European Elections 2019 Campaign Tracker
To help media keep track of the European election campaigns, the EP Press service provides a daily newsfeed on country-specific electoral facts, events and debates in all member states.
Disclaimer: this is an informal message intended to help journalists covering the work of the European Parliament. It is neither an official press release nor a comprehensive record of proceeding.
VOTING TODAY. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. First aggregated provisional results will be published around 23:15 after the last polling station closes in Italy.
ELECTION DAY. On the live coverage blog of the Parliament you can follow as events unfold. For updated projections and results, check the results website in 23 languages. There is a timeline of publications for more information.
Campaign tracker - 26 May
VOTING TODAY. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. First aggregated provisional results will be published around 23:15 after the last polling station closes in Italy.
ELECTION DAY. On the live coverage blog of the Parliament you can follow as events unfold. For updated projections and results, check the results website in 23 languages. There is a timeline of publications for more information.
Campaign tracker - 25 May
ELECTION NIGHT. Most lead candidates will be present in the Parliament on election night, including Manfred Weber (EPP), Frans Timmermans (PES), Margrethe Vestager (ALDE), Ska Keller and Bas Eickhout (Greens), Nico Cué (European Left).
EU28. Google has given more prominence to candidates, parties, and the European Parliament website for the election period by rejigging the way it displays search results. Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, dating app Tinder, and Candy Crush creator King are also running extra services to encourage Europeans to vote. Read more.
BULGARIA. The popular online community People of Sofia, in partnership with European Parliament Liaison Office in Bulgaria, is publishing personal stories from four first-time voters on why they believe it is important to vote in the European Elections on 26 May. #ThisTimeImVoting
CYPRUS. TV presenter and social media influencer Andreas Giortsios actively supports the voter mobilisation campaign: his daily TV show Happy Hour starts every afternoon with a reason why voting is important, with celebrity guests pledging to vote on 26 May. The Choose your Future video has become the show's outro for the period preceding election night.
DENMARK. Under the tagline "make the election a climate election", tens of thousands of people are expected to march for the climate, in Copenhagen, one day before the European elections. Greta Thunberg will participate in the march and speak to the participants. Climate change is the most important election subject for Danes (68%, EU: 43%) according to the latest Eurobarometer.
ESTONIA. More people voted early, compared to 2014: just over a quarter (25.4%), or 223,870 voters have already cast their ballot over the internet and in 444 polling stations around the country. This is 6% more than during the early voting in the last European elections. Early voting ended on 22 May. The final lead candidate debate was broadcast on Wednesday 22 May, just after the end of early voting.
FRANCE. The government published a snappy video urging people to go to vote.
GREECE. The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) encourages participation in the elections saying the EU has a crucial and positive role to play in the country's future. The #Thanks2Europe #SEV4Europe campaign focuses on challenges and opportunities for Greece as a member state. The campaign has produced a video, an op-ed in a major newspaper, and organised a highly publicised press conference at the Athens Parliament office, aiming to mobilise the broader business community.
POLAND. Actors and civil organisations urge Poles to vote: Women's fate, women's vote by Akcja Demokracja (Action Democracy) is a nation-wide campaign motivating female voters, in particular. The campaign "It's better to choose" ("Lepiej wybierz") by the Batory Foundation uses a series of videos with short, funny limericks performed by actors such as Jerzy Radziwiłłowicz, Olga Bołądź, Piotr Machalica and Mateusz Damięcki to encourage voters.
ROMANIA. The video Granny says, by vlogger Mircea Bravo went viral in the country, with over five million views so far. In the video, an elderly lady clad in a folky dress extolls the virtues of voting, which she did not have the opportunity to do, to two youths asking her for money. The youth then explains to a friend, why go vote? “Because Granny says so!”
SPAIN. On election night, the European Parliament Office will offer, its volunteers and people who register, the opportunity to follow the election results unfold live, both in Madrid and Barcelona. The election watch will include debates with experts in EU elections, and some celebrations with live music and fun activities.
Campaign tracker - 24 May
EU28. Daily footage of lead candidates voting, polling stations, European Parliament activity and key moments are available for free download in the Multimedia centre.
EUROPE. Lead candidates have travelled the continent to vote. Violeta Tomić (EL) voted early on Tuesday in Ljubljana, Frans Timmermans (PES) cast his vote on Thursday in a booth in Heerlen, the city of his former college, while Bas Eickhout (Greens) in Utrecht. On Sunday, Manfred Weber (EPP) votes in his hometown Landshut, Bavaria; Margrethe Verstager (ALDE) in Copenhagen, Ska Keller (Greens) in Berlin, and Jan Zahradil (ACRE) in Prague. Oriol Junqueras (EFA) casts his vote by mail. Free photos, videos in the Multimedia centre.
BULGARIA. 525, professors, teachers, artists, researchers and journalists have written an open letter that urges citizens to be active, inform themselves and vote for candidates supporting European values. Published ahead of Bulgarian Education and Culture, and Slavonic Literature Day (24 May) and the European elections (26 May), the letter calls on citizens to firmly support the democratic principles and liberal values, as laid down in the EU Treaties.
CROATIA: Campaign silence kicks off at midnight 25 May and last until 26 May 19:00. State election commission DIP has warned political parties, candidates and media to abstain from any form of political campaigning or reporting on electoral campaigns in the blackout period. This includes publication of photos, statements or interviews of the participants in the elections or any projections of results. DIP also called on employers to organise their business process flexibly on Sunday, to enable their employees to take part in the elections.
FINLAND. YLE, Finland's national public broadcasting company, has published an “election bot” to help young voters select their preferred candidate. The election bot is based on the data YLE’s general vote compass uses, but targets 18-29 year-old first time voters.
FRANCE, GERMANY. “Who will be your match for the next 5 years?” For those curious to know, in Germany and France, the matchmaking app Tinder is running an ad until Sunday) to help users find the best fit - as far as voting is concerned. When users swipe up, they are redirected to the #thistimeimvoting homepage.
IRELAND. Alongside European Parliament and local council elections, two other votes will take place in Ireland on 24 May. One will be a referendum on easing divorce legislation. The other vote will be a plebiscite in the cities of Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, consulting voters on the question of having directly-elected mayors.
ITALY. Italian football players present their priorities for the next European Parliament ahead of the EU elections. Assocalciatori, the Italian association representing professional footballers, in partnership with the European Parliament, will present a survey that asks for EU action on women’s inclusion in football, fight against doping and violent behaviour during sport competitions in Rome, today (24 May).
THE NETHERLANDS. The first polling station in the country that voted yesterday (23 May) opened at midnight at the train station in Castricum. In The Hague, people could cast their ballot on tram #9. Schiedam's windmills were flying the European flag (see picture attached). Other polling stations could be found, amongst others, in churches, swimming pools, Lelystad airport, museums, restaurants and sport clubs.
ROMANIA. The Youth Federation in 200,000-strong Bacău, with a group of 50 dedicated high-school students and teachers, have been organising scores of meetings and events within their high-schools to inform their colleagues on the role of the EP and the importance of their vote. That's how it started two months ago and this is what their journey looks like.
PORTUGAL. ‘We are 28’ is the title of the song recorded by the school class that won the EU’s Euroscola contest, about the importance of voting. The song urges citizens to vote in the European elections and expresses the wish that the UK remains as part of the EU.
SLOVAKIA. Business leaders in Slovakia released a video message on the benefits of the country's membership in the EU. The "Businesses care about Europe" declaration calls for a globally competitive Europe, that defends democratic principles and the rule of law. It points out that Slovakia as an active EU member can be more relevant globally.
SLOVENIA. Early voting finished yesterday (23 May). According to National Electoral Commission data, on the first two days 20,408 people casted their vote (1.2 percent of the entire electorate). In 2014 European elections, 11,826 people voted in the same period (0.70% of the entire electorate). Several MEP-candidates and President of the Republic Borut Pahor casted their vote during early voting, the latter urging Slovenians to vote. The European Parliament office in Ljubljana encouraged fellow citizens to vote via a Twitter post.
