Greens-Final HangoutWith just four months until the 2014 European Parliament elections in May, the campaign for the next President of the European Commission is beginning! For the first time, the largest European political parties will be putting forward their candidates for Commission President ahead of the elections, so voters will get a chance to consider their preferred candidate. So far, Martin Schulz, a German MEP and the current President of the European Parliament, has emerged as the  Social Democrats (PES) candidate whilst Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian MEP and leader of the liberal ALDE group, is almost certain to be nominated by the  Liberal Democrats (ALDE). The  Centre-Right (EPP) candidate is still something of a mystery, but the  Greens‘ candidate is being chosen right now by voters online.

Last November, the European Green Party launched an online “Green Primary” to select their two leading candidates. Anyone in the EU aged 16 or over who “supports Green values” can vote in the open primary – registering their vote on for the candidate they support. Voting will close on Tuesday 28 January. The two candidates with the most votes will then officially be put forward by the Greens, taking part in TV debates with candidates for European Commission President from the other European political parties.

The final online hangout between the Green Primary candidates took place on Monday 27 January and Debating Europe covered it LIVE. Three of our partner organisations – AEGEE Europe, JEF Europe and OneEurope – also took part in the hangout asking questions from their members.

There were several ways to ask a question to the contenders:

  • Send an email to
  • Tweet with #GreenPrimary, #AskJose, #AskMonica, #AskRebecca, #AskSka
  • Add your comment below!

The full video recording of the debate is available here:

Vote 2014

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

27 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Jimmy Flindt

    EC press conference earlier today:
    The Commission presents the 2030 framework for climate and energy
    Statement by Jos Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC, on recent events in Ukraine – ? duration 07:02 minutes
    Press conference opening remarks by Jos Manuel BARROSO, President of the EC – ? duration 07:55 minutes
    Press conference opening remarks by Gnther OETTINGER, Member of the EC in charge of Energy – ? duration 09:51 minutes
    Press conference opening remarks by Connie HEDEGAARD, Member of the EC in charge of Climate Action – ? duration 04:43 minutes
    Following Q&A – – duration 30:29 minutes

  2. avatar
    Фундація Чинність закону

    Today in Kiev from the bullets of snipers killed two anti-government demonstrations of participant. Ukrainian society and the international community in shock! Statement of the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, on recent events in Ukraine : We are shocked to hear the latest news from Ukraine about deaths of protesters, and express our deepest condolences to their families. We deplore in strongest possible terms the use of force and violence, and call on all sides to immediately refrain from it, and start taking steps that would help de-escalate the situation.
    Read –

  3. avatar
    Paul X

    As I see it there is no contest……as a convicted criminal José Bové is highly qualified for a career in politics

  4. avatar
    Joel Dominic Rodrigues

    I think asking people what they mean/understand by “more Europe” and then asking them to explain how they came to that understanding would be very revealing.

  5. avatar
    Christos Mouzeviris

    Intergovernmentalism, the lack of transparency, legitimacy and the strong influence of lobbies that have a stronger voice than the citizens.. Limit the power of the EU Commission and Council, perhaps even merging them and give full power to the European Parliament..

  6. avatar
    Michele Browne

    I don’t think there is anything good to say about Europe as a union. It’s jobs for the boys, high pay, huge expenses – productivity zero!

  7. avatar
    catherine benning

    Another matter with the Greens is, their policies are so very vague on issues they appear to have little or any knowledge of. For example, what is their stance on the growing inequality with of the top 1% of the wealthy getting richer as opposed to the growing poverty of the bottom sector of our society. Anyone care to comment on what they think the Green’s stand for here?

    What is their views on European expansion? Anyone know? What do they feel needs to be changed with present European policies in general? And how will they go about those changes should they have any views that way?

    Immigration is a big issue in the UK but is also a very big issue in other member States, what views do they have on that? Dare we mention the problem or are they happy to go on pretending they don’t see any difficulties there?

    The rest of it.

    Do the Greens think outside the box or do they walk blindfolded?

    I am very pro Europe but there has to be change on many of their ill thought out political strategies. It is simply not possible to continue to ignore the wishes of the majority of European people on the way their society is moving. To deny the people the right to demand a different attitude is not Democracy, it is dictatorship. And that is unsustainable in a free thinking community.

