was a setup, for controlling Greek and Cypriot hydrocarbons. Suddenly from nowhere, in the last summer, we learned that Greece has huge and exploitable hydrocarbon reserves. Several years ago a reporter named Chardavellas revealed the fact on TV.He also said that this was known to certain circles since 1945. Everybody then, including myself, accused him as a conspiracy theorist and a storyteller. FORTUNATELY OR UNFORTUNATELY HE WAS TELLING THE TRUTH! SOME OTHERS WERE TELLING LIES! WHY? In addition the Greek prime minister recently declared slavishly “These resources are Europeans”!!!

  8. avatar
    John Korst

    There is exploitable oil/gas all over the world if the progressives will get out of the way and let it be harvested. There is far too much concern about ‘environmental impact’ as those that don’t care about such things hold the reins of energy and economic power.

  9. avatar
    Nuno Gouveia

    If i said on no one of this politics that we have on Europe today, does it mean i have some prize?! ;)

  10. avatar
    Tiago Mouta

    Can i have a european salary income to live according to your rules, or simply just ignore your existence?

  11. avatar
    Francisco Melo

    Of course it is… and Russia has been using it very well to make its interests prevail in its relation with the EU.

  12. avatar
    Ели Тончева

    BSP and energy circles in Bulgaria are in close contact with Russian energy goes and oil interests! Mr. Stanishev can not assess the anti-corruption measures in Bulgaria! Because his party is the creator of this corruption! He is not the person to Bulgaria! sorry!

  13. avatar
    George Papadimitriou

    Yes. And everyone else should. We agreed and joined a European Union of equal opportunities and we ended up being under german occupation again for the third time in less than 100 yrs.

  14. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    @ George Bariz . We WILL vote and we WILL leave , you can keep your eu family I want NOTHING to do with it…in fact the sooner the eu and euro finish failing the better , we should also refuse to send any more money to your unions budget…in fact we should stop sending money to your eu`s budget full stop….recall the incompetent ashton and stop wasting time voting for meps.

  15. avatar
    Tony Westfallen

    European “family” or not … it is completely wrong and undemocratic, that some countries have had a referendum (or two) and the British have been denied. Let the people of the UK vote, and then we can put this problem to bed!

    • avatar

      political parties

  16. avatar
    David Fuzzey

    jose Scotland is voting…had you not noticed??….anyway the only was the guarantee a Scottish yes vote is to let the English vote…about 80% of us will vote for Scottish independence :)

  17. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    A europa é uma União de 27 nações democraticas o Reino Unido está dentro dos estados democraticos o governo e o partido do Sir Cameron escolheu o referêndo o povo do Reino Unido é livre de escolher mas eu faço votos que os Britanicos irão ficar na economia moderna Eu faço um apelo ao governo da Bulgária é preciso fazer mais pelos seus cidadãos que hoje estão com baixos recursos finaceiros são familias crianças homem o sir. primeiro ministro mostre solidariedade com o seu povo

  18. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Eu at estou e acordo da UE apoiar os rebeldes da Siria agora preciso saber o que andamos a fazer esta guerra nunca ir ter o seu fim o sir. do bigote o Assad tm armamento pesado na minha opinio s uma saida a via diplomatica

  19. avatar
    Antonio Jose Pecurto Pecurto

    Bulgria e a Romnia devem mostrar mais responsabilidade com o seu povo e levare mais a srio as politicas de combate corrupo essas duas naes tm que afrimar uma mudana radical

  20. avatar

    I will vote for someone who is in favor of LESS integration.

    As an unyielding opponent of political integration and a dissident I have pledged myself to the dissolution of the Eurosoviet Union. And my hopes are that we opponents can achieve the same result as dissidents of the old Soviet Union eventually achieved. Let’s hope it won’t take 74 years. Right now it’s 21 years (since 1992) and counting.

    The Eurozone cannot be fixed, like the parrot in the Monty Python sketch it is already dead, it’s just the politicians that simply refuse to accept this.

  21. avatar
    Zbigniew Jankowski

    No referendum will solve anything in Europe! In my opinion this argument is just ‘public politics’ of excuses with use of threats, exposing the actual weakness of EU politicians. We need changes in approaches not a referendum.

  22. avatar
    catherine benning

    There us so much wrong with the politicians stand on all three of these video’s, to go into each and why it is so would fill the website and take me all day.