EUROPE. Artists and activists organisations have created their own versions of Parliament’s ‘What Europe Does For Me’. Here are some examples. Dutch architects Rem Koolhaas and Stephan Peterman’s ‘The EU Costs You The Same As Netflix’, a Romanian volunteer’s film on ideas supported by EU funds, the post ‘Dinner without the EU’ from the young researchers’ blog You&EU. You can find more on the achievements of the European Parliament in the election press kit.
Campaign tracker - 23 May
ALERT. As of today, videos and photos of voting in European elections in different member states are made available for free download here.
ELECTION NIGHT. Check updated practical information on the European election days with, among others, a timeframe of projections and results publication, audiovisual support for TV and radio, country-by-country election related information, last minute accreditation, and workstations, around noon at the EP news website.
VOTING TODAY. Polling stations open in the Netherlands and the UK today. 53 million UK voters can cast their ballots for the 591 candidates competing for 73 seats. If the country is still an EU member state on 2 July, the current composition of the Parliament, with 751 MEPs will continue to apply. In the Netherlands, around 13.5 million Dutch voters will select 26 candidates out of 308 running. Tomorrow’s (24 May) voters: Czechia and Ireland. Official results can be announced only after the last European voting booths close at 23:00 on Sunday.
EU28. Rule of law in Hungary, new copyright rules, the 2017 State of the Union debate and the election of European Parliament president Antonio Tajani were the most covered media topics of the outgoing Parliament, with coverage gradually picking up during the term. On average, 1,100 articles were published during each plenary session. For more data, check here.
CROATIA, GERMANY. In a get-out-and-vote drive on Instagram and Facebook on the eve of the elections, activists will encourage dog walkers in Osijek to snap pictures of their pets at polling stations and post them on social media with #izađiglasajprošetaj (#getouttakeawalkvote) on 26 May. In Frankfurt am Mein, volunteers with flyers will concentrate on humans to motivate to go to the polling stations.
CZECHIA The biggest Czech commercial television station TV NOVA will be broadcasting its morning show live from the European Parliament tomorrow (24 May), to mark the first of two European election voting days (24-25 May) in the country. The three-hour-long show will feature a former Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs and a political analyst, and will focus on the European Parliament, its past achievements and future challenges, and the EP elections.
DENMARK. Artists from across the world have been staging a nation-wide exhibition, titled “It’s Urgent!” that comments on the current political situation, displayed on billboards during the election period. It includes contributions by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Individual works are displayed across Denmark until the end of June, and the entire collection is on show during Heartland Festival from 30 May – 1 June, and subsequently in the courtyard of Kunsthal Charlottenborg from 18 June – 11 August.
FRANCE. Valérie Thatcher, a Lyon-based volunteer for the #thistimeimvoting campaign who walked from Lyon to Brussels (757 km) between mid-March and mid-April to encourage people to vote in the European elections, will be in Paris tomorrow (24 May) to respond to Greta Thunberg's call for a Climate March. Campaign volunteers join her at noon, in front of the European Parliament office, in Paris before the march begins.
ITALY. Volunteers set up stands today (23 May) in their Universities (University of Genoa, Cattolica University of Milan and University of Turin) to raise awareness of the EU elections and exchange ideas with their peers. On Election Day (Sunday 26) the volunteers will share their personal experience on their social media accounts, throughout the day. #thistimeimvoting in Italy
LATVIA. Prisoners in nine of Latvia’s penal institutions were among the first to cast their votes yesterday (22 May). 1,357 people, more than half of the prison’s inmates eligible to vote, had registered for the election. Registration remains open, allowing more inmates to cast their vote.
NETHERLANDS. Why do the Dutch vote on Thursday 23 May and not on their usual voting day Wednesday? European rules state that the elections have to take place in a period starting on Thursday and ending on Sunday. As a result, Wednesday was not eligible. Thursday was the day closest to Wednesday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are ruled out as these are days are meant for rest for a number of religious groups. Find out about who is running in the Netherlands.
SLOVAKIA: “Don't let those uninterested in Europe take it away from us”: this is the main message of the pre-election video featuring Slovak actors, comedians and a rapper released by "Youth against fascism" activists. “The EU brings us a lot of benefits and yet, five years ago, 87% of us did not vote. If this repeats again, every second vote could go to extremists. Do not let this happen,” they say. Find out about voting details in different countries.
SPAIN. Ana Carrasco, the first female motorcycle rider to win a World Championship, several Spanish female basketball players, who won bronze medals at the 2018 World Cup, and Carolina Navarro, nine time former World Padel Tour number one and World Champion in doubles and in national squads' tournament features in the new go-to-vote video published by the Madrid EP office.
SWEDEN. The final lead candidate debate on the main public TV channel SVT 1 will take place on Friday 24 May at 20:00. It will feature European Parliament newcomers Heléne Fritzon (S&D), Tomas Tobé (EPP), Alice Bah Kuhnke (The Greens), Karin Karlsbro (ALDE), Sara Skyttedal (EPP) as well as "re-runners" Peter Lundgren (ECR), Fredrick Federley (ALDE), Malin Björk (GUE/NGL) and Soraya Post (S&D).
EUROPE. Glossy magazines including Vogue in Italy, Germany, Poland, L’Uomo Vogue, Elle in Poland and Glamour in Hungary are calling on their readers to vote, with testimonials by models and big names from the fashion world, such as Vanessa Paradis or Joel Kinnaman. The campaign runs on Instagram #WeloveEU – with a recent cameo by EP spokesman Jaume Duch.
Campaign tracker - 22 May
EU28/Cannes. Around 500 film directors, makers and stars signed a “European Manifesto” at the Cannes film festival on Tuesday. The text signed by, among others, Belgian directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, German director Wim Wenders, and UK actor Ralph Fiennes, calls on Europeans to stand up for a “free and democratic Europe, a Europe of freedom of thought and expression” by voting in European Elections 23-26 May.
EU28. Parliament´s official 30-second “Choose your future” TV ad has been shown more than 1600 times on 79 major European TV channels in 25 member states, and Switzerland (click here to view the 33 language versions). The initial “Choose your future” short film (3 min.) has been viewed 130 million times on social networks since its launch on 25 April. With “Stop Scrolling,” the video addressing young voters 18-24 in all member states, reaching 8 million views within the first five days of its internet journey.
BULGARIA. Bulgaria’s answer to US medical drama series Grey’s Anatomy, “Stolen Life” dedicated an episode to the upcoming European elections and the importance of voting. The episode revolves around a patient who is admitted to hospital, one day before the Election Day on 26 May, and manages to persuade the administration to open a voting station inside the hospital.
ESTONIA. As of 20:00 on 20 May, 14.3% percent of eligible voters have already cast their ballot in the European elections electronically or at early voting locations. 94,558 votes have been cast over the internet. Votes can be changed by another i-vote or at early voting stations today at 18:00 and 20:00, respectively. Election Day is Sunday (26 May).
FRANCE. The European Parliament’s office in Paris and Radio France are hosting the event Votre Europe (Your Europe) tomorrow (23 May) 8:45 to 12:45 at the French public radio headquarters, Maison de la Radio. No less than 14 French heads of lists will have 15 minutes each to answer questions from a journalist and citizens, via the #VotreEurope hashtag. Live broadcast here.
GERMANY. Bread rolls clad in blue and yellow: German company Ambermedia taps into its network of 8,000 bakeries all over the country, and has provided them, this week, with paper bags decorated with the European flag and a reminder of the date of the European elections. Bakeries are also open on Sunday, which is the day Germans cast their vote.
HUNGARY. Local celebrities sporting a blue hoodie with the EU stars have joined the #szavaznifogok Instagram campaign, or posted to their own site, to encourage people to get out and vote. Check former EU correspondent and media personality Kriszta D. Tóth and influencer iamfulop.