    You cannot blame those who draw attention to the mess you create, the fault lies with those in power.

  8. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Eu sou da Europa e vivo em Portugal e por isso luto pela Democracia Europeia e defendo uma Democracia Europeia mais moderna uma democracia onde os poderes Politicos não podem abusar dos seus poderes nacionais e Europeus por isso basta ler na História Europeia para ver a classe média Europeia que construiu a Democracia moderna

  9. avatar
    Matt Dovey

    I must say I pretty much agree with Catherine.
    The whole eu election is pointless. Nothing will change. More money will be wasted. I’ll have less freedom and things will become even less democratic

  10. avatar

    You have mentioned the candidates from all the European groups apart from the one that would have it disbanded , the EFD. very democratic that. As for the greens ,their policies will only make Europe uncompetitive in the global markets and Europes people poorer via high energy bills

  11. avatar
    catherine benning

    If ‘Debating Europe’ continues to ask the European people what they feel or think of their political aspirations and the parties submitted for scrutiny , and then, for no reason known to man, remove those who write legitimate opposition with the reasons for same, can you really wonder why so many who come here feel the organisation you back is considered undemocratic?

    Any party or organisation that wants to lead a people and cannot bare any sign of opposition from that persuasion does not believe in itself. Or, indeed believe itself to be legitimately able to persuade its electorate of its leadership qualities shows enormous weakness.

    Censorship is the first sign of diplomatic duplicity. Fear of truth is exposure of duplicity. Only those with strength of policy are fit to rule and those who don’t have that necessity should not be acceptable as candidates as they are an obvious set up to mislead those they wish to convince.

    The EU should be way above the rest of the world in this need to hide, not way below the rest as you are regularly proving yourself to be. Shame on you.

  12. avatar
    Michele Browne

    To have a fair approach to immigration. All EU countries should have the same pay, tax and social benefit structure as well as employment law etc.. Then the search for work would relate to employment opportunities in any given country. I have nothing against people coming to look for work in another country but the EU shouldn’t expect a country to give social benefits until that employee has paid into its social benefit scheme and paid tax. Those that come into a country as asylum seekers should be helped if proved that they have a rallied claim for asylum but not to the point where they make demands about where they want to live etc. That’s my opinion!

  13. avatar
    Jaime Martins

    If you had invested the 1.3 billion euros in the people you had stoped the crisis, but you chose to fill the pockets of bankers.

  14. avatar
    Nikolaos Sotirelis

    Abolish the shameless Dublin II treaty! Stop transforming the South, to an endless prison of souls.
    Otherwise the entry countries by themselves, should provide to the immigrants travel documents and let them go where they wish.

  15. avatar

    Where is the debate? I thought the four contenders will provide some closing remarks?!

  16. avatar
    catherine benning

    @ Debating Europe.

    I wrote they ‘looked’ stupid, which is a legal opinion rightfully expressed. And the reason for that ‘look’ is because many of their Green policies are indeed ignorant on execution. They don’t say ‘how’ they will carry out their promises. Which in reality means, anyone at all can say ‘they plan’ to do something or ‘want to do’ something but have no idea how they will achieve what they offer.

    Besides, who are they to decide that the public, when openly asked for their view, are censored for offering that same view? We should be free to express our thoughts on what they are offering the public as a viable proposal to govern and question their sincerity, so, being censored for doing just that tells the voter they have no idea what they are offering will work at all.

    Fear of their proposals being considered ‘stupid’ is proof they are aware of their obvious faults. Or, are they more fearful of debate ‘proving’ its stupidity rather than simply having the ‘look’ of it?

  17. avatar

    Provést redukce přes bank kde tato krajina byla v krizi a dat to přes audit a komise kde bude rozhodovat zdá nebylo skryté tento dluh v Řecko ( -173% HDP.)

  18. avatar
    John Bevegård

    .hi i think the eu mustt go forward and be in the vanguard for green sustainable ecofriendly economy the eu is a soft power a strong union but we can be leaders in green technology if we all countries come together and join forces to a greener europe. a eu for the future next generation change fromm coal gas and oil to green tech for the future europe can lead the world and be the best lovethe strong europe. …. johnnyb.

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