Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

european-youth-forum-logoLast night, the First ever European Presidential Debate reached a historical peak of traffic through Euronews’ network, “top trending” in six European countries.  The live streaming generated tens of thousands of viewers on euronews.com and YouTube.

Hosted by the City of Maastricht, Maastricht University, Connect Limburg and the European Youth Forum, the debate was broadcast live on Euronews.

Maastricht, Tuesday 29 April – The First European Presidential Debate was the first opportunity to question the candidates for the European Commission Presidency on youth issues. The issues and questions asked by students invigorated the global audience and demonstrated young people’s interest in Europe and in the coming European elections in May.

The debate, successfully spread on Euronews’ media platforms and relayed by numerous of partners (FranceTV Info, Maastricht, Maastricht University, EurActiv, European Youth Forum, Eudebate2014, Nouvel Observateur…), attracted a wide audience from all around Europe, in particular the younger public through social media on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. During the 90 minutes of the battle, there were more than 50,000 tweets using #EUDebate2014. Even more remarkable, the hashtag was “top trending” in six European countries: Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria, Italy and France.
Also, related articles and live streaming reached new  traffic records both on Euronews.com and Euronews’ YouTube official channels, including 70,000 live session starts during the debate.

The 90 minutes invigorating debate saw the candidates for the presidency of the European Commission battle out key issues on the future of Europe, in front of an audience of 700 young people, and marked the first time that such a broad audience of European voters had the chance to hear, in detail, the candidates’ policies.

The candidates, Jean-Claude Juncker (European People’s Party), Martin Schulz (Party of European Socialists), Guy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party), and Ska Keller (European Green Party) answered questions that were gathered from thousands of young people from all over Europe. The candidates then debated key issues, such as foreign policy, the future of the EU, and youth employment.

This historic debate was unique both because it was the first time that all the main candidates for the Commission Presidency met for a televised debate, but also because of its focus on youth, which gave it a unique perspective and importance in the run up to the European elections.

Moderated by Euronews lead presenters Isabelle Kumar and Chris Burns, the debate was broadcast live through Euronews’ worldwide TV network (covering 415 million homes in 156 countries), simultaneously in 13 languages. Viewers could also pose questions to the candidates during the debate through social media.

The debate focused on three main themes: the European economy – crisis and growth; the future of Europe and rise of Euroscepticism; and Europe’s foreign policy role. Pre-selected students, members of the audience, asked questions directly to the candidates.

It is hoped that this milestone debate will be the first of many of its kind, and that major media outlets across Europe will not miss the opportunity to engage in the discussion and contribute to the creation of a European debate.

Watch the debate again Euronews TV, Internet and Apps
The debate and all analysis are available in 13 languages on http://www.euronews.com and Euronews’ mobile apps http://www.euronews.com/apps
On http://www.youtube.com/euronews
The debate is also available on VOD on the platform of FranceTV Info Géopolis

Media Contacts
European Youth Forum: Sarah Farndale +32 2286 9436 – sarah.farndale@youthforum.org
City of Maastricht: Gertjan Bos +31 (0)6-27850516 – gertjan.bos@maastricht.nl
Maastricht University: Caroline Roulaux: +31 (0)6-46024992 – caroline.roulaux@maastrichtuniversity.nl
Euronews: Grégoire Olivero de Rubiana: +33 (0)6-60693034 – gregoire.derubiana@euronews.com
Connect Limburg: Marcel Abrahams, strategic communications advisor: 0031-(0)6-11873046 – m.abrahams@connectlimburg.eu

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