ITALY. European low-cost bus operator Flixbus offers free vouchers to people taking a Flixbus bus from Thursday to Sunday (23-26 May) to reach their constituency to vote, in an initiative called #flixtimeimvoting. Other Italian transport companies offer discounts to citizens traveling back home for the European elections; these include national airline company Alitalia, railway companies Trenitalia and Italo, and national ferry companies for people travelling to/from the islands of Sicily and Sardenia.
LITHUANIA. Gaming the vote: Lithuanians who join an online game to draw a virtual collective painting on the Vote4Art platform will be rewarded for their votes on the game site. While participants can usually collect a maximum 24 pixels per day to contribute to the painting, a proof of vote in the European elections will generate as many as 84 pixels, allowing for a much greater mark in the painting. Three young IT specialists, who won a Hackathon organised by European Parliament Liaison Office and the European Commission Representation, in Lithuania, created the platform.
LUXEMBOURG. This year, 7% more non-Luxembourgish Europeans will vote in Luxembourg, than in 2014: there are 23,175 registered on the electoral lists for the European elections compared to 21,650 foreign voters in 2014. They make up for 8% of total voters in the Grand-Duchy. Country-by-country voting information is available here.
POLAND. “Vote together”, a campaign to increase voter participation by making voting fun and celebratory, has reached Poland. It is led by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, and several well-known figures, including actress Magdalena Cielecka, poet, writer and translator Jacek Dehnel, and journalist and writer Mariusz Szczygieł, who have joined, along with other citizens, to encourage civic activism.
PORTUGAL. Journalists vote: the Journalists Association in Portugal (Sindicato dos Jornalistas) promoted several initiatives to boost the debate about the European elections. In a series of videos entitled “Journalists vote”, they state their reasons to vote in the 2019 European elections and invite the other citizens to do the same. destavezeuvoto.eu
EUROPE. City scooter company Lime, teaming up with the European Parliament’s own #thistimeImvoting drive, will offer free rides on its electric scooters for people wanting to vote in the European elections in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, on between 6:00 and 21:00 on 26 May.
Campaign tracker - 21 May
EU28. Filmmakers and personalities from the cinema world across Europe are coming together during the Cannes Film Festival to publish a manifesto stressing the importance of voting in the European elections. The manifesto, initiated by the French Film Directors' Guild (SRF), the Directors’ Fortnight, the European Film Academy (EFA), the Federation of European Film Directors (FERA) and the Society of Audio-visual Authors (SAA) has around 400 signatories. French director Céline Sciamma and other directors will launch the manifesto on Tuesday 21 May at 17:30, in front of the Malmaison, seat of the Directors Fortnight. The event, followed by a photo call, will gather film directors, authors and key figures of the cinema world from across Europe.
EU28. Austrian singer Conchita WURST has a message for you ahead of the European elections on 23-26 May: "Go vote!". Join the #thistimeimvoting community.
EU28. Economic growth and jobs are perceived as most important topics in the ongoing election campaign by 50 % of Europeans, according to the last Eurobarometer survey, especially in Greece (81%), Latvia (68 %), Lithuania and Portugal (67 %). See the dedicated multimedia package on what Parliament has done to help the EU economy recover from the crisis and what’s at stake now.
BELGIUM. The election campaign is in full swing, with audiovisual programmes on what is at stake for the European elections being hosted by different channels, such as Radio 1 (VRT) and RTL TV. Lead candidates have also been participating in debates on both sides of the country: Paul Magnette (PS) and Olivier Chastel (MR) will debate on RTBF Radio on 24 May, while Geert Bourgeois (NVA) and Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE) debated on VRT TV on 19 May.
CROATIA. Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, a celebrated football coach who led the Croatian national team to a bronze medal in the 1998 World Cup, has appeared in a European elections campaign ad on behalf of the Serbian minority party SDSS. In the video, Blažević directly addresses the audience, calling for tolerance, with the message that “all humans are equal”.
DENMARK. An election event with five of the Danish lead candidates on how the EU reinforces the green transition will be organised today in Folketinget (Danish Parliament). Issues to be debated include the Common Agricultural Policy and how to ensure it supports the climate and the environment, as well as chemicals and air pollution. More info here (in Danish).
FINLAND. Fact checking service Fact bar is organising two simultaneous events in Helsinki and Brussels on Thursday evening to follow a TV debate on EU elections staged by the national broadcaster YLE. The audience will be observing if the party leaders are using fact-based arguments in the debate.
FRANCE. Thanks to a modification of the Civil Code last March, French citizens placed under guardianship and suffering from a physical or mental disability will be able to vote for the first time for the European elections and all upcoming elections in the country. To help disabled people go to vote, the Paris Council has taken several measures, including producing pedagogical videos and leaflets, braille inscriptions next to the ballot papers or providing personal assistance in the voting booth for those unable to carry out certain physical actions.
LATVIA. Early voting will be possible in polling stations across the country starting from Wednesday. Voters can cast their ballot in any station during early voting, however their vote will only be accepted in their registered station on Saturday, the Election Day.
NETHERLANDS. “De Race om Europa” festival will take place in Amsterdam on the evening of 22 May, with performances from the ´Kiesvrouwen´ and others (theatre, movies, debate, podcasts, music, etc). More information here. The Netherlands and the United Kingdom vote on Thursday 23 May.
SPAIN. Public broadcaster TVE is organising the second and last EE19 television debate, on Wednesday 22 May. After several modifications, the final guest list includes nine candidates, from eight lists already represented in the European Parliament: PP (EPP), PSOE (S&D), Unidas Podemos (GUE/Greens), Ciudadanos (ALDE), Ahora Repúblicas (Greens - GUE), Compromís (Greens - GUE), Lliures per Europa (ALDE) and Coalición por una Europea Solidaria (ALDE), plus far-right party VOX, which obtained 1.57% of the votes in 2014.
Campaign tracker - 20 May
EU28. Getting Europe to the ballot box. With European elections just days away, dedicated individuals, businesses and VIPs step up their efforts to make sure as many citizens as possible cast their vote to choose their future. The streaming service Spotify has also created a dedicated “Get Vocal, Europe!” playlist, featuring one song from each of the 28 member states. Please find a full list of events organised by activists, companies and NGOs across Europe in the coming days.
EU28. Yourvotematters.eu offers a multi-lingual voting-match tool based on actual votes by MEPs over the past years. Once the user has “voted” on 25 questions that have already been tabled for plenary votes, the tool shows them which of the outgoing MEPs or fresh candidates are most aligned with their views.
EU28. All you need to know as a journalist about the election days in Brussels is available here.
AUSTRIA/SLOVENIA. Switching countries, not groups. The only Austrian ALDE MEP is re-running as a candidate, but this time in Slovenia. Angelika Mlinar is part of the Slovene minority in southern Austria.
BULGARIA. The Association of Bulgarian Football Players is an official partner of #thistimeimvoting and wants to help increase voter turnout for the upcoming elections. Watch the message from Svetoslav Dyakov, PFC Ludogorets’ captain.
CYPRUS. All Cypriot MEPs, except one, are standing for re-election: Lefteris Christoforou (EPP), Costas Mavrides and Dimitris Papadakis (S&D), Eleni Theocharous (ECR), and Neoklis Sylikiotis (GUE/NGL) will seek to renew their mandate, while Takis Hadjigeorgiou (GUE/NGL) will not be returning to the European Parliament.
DENMARK. Today, Margrethe Vestager, lead candidate for the presidency of the European Commission for ALDE’s Team Europe, will address a public event at the Danish School of Media and Journalism on the EU’s greatest challenges; including how to deal with tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Journalism students will also present a study on how to get young first time voters to the ballot box. More info here (in Danish).
GERMANY. In Germany, each of the 609,000 polling aides gets €25 “refreshment money”. They help make the election possible in 72,000 voting stations, where 64.8 million eligible voters (including 3.9 million citizens from other EU member states living in Germany) can cast their votes on Sunday between 8:00 and 18:00. Read more.
