AthensAt the end of May, European citizens will elect a new European Parliament. These elections will – perhaps more than any previous EU elections – help decide the future direction of Europe. Some 350 million voters will have a say over how the EU should be governed for the next five years, including deciding who will become the next President of the European Commission. Now that the last European party – the  Centre-Right European People’s Party – has formally chosen its candidate, the campaigning can begin in earnest (and we’ve been publishing profiles of each of the candidates in turn, to help you get to know their different priorities and beliefs).

Today, we will be covering a debate hosted by the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives – the Committee of the Regions – in Athens, Greece. This summit will be “the moment when the real political campaigning will take off”. The Committee of the Regions, representing Europe’s regions and cities, wants to use this opportunity to open the debate about the future priorities of the European Union. Taking part in the debate will be José Manuel Barroso, the current President of the European Commission, Martin Schulz, current President of the European Parliament and official candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission for the  Social Democrats Party of European Socialists, and Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece.

You’ll be able to watch the livestream of the debate on this page today at 9:00 CET and, as always, send us your thoughts, comments and questions on the topics raised and we’ll try to get them answered by policy-makers, experts and Europe’s leaders.

Do YOU already know who you will be voting for in the upcoming European Parliament elections? Start making YOUR voice heard now in Debating Europe Vote 2014!

Vote 2014

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

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Európa Pont; European People’s Party – EPP; 5th European Summit of Regions and Cities Copenhag

27 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Konstantine Konstas

    It is a debate in vain ! There is no difference between them because they harm Europe and GREECE the same.

    • avatar
      Konstantine Konstas

      Where is democracy ?

  2. avatar

    The most important problem in the economy is the relationship between gross domestic product and wages. Another important problem in the economy, which is related to the first is the ratio of accumulation-consumption. The top two imbalance causes serious deflationary pressures in the global economy and it is on the brink of the Great Depression of this century.World competition in savings, downloading tax, deregulation, printing money, cutting social benefits and protections, everything that is done under the pressure of competition against the rights of wage labor and called hypocritical flexibility is actually suicidal race of misery.

  3. avatar
    Димитър Димитров

    World competition in savings, downloading tax, deregulation, printing money, cutting social benefits and protections, everything that is done under the pressure of competition against the rights of wage labor and called hypocritical flexibility is actually suicidal race of misery

  4. avatar

    Respect for human rights, and the promotion and safeguarding of such rights, is also a cornerstone of European co-operation and an essential factor in relations between the European Union and non-member countries. Accordingly, the European Union promotes the development and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law and universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms by making every agreement an instrument of a broad political, social and economic development approach. In particular, the Commission uses the financial instruments of Chapter B7-70 of the Community budget (European initiative for democracy and the protection of human rights) to support the consolidation of the rule of law, the transition to democracy and civil society in the developing countries, central Europe and the former Soviet Union.

  5. avatar
    Bachir BRAHIM

    Encouraging the Entrepreneurship spirit within Students at Universities is one of the major key of success for establishing a sustainable economy in the Eu

  6. avatar

    Mr Samaras, do you enjoy stealing money from the poor and the middle class and giving it to rich bankers?

  7. avatar

    The most important thing for the E.U. to do now is:

    1. To make the E.U. democratic. It can be done by the European Council respecting the elections, and accepting the EPs candidate for the Commission President.
    2. Start investing in E.U. states. EIB isn’t good enough, as states have to provide 50% of capital. They can’t provide so much capital, it either has to be scrapped, and let EIB invest freely, or it has to be lowered drastically.
    3. SRM isn’t enough. It has to be one banking system, not one resolution system for the Euro to work, and avoid or deter, future financial crises.

    People are losing hope in European Project, but that fear can be overturned.

    • avatar

      1. This is impossible. The EU isn’t democratic and elections don’t make it democratic. No demos = no democracy.

      2. Who pays? You?

      3. We’re not going to guarantee deposits in other countries, not gonna happen.

  8. avatar
    Luis Prenda

    Eu acredto numa U.E.futuramente mais estável para todos Estados-Membros, uma vez que tudo tem o seu tempo e lugar no desenvolvimento politico ou económico.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @Weed Like To Talk Sweden:

      The only way the citizens of Europe can affect the decision making in Brussels, is as with any truly democratic country or union, Direct Democracy, akin to the Swiss. That way we can veto the forced measures or policies they undemocratically impose on us. And it should start right now.

      And what proves that analysis is what we presently see taking place in the Ukraine. The obvious interference, no doubt by instigation in that states politics by the EU (listen to unelected Catherine Ashton phone cal) along with the US, tells us that without informing or getting the consent of the European people or offering any vote on such matters, we are aligned to the brutal policy of the United States. Think not? Well, we heard absolutely the idiot woman stooge of the US tell her counterpart, F–k the EU.

      Yet, it appears that line from a minion belonging to an aggressive power, who is controlled totally by those above her, has gone over our heads completely. It is an example of their belief they can indeed f–k us all and use Europe as the war theatre they set us up for by placing numerous bases within our domain. Then all they need do, is sit back comfortably in their ‘barcaloungers’ as they watch us fry in battle with a beer in one hand, hollering in glee, Yeeeeha, whilst in safety watching on sophisticated flat screens. As they do with their drones.

      The future of the EU appears nebulous to me.

  9. avatar

    and I will not be one voting. just like so so many others thank you very much.

  10. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    The EU was created gto stop the BLOOD BROTHERS (Germany and France) from warring.

    A noble ambition indeed.

    Unfortunately, the EU is now a German dominated/centric regime propped up by the Poodle nation France.

    Until the ‘DYSMOCRACY’ that is the EU is correct [i.e. EU 2.0] the EU regime will cause strife even greater than the current AUSTERITY BLITZKRIEG!!

  11. avatar

    God save Europe from the intentions of the far-right, we need solidarity and harmony here, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hinuds, Buddhists or atheists we all are human being and all of us livng at this part of mother earth are Europeans, creating a rainbow .
    And let’s not forget the success of economic prosperity, peace, rule of law here at Europe have always been a source inspiration for Global South to unite and strengthen civil and civic organization for the democritization process in their societies, so let’s be an source of Rule of Law, Peace and Justice under the UN and EU’s human rights charter.

  12. avatar

    we are all adults, most of us across europe are reasonably sensible and clever enough to know how we feel so whether someone is pro eu or anti eu we should get a chance for a referendum after all it is a DEMOCRACY. I am anti eu but not anti europeans, i love other cultures and food and yes i did like the different currencies . if after a referendum the vote is to stay in then i will respect that vote

  13. avatar

    Future? With them?… The shortest joke, ever!!!

  14. avatar

    Future—-People got sold out. Banks got bailed out. The rich keep getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

  15. avatar

    Well, sometimes it helps to read one of the many textbooks to get an idea how the EU really works. There is no future without the EU in a globalized world which sees the rise of anti-democratic powers (some of the being EU MS). The EU is surely not perfect, but neither are nation-states. Thus, be realistic and engage in EU debates.

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