EU28. Tonight is the night: the debate between the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission starts at 21:00, and will be broadcast, by at least 35 TV channels and 61 different online media platforms, across Europe and beyond.
Everything you need to know is on this page. The hemicycle in Brussels, which is expected to host 650 guests in the audience, has been turned into a TV studio. The candidates’ arrivals will be covered live. Have a look at the preparations and the rehearsals.
EU28. Tonight’s presidential debate will start with opening statements by the six candidates, and focus on the following topics:
1. Migration / Youth employment
2. Climate change / Environment / Taxation / Competition
3. International trade / the role of the EU in a changing world / populism / the democratic gap / relevance of institutions
ESTONIA. Internet voting in Estonia starts on 16 May. It is possible to vote for candidates in the European elections online until 22 May. Read more. Voting in foreign missions takes place on 11-16 May, and advance voting on 16-22 May. The elections in Estonia take place on 26 May.
ITALY. Roma Tre University have launched a project, funded by the European Parliament, called European Elections Monitoring Centre, which gathers election material from more than 300 political parties participating in the EE19. The website collects posters, commercial material, social media posts, reports and events organised by political parties. The project also involves National Research Units, about 50 Universities and Research Centres, as well as more than 100 scholars, researchers and PhD students.
MALTA. Malta will be carrying out electronic counting of the votes for the first time. Previously all elections in the country have had manual counts.
THE NETHERLANDS. Only young, female candidates will debate tonight, 19.30 – 22.00, in OBA Amsterdam, in a European election event organised by Stem op een vrouw (Vote for a woman), a group of volunteers who work to improve the political emancipation and representation of women. The nine candidates are Chantal Hakbijl (CDA), Samira Rafaela (D66), Nadia el Ouahdani (DENK), Kim van Sparrentak (GroenLinks), Kati Piri (PvdA), Eva Akerboom (PvdD), Daphne ten Klooster (SP) , Bibi Wielinga (Volt Nederland) en Catharina Rinzema (VVD). In the current European Parliament 36% of parliamentarians are women. More than 55% of members are 55+, and less than 5% are 35 or younger.
ROMANIA. The Center for the Study of Democracy (from Cluj-Napoca’s Babes-Bolyai University) has launched the independent vote matching tool, Votul Meu, ahead of the European elections. The interactive tool aims to match political preferences between parties and potential voters, based on political parties’ campaign messages.
SLOVENIA. The last in the series of events called EU is not a joke by a group of stand-up comedians will take place on 15 May in Ljubljana. Stand-up comedians Vid Valic and Ales Novak will take a humorous look at the EU, which will be followed by a relaxed debate with public and invited guests. The event is part of the three-day festival - Days of Intergenerational Cohabitation - that will also include a chance to meet the team behind the campaign This time I’m voting.
SPAIN. In order to ensure gender balance in the electoral lists, at least 40% of the candidates have to be women, according to Spanish electoral law. Given that parties’ lists are closed, the 40% threshold must be respected within each block of five candidates. At the end of the current (8th) legislature, 48% of Spanish MEPs were women.
SWEDEN. In Sweden, 10 of the current 20 MEPs are rerunning for the European elections in 2019. S&D: Jytte Guteland (Socialdemokraterna), Aleksander Gabelic (Socialdemokraterna), Soraya Post (Feministiskt Initiativ). ALDE: Fredrick Federley (Centerpartiet). The Greens/EFA: Jakop Dalunde (Miljopartiet), Bodil Valero (Miljopartiet), Max Andersson (Vandpunkt). ECR: Peter Lundgren (Sverigedemokraterna), Kristina Winberg (Sverigedemokraterna). GUE/NGL: Malin Bjork (Vansterpartiet).
UK. A pro-EU alliance has formed to encourage people to vote tactically in light of a recent YouGov poll that showed the Brexit Party with a majority of intended votes (34%) in the upcoming European election. RemainVoter.com offers data-led voting recommendation to its users, to ensure that UK Remain parties receive the highest proportion of seats.