GREECE. In line with Greek legislation that sets a minimum percentage of female candidates at 40%, out of the 1,195 candidates in 40 lists, 57.3% are male and 42.7% are female. Eight lists in total include more that 45% women, and out of two of those female candidates represent at least half of the total number of candidates.
LITHUANIA. An original initiative to attract voters to participate in the upcoming EU elections has been launched in Lithuania. People can register on a particular website, bring together a team of five people and receive a seedling in their name near the Centre of Europe, close to Vilnius. All they need to do is vote in the elections and send a proof of it to the organisers, who plan to plant a special ‘election forest’.
POLAND. Non-profit organisation Alliance4Europe and the City of Warsaw will organise a debate on Culture and Art for Europe, including promotion of a cover of a classic Queen song by famous Polish artists Thursday 23 May. The event will feature VIPs, such as Anja Rubik, Agnieszka Holland, Orina Krajewska and Małgorzata Zborowska. The event will be open to media.
SPAIN. Josep Borrell, the current Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister and EP President from 2004 to 2007, is heading the electoral list of PSOE (S&D). Other candidates who have also held ministerial jobs in Spain are; Dolors Montserrat, Juan Ignacio Zoido, Pilar del Castillo, José Manuel García-Margallo, for PP (EPP), and, Juan Fernando López Aguilar for PSOE (S&D).
SWEDEN. In Sweden, approximately 7.3 million Swedish citizens, nationally registered in Sweden, are allowed to vote in the upcoming EU elections. For 489 000 young Swedes this will be their first opportunity to vote in the European elections. Previously, 70 000 of them were not old enough to vote in last year’s national parliamentary elections.
Campaign tracker - 17 May
EU-28. Get up to date with today’s briefing on practical arrangements for media covering the election days in Brussels. See the video recording (check under Friday 17 May 2019) and watch out for the press release in the afternoon. A compilation of country-specific election facts and key candidates is also now available online.
EU28. The video "Stop scrolling" was launched on Youtube yesterday, to remind young people to go to vote. A group of volunteer young filmmakers from various EU countries teamed up to produce the 43-second film, subtitled in 24 languages.
BULGARIA. EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber will be in Sofia on Sunday (19 May) for the main campaign event of GERB (EPP) in Arena Armeec. GERB/SDS (EPP) candidates will also attend the campaign event, which is expected to gather around 14,000 members and party supporters.
CROATIA. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will join EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber at the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) rally in Zagreb, Saturday (18 May). On the following day, PES lead candidate Frans Timmermans is taking part in the election convention of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP) at Croatia’s biggest port, Rijeka.
CZECHIA. Last Sunday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said Czechia would be interested in trade or internal market portfolio in the next European Commission, in an interview for the Czech Television. Also in February, Mr Babiš noted that current Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Commissioner Věra Jourová could continue as a member of the post-election EU's executive.
FINLAND. TV debates on EU elections with the national party leaders will take place next Monday and Tuesday (20 and 21 May), hosted by the national broadcaster YLE. A final debate is also scheduled for 23 May, on YLE.
GREECE. 1,195 candidates are standing for election on 40 different lists, according to the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece (Areios Pagos) who finalised the European Elections 2019 lists, on 12 May. Next Sunday (26 May) Greek voters will also participate in the first round of the regional and municipal elections, the second round of which will take place on 2 June.
HUNGARY. Friday (17 May) 16:00 is the deadline for Hungarians with a Hungarian address but living in another EU country to register to vote on Hungarian lists. EU-expat Hungarians who have cancelled their address in Hungary cannot vote on Hungarian candidates, unlike ethnic Hungarians in Serbia and Ukraine.
IRELAND. National broadcaster RTÉ is holding a series of live televised candidate debates ahead of the European Elections. Each debate will focus on one of Ireland’s three constituencies: Ireland South on Sunday (19 May), Dublin on 20 May, and Midlands-Northwest on 21 May. Commercial station Virgin Media One are also broadcasting the televised debates.
ITALY. New rules to boost gender balance in elections will apply in Italy for the first time in the European elections 2019. These rules, introduced in 2014, say that electoral lists should be composed of male and female candidates in the same proportion (50%). The first two candidates in each list must be one man and one woman (in whichever order). If a voter marks two or three candidates, s/he must include at least one female, otherwise both the second and third preferences would be annulled.
LATVIA. A “non-political guide to EU elections” will be presented at the European Union House in Riga, on Monday 20 May. Two experts will also explain voting technicalities and the role of the European Parliament.
THE NETHERLANDS. The Ballot Boxers (“de Kiesmannen”) and their sisters act the Kiesvrouwen, are young Dutch political performers who host podcasts and political shows across the country in which they explain the EU to a young audience. Their goal is to mobilise young people for the European Elections. Their next shows are in the Amsterdam International Theater (Kiesmannen) and Utrecht (Kiesvrouwen) on 20 May.
PORTUGAL. 10.76 million voters are registered for the European elections, including citizens from other EU countries. As the number of Portuguese voters living or registered abroad increased from 300,000to 1.4 million. This increase is partially due to changes in the electoral law, which made registration automatic. Latest census data by the Home Affairs Ministry.
Campaign tracker - 16 May
EU-28. 84 TV channels, including Japan’s NHK, America's CNBC, BBC1 in the UK and several international channels covered Wednesday’s debate among the presidential candidates. According to data collected by the European Parliament’s monitoring services, the show was mentioned on TV in 26 countries. Check here for the replay.
AUSTRIA. Healthier ways to cook Viennese scallops and French fries made it into the headlines of the campaign, to underpin a call for more subsidiarity. Find out what the EU has done to improve food quality and safety over the past five years in the multimedia package “Food safety” free for download.
BULGARIA. A discussion on “Lead candidates in the European elections 2019: a clash of ideas on the Future of Europe” will take place on 16 May in the House of Europe in Sofia. The event, hosted by the EP Liaison Office and the Commission representation in Bulgaria, will take place one day after the main debate between lead candidates in Brussels, and is open to the public and media.
FINLAND. The Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees is organising a seminar on the role of Finland in defining the future of the EU on 17 May. The programme includes an election panel discussion among MEP candidates.
FRANCE: The European Parliament's Open Day in Strasbourg, on Sunday 19 May, will focus on the European elections, one week before the vote takes place. The event, both informative and festive, will allow visitors to become more familiar with the work of MEPs and its impact on their daily lives. The programme will alternate debates with MEPs in the Chamber and musical, artistic and choreographic activities.
GREECE. Athens gets ready for the elections at the Party for Europe on 17 May at the Athens Conservatory. Artists, speakers, filmmakers, journalists, academics and DJs will set the tone in a celebration of European unity and democracy. The event is organised by the Athens Parliament office, with the contribution of This Time I'm Voting volunteers. A similar event in Thessaloniki last Sunday attracted over 3,500 young people.
LATVIA. Latvian voters can find the candidate who reflects their values by answering a set of questions on their preferences on EU policies. The tool was developed by the national broadcaster, a think tank and a social psychologist.
THE NETHERLANDS. Stichting Nederlanders in het buitenland (the iInstitution for Dutch citizens living abroad) created a special European elections 'vote tracker' for Dutch citizens living abroad to indicate if they received their voting documents in time. Many people filled it in during the previous elections, pushing the Dutch government to improve the voting process for people outside the national borders. Around 62.000 Dutch voters who live abroad have registered for the European elections.
PORTUGAL. Five main changes to the electoral law make their debut at the European elections: new rules for early voting; Portuguese citizens residing abroad with a citizen's card are automatically included in the voter register; the end of voters’ numbers; the provision of a Braille matrix for citizens with visual impairments and an e-voting pilot project in the Évora district. Website of the National Election Committee (Comissão Nacional de Eleições).
SLOVENIA. The series of electoral debates on public television TV Slovenija will continue tonight. The first debate of the evening will include the candidates from the parties currently in the Slovenian Parliament, while the second is going to present those who come from nonparliamentary parties. Watch the first debate online.