    I will not be voting for any party who sees our future more integrated with the USA and its so called free trade. What they are dong among other trade freedom is, dumping their rotten contaminated food over here to get rid of it and us. But that is simply a small cog in the wheel. Arms and nuclear basis another. Their constant need for war in order to keep their economy going.

    I will not vote for any party who fails to see or acknowledge the mistakes of open door policies on mass integration from immigrants outside of the EU. Or, of taking on more poverty stricken satellites the rest of the EU tax payers must support ad infinitum. Or, of those who feel white Christian people are inferior because, like all other nation peoples, they want to hang on to their way of life and culture, as this is what suits them best. These politicians here who want to form a new Europe, without telling its people what they want in its stead. The are suggesting it is the way to bring some kind of utopia here, they should take a good look at and go and live in as down to earth human beings where this experiment has been used for decades before they use this lunatic land as an example for us to follow.

    Additionally, any politician who feels we, the European tax payer, should be helping to arm Syrian rebels are out of their minds. Do they know what the rebels are planning for that country and who their affiliations are with? Look around you for the answer to that.

    What area of Turkey do they see ready or close to ready to sharing of European sentiments and cultural expectations. Is this the same Turkey that stone women for adultery or bury them alive for an honour killing? I could go on with this but I’m sure you have the message.

    The UK is needed by Europe as much as Europe is needed by the UK. The difficulty we have with the EU is its mad politically correct nonsense they have bought in full, without reason or understanding, and of the mess they are creating for a civilized society. Take a look at what you have already done to make Europe a place to flee from.

    So, no, they don’t get my vote, any of them.

    But, thank you for asking.

  23. avatar
    Jovan Ivosevic

    @Jose: Scotland is holding a referendum and after the Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland has that right but doesn’t want to use it now because it would start a street fight. Besides, the catholics don’t yet have a majority.

    And the UK should absolutely hold a referendum on leaving the EU. It is their democratic right. If it fails, the europhobes are completely discredited. Tories can say what they want now, but they will campaign against leaving if Cameron gets re-elected. If the referndum passes, then the EU will not be driving ahead with one foot on the brake, the way the UK is making it now. So it’s a win-win.

  24. avatar
    Fernando Hortal Foronda

    I’ll vote for the S&D as I think that over all nationalism and selfishness, it is possible to have egaltiarian, fraternal European policies in order to fight against poverty and inequallity and for the dignity of all the human beings that conform our society, so that we can proudly say that we live in a place where people are authentically free.

  25. avatar
    Hélio Rodrigues

    UK cant even make referendum for Scotland, and they want to make one to leave EU lol! Clearly some country’s in UK want to be independents! Why don’t give their independency? That’s what call undemocratic lol, i work in London for 1 year and i spoke with British people and most of them told me actually they don’t want to leave EU…

    • avatar

      Just under a year from now, on 22-25 May 2014, EU citizens will vote in the most important European parliament elections to date. They will be an opportunity for European citizens to express their views about how Europe’s leaders have addressed the crisis in the eurozone. Furthermore, the elections will provide a mandate for, or a break against, the plans for further political and economic integration in Europe. They will produce a new political majority in the European parliament, which will influence how the EU and the single market will be governed for the next five years. And, above all, with rival candidates for the commission president before the elections, this will be the first time we, as European citizens, will be able to choose who holds the most powerful executive office in the EU.

      The issue that has dominated politics in Europe in recent years has been the eurozone crisis, and the merits of following an austerity policy to combat it. Cuts in public spending in eurozone member states have largely been imposed by the EU, by the European Commission as well as by the EU governments. Nearly every national election since the onset of the crisis in early 2010 has been fought on the issue of austerity and the consequent relations with the EU. Far from European elections being national elections these days, national elections have started to become European elections.

      National elections are, however, not the best way to bring about changes in EU policies. A vote against austerity in one member state merely affects the policy positions of one of the 27 players in the European council. Such a vote may make it somewhat harder for the commission to get the council to sign off on its policies, but that is about all the impact such a vote may have. Even an unexpected victory of the left in the German elections in September will not lead to drastic changes in EU policies.

  26. avatar
    Larry Levenson

    The EU is a dead concept. Centralisation always favours the few against the majority and the few then start to take liberties as is happening in the EU today and as has happened in all communist countries. An association of of self-governing states is the way forward as was originally defined and supported by the UK. Then the ex communist party members took over and they now operate in the way communists have always operated. Ignoring the wishes of the people and telling them what is best for them. The sooner the EU returns to the original concept of an Economic Union of Independent European States, the better for all peoples.

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