UK (NORTHERN IRELAND). The DUP and Sinn Féin have launched their election manifestos for the 2019 European elections in Northern Ireland. Both parties are hoping to retain one seat each in the European Parliament.
Campaign tracker - 15 May
ALERT. The French director of Parliament’s campaign film “Choose your Future”, Frédéric Planchon, will be present at a seminar organised by the European Parliament’s media services, in the Anna Politkovskaya press conference room (PHS 0A50) 18:00-19:00. He is available for interviews from 14:30 to 16:00 and after the seminar.
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:
- Migration / Youth employment
- Climate change / Environment / Taxation / Competition
- 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 Valič and Aleš 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 (Miljöpartiet), Bodil Valero (Miljöpartiet), Max Andersson (Vändpunkt). ECR: Peter Lundgren (Sverigedemokraterna), Kristina Winberg (Sverigedemokraterna). GUE/NGL: Malin Björk (Vänsterpartiet).
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.
Campaign tracker - 14 May
ALERT. Journalists without an annual inter-institutional badge who wish to access Parliament’s premises tomorrow (15 May) for the presidential debate need to send an email before tonight to: firstname.lastname@example.org
EU28. In total 20 European leaders presented their views on the future direction that the European Union should take, between January 2018 and April 2019. Read the latest analysis on these Future of Europe debates here.
BELGIUM. Belgians will not only vote for European elections, on 26 May, but also for the regional and federal ones. Read the full list of candidates running to take up the 21 MEP seats assigned to Belgium (12 for the Dutch Electoral College, 8 for the French one and 1 for the German one).
BULGARIA. Tonight is the third in a series of TV debates with MEP candidates hosted by public broadcaster BNT. Here is the contenders’ order of participation, and you can watch the first and second debate online. The final debate is on 21 May.
CROATIA. Former Bulgarian ambassador to Croatia Tanya Dimitrova has won a price for the best European speech, awarded by the European Movement Croatia, whereby she was acknowledged for a speech on 7 February 2018 on the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU. In an interview for HRT, the Croatian national television, Dimitrova stressed the timeliness of the award, just “a few days before the exceptionally important European elections”. Croatia will take over the presidency of the Council in January 2020.
DENMARK. Danish lead candidates face up to a representative “mini-Denmark” at a citizen dialogue in the Danish Parliament today, discussing, among others; climate change, asylum and migration, free trade, Denmark's role in a global world, social dumping, tax havens and money laundering. The dialogue will end with a televised debate based on the questions formulated during the day. It will be broadcast live on TV2 at 19:23 and can also be followed here.
FINLAND. The Europe women association will organise an election panel today, on how to increase voting among women in EU elections and what MEPs can do to advance gender equality. Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA), Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP) and Mirja Vehkaperä (ALDE) will take part in the panel among others.
FRANCE/GERMANY/UK. Former Italian EU minister Sandro Gozi is 22nd on the European Election list for the French governing party La République en marche, in France. He joins the likes of Greece's former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, candidate in Germany (Demokratie in Europa-Diem 25), and former Polish Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Rostowski, candidate in the UK (Change UK), in an election first of former government members who are running outside their own countries.
ITALY. Tomorrow (15 May) the Parliament’s office in Rome will livestream the debate between the lead candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission live from the Parliament in Brussels, starting at 19:00. Ahead of the debate, there will be a discussion on the future of Europe with model Chiara Bordi, geologist and scientific writer Mario Tozzi, climate issues expert Massimo Frezzotti and singer Lorenzo Baglioni.
NETHERLANDS. A range of vote matching tools helps Dutch voters decide who to vote for in the 2019 European elections. With the Stemwijzer.nl (also in English) political preferences are tested by response to 30 statements. Young Voice is specifically for young people. Kieskompas identifies different types of Europeans, while Stemchecker looks at what the political parties do in practice (and not at what they promise in campaigns). On the Open State Foundation website, voters can see how certain words and terms were used in political programmes.
PORTUGAL. The Portuguese Professional Footballers Association published a video, featuring players stating why it is important to vote in the European elections - A more inclusive Europe, the fight against discrimination, racism and homophobia, strengthening women's rights and guaranteeing the future of young people are among the reasons mentioned by the players. "Do not let others decide your future", they say. destavezeuvoto.eu
Campaign tracker - 13 May
EU28. Who will be the next President of the European Commission? Check out the new presentation videos featuring all the lead candidates that will take part in the Presidential debate live, from the European Parliament, this Wednesday, 15 May 21:00-22:30.
CROATIA. To allow its MPs to campaign for the European elections, the Croatian Parliament is in recess until the end of the month. It held its last session last Friday (10 May) and will resume its work on 29 May. The Parliament dedicated the last issue of its monthly European Affairs Bulletin, also published in English, to the lead candidates for the position of President of the European Commission.
FINLAND. Postal voting from abroad will be possible for the first time in the upcoming EU elections, after it was introduced in the Finnish parliamentary elections in April, this year.
GERMANY. In the absence of an electoral threshold, more lists have a chance of winning one of the 96 seats allocated to Germany in the European Parliament. In the 2014 European elections, seven lists that won between 0.6-1.5 % of votes secured a single seat each; six others shared the remaining 91 seats. Detailed results per country in previous European elections are available here.
LATVIA. Out of the 246 candidates running for election in Latvia, five hold (an additional) citizenship other than Latvian - US (2), Canadian (1), Spanish (1) and German (1). Further information on the candidates here.
LITHUANIA. The first round of the presidential elections was held on 12 May. The two lead candidates who made it to the second round are the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Christian Democrats) candidate Ms Ingrida Šimonytė (EPP) and an independent candidate Mr Gitanas Nausėda, who each received about 31% of votes. The European Parliament elections and the 2nd round of presidential elections will be held on the same day (26 May).
MALTA. Voting is only possible in person – on the official election day, or by voting earlier on 18 May. Electronic voting, postal voting and vote by proxy are not possible. To facilitate voting, the Maltese government will subsidise the travel costs from various European countries for Maltese registered voters who are away from the country at the time of the election.
NETHERLANDS. The first major television debate between the 12 lead candidates of the parties currently represented in the Dutch Parliament, and participating in the European elections, will be broadcast live from 22:00 to 23:00, on Monday 13 May, on NPO 2. Nieuwsuur anchors Mariëlle Tweebeeke and Jeroen Wollaars will chair the debate, which will focus on four themes: employment, climate, refugees, and the rule of law.
PORTUGAL. Out of the current 21, 12 Portuguese MEPs are rerunning for the 2019 European elections. EPP: Paulo Rangel (PSD), José Manuel Fernandes (PSD), Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar (PSD), Carlos Coelho (PSD), Nuno Melo (CDS/PP) and José Inácio Faria (Nós, Cidadãos). S&D: Pedro Silva Pereira (PS) and Carlos Zorrinho (PS). GUE/NGL: João Ferreira (PCP), João Pimenta Lopes (PCP) and Marisa Matias (BE). ALDE: António Marinho e Pinto (PDR). Lists of candidates per political party.
UNITED KINGDOM (SCOTLAND). Election hustings are taking place across the UK, including in Scotland, where discussions between MEP candidates from different political parties will take place in Edinburgh on 13 May, Stirling on 14 May, Livingston on 15 May, Perth on 16 May and Glasgow on 18 May. There are six seats in Scotland (treated as a single constituency).
Campaign tracker - 10 May
ALERT. Last chance for online and broadcast media to test the transmission of raw data of results on election night on Tuesday 14 May starting at 10.00 (CET). Contact email@example.com before Monday 12:00 if you wish to participate in the rehearsal to ensure smooth transmission, reception and display of functionalities. Read more about European elections results.
EU28. The number of eligible voters in all EU 28 member states is estimated to be around 427 million people (426 828 171). The minimum age to be eligible to vote and to stand as a candidate in the European elections is established by national law.
BULGARIA. The Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Bulgaria has published the full list of parties and independent candidates running for the European elections on its website. You can find it here.
CROATIA. Narodne novine (the Official Journal of Croatia) printed three million ballots this week for the elections. On the ballot, besides voting for a list, voters can also choose a candidate of their choice from the same list.
DENMARK. The Danish Prime Minister has announced that the next general election will take place on 5 June 2019, which is the Constitution Day (Danish: Grundlovsdag) - 10 days after the European elections. 28 candidates are running for both elections, but as it is against Danish law to have a double mandate, any candidate elected for both the national and the European Parliament will have to give up one of their seats.
FRANCE. Three of the 33 lists validated claim to be from the so-called yellow vest movement, which has mobilised thousands of demonstrators every Saturday since November 2018: "Patriots and yellow vests" led by MEP Florian Philippot (EFDD), "Yellow Alliance" led by singer Francis Lalanne, and Christophe Chalençon's "Evolution citoyenne".
GERMANY. Numerous large retail chains, including Edeka and Ikea, together with the German Retail Federation, are appealing to their employees to go and vote. "These European elections are probably the most important since the European Union was founded," they say in their statement. "It is important to preserve the EU as a union of values for peace, freedom, social cohesion and the rule of law and to strengthen it for the future."
HUNGARY. European pop music at its best, plus raising election awareness on Saturday (11 May): the European Union National Institutes for Culture and the Budapest EP office will present a night dedicated to European cultural dialogue, with activities related to the upcoming elections, on the A38 boat in Budapest. Performers: Apey (HU), Marike Jager (NL), Tomas Bocek (CZ), Chris Ellys (SK).
LUXEMBOURG. Three of the six outgoing MEPs will run again this time: Christophe Hansen (EPP), Charles Goerens (ALDE) and Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA). In total, Luxembourgish voters will have the choice between 10 lists for the elections that will take place on Sunday 26 May. Voting is mandatory for all registered voters in the country.
MALTA. With an average turnout of 78,66% for the last three European elections since it became an EU member state, Malta is by far the country with the largest turnout where voting is not compulsory. Higher turnouts than for Malta have only been registered in two of the four countries where voting is compulsory: Belgium and Luxembourg.
SPAIN. The first television debate of the electoral campaign will take place on Sunday, 12 May. The leading candidates of PSOE (S&D), Josep Borrell, PP (EPP), Dolors Montserrat, Podemos (GUE), María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, Ciudadanos (ALDE), Luis Garicano, and Vox, Jorge Buxadé, will confront their programmes ahead of the vote on 26 May from 21.30 in La Sexta, a private tv station owned by Atresmedia.
SWEDEN. The second political duel between the Swedish Liberal Party (Liberalerna, ALDE) leader Jan Björklund and the Sweden Democrats (Sverigedemokraterna, ECR) leader Jimmie Åkesson, who are outspoken ideological opponents, on the upcoming elections and European cooperation took place in Gävle on 9 May. The next stop for their joint tour, which started on 8 May, will be Gothenburg, where they will hold the third debate on 15 May.
CHAT WITH A LEAD CANDIDATE. Curious to know more about the two female candidates taking part in the “Debate of the candidates to the presidency of the Commission - EU Elections 2019” on 15 May? Watch these recent Facebook interviews with Ska Keller (The Greens/EFA, Germany), one of two lead candidates of the European Green Party (EGP), and Margrethe Vestager (Denmark), representing the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe party (ALDE).
9 MAY – Europe Day
Campaign tracker - 9 May
EU 28. President Antonio Tajani will represent the European Parliament during today’s leaders’ meeting in Sibiu (Romania) which discusses steps towards a more united, stronger and more democratic European Union and adopts the Sibiu Declaration. Here is the invitation letter by President Donald Tusk. Parliament’s study “From Rome to Sibiu” analyses the steps from the declaration adopted in Rome on 25 March 2017 on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome up until the meeting in Sibiu.
EU28. Over the past two and a half years, Parliament held 20 debates with EU heads of state or government on the future of Europe (more info and videos here) and in November last year, the EP hosted the first ever Youth Parliament. 800 young people from across Europe discussed the future of the EU and presented their vision to MEPs. More about this here.
GERMANY. On 7 May, lead candidates Manfred Weber (EPP) and Frans Timmermans (SPE) held a TV debate on ARD German television, discussing their ideas for the EU’s future. Watch the debate here (in German).
IRELAND. Facebook has set up an “election operations centre” at its EU headquarters in Dublin. A team of 40, comprising of data scientists, engineers, and cyber security officers, will staff the centre and monitor disinformation over the course of the 2019 European elections.
SLOVAKIA. Altogether 31 political parties with some 343 candidates are competing for 13 Slovak seats in the 2019 EP elections. In 2014, 29 parties participated in the European elections and 333 candidates were running for MEPs. More info here and here.
POLAND. TVP3 Poznań, Radio Poznań and poznan.tvp.pl website will be broadcasting live six regional electoral debates. The next debates are scheduled for Piła (09 May at 19.00) and Konin (10 May at 19.00). The last debate before the EP elections will take place in Poznań on Friday, 24 May at 17:30 and will be a duel of candidates who hold the first place on the list.
BELGIUM. 15 of 21 MEPs are re-running: Guy Verhofstadt, Hilde Vautmans, Fréderique Ries, Lieve Wierinck (ALDE), Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie Arena, Marc Tarabella (S&D), Pascal Arimont, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Ivo Belet (EPP), Philippe Lamberts, Bart Staes (Greens), Mark Demesmaeker, Ralph Packet (ECR), and Gerolf Annemans (ENR). Electoral lists closed on 30/03. Full list here.
PORTUGAL. The previous heads of Parliament's Liaison Office (EPLO) in Lisbon and of the Commission's Representation in the Portuguese capital are both running in the European elections. Paulo Sande, who was the chief of EPLO in Lisbon from 2004 to 2012, is the frontrunner in the new Aliança party and Margarida Marques, who headed the Commission's representation in Lisbon from 2005 to 2011, is number four on the Partido Socialista list.
SLOVENIA. The first of five electoral debates on public television rtvslo.si is scheduled on 9 May at 20.00, followed by an analysis of the discussion. 103 candidates including seven (out of eight) outgoing MEPs, are running on 14 lists for the elections.
ROMANIA. When asked about the feelings that first come to mind when thinking about the EU, 70% of Romanians have very positive attitudes, with 40% feeling hope and 30% confidence. Flash Eurobarometer
ESTONIA. On 9 May, Parliament’s office in Tallinn, in collaboration with the European Commission Representation, is organising a large-scale celebration of Europe Day. The event includes a popular game on the European elections where participants compete to get their passports stamped. One of the passport game's stops is a One-Stop-Shop in the Europe House. The day will finish with a speech by the President of Estonia, followed by a big outdoor concert on the Freedom Square.
EU28. The Schuman Declaration, which was one of the very first steps towards a European Union, was delivered by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950. The declaration led to the first of a series of European institutions that would become today's European Union, the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community (founding members: France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg).
EU28. To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions held, last Saturday 4 May, their customary Open Day, with the participation, in Brussels only, of more than 30,000 people.
Campaign tracker - 8 May
EU28. Gentle reminder: on 15 May, from 21.00 to 22.30, the “Debate of the candidates to the presidency of the Commission – EU Elections 2019" will take place in the EP’s plenary chamber in Brussels: information for media is available here.
BELGIUM. RTL Info has launched an electoral test online called "the Voice of Belgians" where citizens can give their opinion on 28 proposals and compare it with candidates from different parties. The proposals focus on Belgian citizens’ main concerns, such as climate change, quality of education and health care.
CYPRUS. There are approximately 550,000 Cypriot nationals who are registered voters in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus, including 691 Turkish Cypriots. Roughly another 80,800 Turkish Cypriots residing in the occupied part of the island have the right to vote in the European elections. 50 polling stations will be set near the check points, across the ceasefire line that divides the south from the north of the island to facilitate Turkish Cypriots to vote. Those running for election have to submit their candidacies on Friday 3 May 9:00 - 12:30.
FINLAND. On 9 May, a public event to celebrate Europe Day will take place in Helsinki, with debates, music, kids’ activities and more. Football professional Panu Autio and former professional Ilari Äijälä will participate in the event to encourage voting in the EU election. Full programme available here.
GERMANY. The Federal Centre for Political Education offers an app for citizens to answer questions on European political issues so that they can find out which lists match their political preferences.
ITALY. Europhonica journalist Antonio Megalizzi, who was killed during the terrorist attack of 11 December 2018 in Strasbourg, will be remembered at the "We are Europe" festival, organised by the autonomous province of Trento, in the region of Trentino, where the young journalist grew up. It takes place from 8 to 11 May.
LATVIA. On 9 May, Europe Day, the documentary “Brussels” will premiere in Riga, taking an ironic look at the “Brussels bubble” and asking whether “70 years of peace and cooperation is but a dream we will awake from tomorrow”; here is the trailer.
SLOVAKIA. The “This time I am voting” roadshow was launched by the EP and the Commission on 26 April in Slovakia to boost turnout in the 2019 European elections. The roadshow visits 17 cities until 22 May to discuss EU membership benefits, programmes focused on young people and successful regional projects co-financed by the EU. More info including the map and dates here.
Campaign tracker - 7 May
EU28. The Brussels hemicycle is being transformed into a TV studio to host the Debate of the candidates to the presidency of the Commission – EU Elections 2019, organised by Eurovision on 15 May. Read today’s Media Advisory on how to attend the only debate uniting all “Spitzenkandidaten” for a 90-minute live broadcast available in all member states.
EU28. Some 2,200 billion euros of economic gains can be achieved, if the approach advocated by the Parliament in 50 policy areas is adopted and fully implemented over the coming decade, according to the latest EP Research analysis “Mapping the Cost of Non-Europe, 2019-24”. This ‘two trillion euro dividend’ would boost EU GDP by some 14 per cent by 2029.
AUSTRIA. 6,415 million voters can choose between seven lists to fill 18 EP seats. Competing with the parties already represented (ÖVP/EPP, SPÖ/S&D, FPÖ/ENF, Neos/ALDE, Grüne/Greens) are former MEP Johannes Voggenhuber (1Europa) and Greek national Katerina Anastasiou (communist party). View the ballot paper.
BELGIUM. Flemish MEPs Mark Demesmaeker (N-VA/ECR), Bart Staes (Groen/Greens) and Kathleen Van Brempt (sp.a/S&D), and Peter Van Kemseke (CD&V/EPP), all running again as candidates, will discuss “How to best tackle climate change” in the Challenge Europe debate in Leuven tonight at 20.00. At the end of the debate, the audience will vote on the best proposals. Climate change is also the topic of the first of five EU reports produced by students and broadcast on regional TV channel Focus & WTV throughout the week. Follow them online.
PORTUGAL. The EP Liaison Office in Lisbon, in partnership with the Portuguese Adapted Surfing Association, organised an Adapted Surfing Day on Saturday, 4 May, at Praia de Carcavelos (Cascais). The aim was to raise awareness of the European elections and inform the public on what the EU has done for people with disabilities, inclusion and non-discrimination. For the first time in Portugal, voting in Braille will be possible in the European elections.
CZECHIA. Czech voters are the only ones in the EU that can choose between two days to cast their ballots in the European elections. Polling stations open at 2pm on Friday 24 May and close on Saturday 25 May, at 2pm. More info on national rules in the EU elections here.
ESTONIA. European elections’ One-Stop-Shop opened on 2 May in the Europe House in Tallinn, featuring a comics exhibition created by popular artist duo AW stuff. The comics depict humorous reasons why people go to vote. The One-Stop-Shop remains open to visitors until 24 May and many events will be organised there, including movies and quiz nights. The centre will also serve as a central elections’ information hub.
FRANCE. The news channel CNEWS is broadcasting a debate with six heads of lists on Tuesday evening. Many other TV debates between French candidates will follow in the coming weeks: a one-on-one debate between Jordan Bardella (Rassemblement national/ENF) and Nathalie Loiseau (La République en marche/others) on BFTMTV (private news channel) on 15 May at 19.00; a debate on privately-owned news channel LCI on 20 May; a prime-time show on France's biggest public television France 2 ,gathering the most prominent leaders, on 22 May at 21.00; and a debate, again on BFMTV, gathering the main heads of lists on 23 May at 20.45.
ITALY. There are around five million Italians living outside Italy, around the world, who have the right to vote, of which about three million live in Europe (2017 official figures). Inside the EU, most Italian expats are residents in Germany (ca. 744.000), followed by France (412.000), UK (300.000), Belgium (268.000) and Spain (164.000). Find out how to vote from abroad.
LATVIA. Riga Stradins University will host a debate of European election candidates on Wednesday, 8 May. Students of the University selected the six candidates taking part in the debate. Find out more.
LITHUANIA. 16 lists are participating in the EU elections, competing for 11 seats: 10 political parties, one party coalition and five public committees (non-partisan lists). All the registered lists in the elections had to collect 10.000 citizens’ signatures. In 2014, there were 10 lists participating in the EP elections, and no public committees among them.
NETHERLANDS. April surveys by I&O Research indicate that 32 % of interviewees were satisfied with the work of the EU institutions, 35 % not really and 15 % not at all. 55 % expect the EU to do more to solve the refugees’ crisis, fight poverty (46 %), fight terrorism (44 %), ensure international security (39 %) and protect the environment (38 %).
Campaign tracker - 6 May
EU28. Find out where Parliament made a difference and has left a decisive footprint on EU legislation and policies 2014-2019 in a new in-depth analysis on the power of the European Parliament (EP Research). Examples include higher CO2-limits for cars and vans, better protection of small farmers against unfair trading practices and helping young people kick-start their professional life.
EU28. The 30-second spin-off of the short film “CHOOSE YOUR FUTURE” will be broadcast widely on TV channels across the EU dubbed in 33 languages, and a radio-spot (20 sec.) in 22 languages will go on air, starting this week. The spots are part of the EP awareness raising campaign on why voting in European elections matters. Another 35-second version of the film will be screened in cinemas all over the EU, mainly in the Europa Cinemas network. Read more about the 3-minute movie that attracted 100 Million views within ten days on social networks.
DENMARK. 135 candidates from ten political parties (two more than in 2014) are competing for 13 seats. Seven current MEPs are seeking re-election, five are heading their parties’ respective lists: Jeppe Kofod (Socialdemokratiet/S&D), Morten Helveg Petersen (Radikale Venstre/ALDE), Margrete Auken (Socialistisk Folkeparti/Greens/EFA), Rina Ronja Kari (Folkebevaegelsen mod EU /GUE/NGL) and Morten Løkkegaard (Venstre/ALDE). New candidates lead the remaining lists: Pernille Weiss (Det Konservative Folkeparti/EPP), Mette Bock (Liberal Alliance), Peter Kofod (Dansk Folkeparti/ECR), Nikolaj Villumsen (Enhedslisten), Rasmus Nordqvist (Alternativet). To access the full list of candidates by political affiliation click here.
FRANCE. National authorities announced on 4 May 33 national lists of 79 candidates each, totalling 2,607 candidates running for election on 26 May (with some overseas departments voting on 25 May). Polls credit five lists (associated respectively to Rassemblement national (ENF), the governing party République en Marche (new), les Républicains (EPP), Europe Ecologie Les Verts (Greens) et La France Insoumise (GUE/NLG) of getting at least 8% of ballots cast. The electoral threshold is set at 5%. The official electoral campaign starts on 13 May.
GERMANY. The ballot papers will offer voters the choice between 40 lists (with CSU replacing CDU lists on ballot papers in Bavaria) totalling 1294 candidates. 34 % of them are women, 217 (17 %) candidates are younger than 30 years and 217 are older than 60, the average age being 45,2 years (official elections handbook) – almost exactly the age of EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber (CSU) running in Bavaria. 64.8 million citizens are entitled to vote, including 3.7 million young Germans who will be able to vote for the first time (
HUNGARY. 52% of voters of the Fidesz-KDNP (EPP) government think positively about the EU, while 83% of voters of opposition Socialists (S&D), 74% of Jobbik (N.A.), and 88% of Democratic Coalition (S&D) voters consider the EU a positive thing, 15 years after the country joined the block, according to the latest study of pollster Policy Solutions.
ITALY. 18 national lists nominated candidates for five constituencies. According to the latest polls, the Lega party (ENF), led by Matteo Salvini, is expected to gain the highest number of MEPs. It is followed by the 5 Stars Movement (EFDD), who nominated female-only heads of lists, and the Democratic Party (S&D). Forza Italia (EPP), led by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and “Brothers of Italy” (ECR) who recruited a grandnephew of Benito Mussolini, follow up in the polls. Emma Bonino (head of +Europa) is running as one of the seven “Spitzenkandidaten” in the ALDE Team Europe.
NETHERLANDS. 16 parties (listing a total of 308 candidates) are competing on 23 May for 26 seats in the EP. The lists were officially published on 26 April. April opinion polls by I&O Research give the governing VVD party (ALDE) and FvD (new) the lead, ahead of the Green Left (Green/EFA) led by Bas Eickhout and the PvdA (S&D) of Frans Timmermans, both nominated as lead candidates for the Commission presidency by their respective European parties. The pollsters expect a participation of 37-45 % (37 % in 2014 European elections).
POLAND. Magdalena Adamowicz, wife of the recently murdered Mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz, will run for the European Parliament as second on the list from constituency no. 1 (Pomerania), for the European Coalition (EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens).
UK. Two of the Johnson siblings stand in EP elections to win seats, for “Change UK” (Rachel) and the Conservatives (Boris). Their father Stanley Johnson was elected MEP in the first ever direct elections to the European Parliament in 1979 and served as Vice-Chair of the Environment Committee during the EP’s first term. Information on each of the 3678 former MEPs 1979-2019 can be found here.
Campaign tracker - 3 May
ALERT. Media wishing to attend the Presidential debate on 15 May and follow the Election Days 23-27 May live in Parliament need to register by 13 May. Practical details will be found here.
UK. The deadline for UK voter registration is 7 May. UK citizens living abroad can register online for postal or proxy voting, but only if they have been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years. Voters will choose 73 MEPs in twelve multi-member regional constituencies.
BELGIUM. Open days in the European institutions in Brussels on Saturday 4 May are themed around the European elections and the democratic process. A wide range of activities, workshops, meetings and games, the event will invite citizens to make their voices heard. More information here
ROMANIA. The Ministry of Foreign affairs more than doubled the number of the voting stations abroad from 190 in 2014 to 441 stations. It also published a handbook for Romanian citizens voting from abroad for the 2019 European elections. In the 2014 EU elections, roughly 100.000 Romanians voted from abroad.
AUSTRIA. 15 years after the accession of neighbouring countries Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia to the EU, 55 % of Austrians believe it was a “good decision”, finds a recent survey (EN) by the Austrian society for European policy (ÖGfE). The number of people who think it was a “bad decision” has fallen to 11 percent (2014: 24 percent). 51 % think that their integration benefitted Austria, 37 % that it benefitted the EU overall. View survey graphics.
IRELAND. EP elections will be held on Friday 24 May, alongside local council elections and a referendum on the proposal to ease divorce legislation. A total of 59 candidates will contest the EP elections across three constituencies in Ireland. Nominations closed on 15 April.
CYPRUS. 550,000 registered voters have the right to vote. The number includes 691 Turkish Cypriots residing in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus and 80,800 Turkish Cypriots who, though residing in the occupied part of the island, have the right to vote in the European elections. 50 polling stations will be set near the check points, across the ceasefire line that divides the south from the north of the island to facilitate Turkish Cypriots to vote. Those running for election have to submit their candidacies on Friday 3 May 9:00 - 12:30.
FRANCE. Two opinion surveys released yesterday confirm a tight run race between Rassemblement National (ENF) (22.5% according to Ifop-Fiducial, 24% according to OpinionWay) and La République en marche (21.5% according to Ifop-Fiducial, 21% according to OpinionWay), with Rassemblement National for the second time on top position in the polls. Les Républicains (EPP) come in third place (15%).
SLOVAKIA. The commercial television channel TV Markíza has announced a mobilisation campaign ahead of the EP elections featuring TV moderators and actors. The aim is to boost turnout and motivate Slovaks not to underestimate the importance of these elections, the TV station's general director Matthias Settele said. More info here.
LITHUANIA. An interactive TV game/European Parliament elections debate took place in Klaipėda on 29 April. Famous national journalists Andrius Tapinas and Rita Miliūtė from Laisvės TV hosted the show. Candidates got a chance to express their thoughts and positions on European affairs. Moreover, they competed in a live quiz about Europe and related topics. Test your own knowledge on the EU (EP Quiz in 23 languages).
PORTUGAL. 17 parties and coalitions are competing for the European elections (one more than in 2014). Following the final submission of lists of candidates to the Constitutional Court on 15 April, the order of appearance on the ballot paper was drawn on 16 April. There is no electoral threshold. Website of the National Election Committee, listing all parties and coalitions running for EE2019.
BULGARIA. Yesterday morning, 2 May, bTV news held the first of a series of debates between four European election candidates, competing for 17 seats in the EP. Three current MEPs Emil Radev (GERB/EPP), Iska Mihaylova (DPS/ALDE) and Angel Dzhambazki (VMRO/ECR) took part in the debate, joined by the newcomer Radan Kanev (Democratic Bulgaria/EPP).
CROATIA. The campaign for the EP elections started officially on 10 April with the publication of the 33 valid candidate lists with 396 candidates. The lists have to pass a five percent threshold in order to take up seats in the new European Parliament. Find out about electoral thresholds varying from zero to five % in EU member states
SPAIN. 37.37 million people have the right to vote in the European Elections 2019, of whom 365.310 are foreigners, according to the Spanish Statistical Office. The vote in Spain will be held on Sunday 26 May, together with votes for city councils and most of the country’s regional governments.
Campaign tracker - 2 May
ALERT. Jan Zahradil (ECR, CZ), lead candidate of the Reformists Alliance of Europe (ACRE) running for the presidency of the European Commission will answer questions in a fb live interview today 15.00-15.30. Watch live
EU28. European citizens expect concrete answers and actions from the EU on economic growth and jobs (especially for young people), immigration and climate change, according to the Spring Eurobarometer survey conducted in 28 member states.
GREECE. The Greek public broadcaster ERT interrupted its programme on Thursday morning (25 April at 9.04 local time, go to 3:03:32 in the video) to become the first TV station in Europe to play the full length of the "Choose your future" short film. A panel discussion followed the film’s message.
ITALY / EU28. Four lead candidates for the European Commission presidency (Ska Keller, European Green Party, Frans Timmermans, PES, Manfred Weber, EPP, and Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE) will participate in a debate organised in Florence by the European University Institute and the Financial Times on Thursday 2 May at 18:00.
SWEDEN. Swedish citizens living abroad can vote in the European elections at Swedish embassies and consulates as of today, 2 May. Early voting in Sweden kicks off on 8 May. Election Day and the last opportunity to cast your vote is on 26 May. More information here (Swedish Election Authority).Find out how voting from abroad work in the 28 member states.
SPAIN. Around 100 000 people with intellectual disabilities will be allowed to vote for the first time in European elections, following a change in national electoral law. Check this video with the actors of the award-winning movie Campeones.
BULGARIA. A “Chose your future” concert took place in Sofia with five well-known Bulgarian singers who explained why this time they will vote in the European elections. 22 events were organised via the platform https://www.thistimeimvoting.eu/ and seven are planned, such as the conference “This time I am voting to be heard” in Plovdiv and the exhibition “Faces of Europe” in Ruse.
FRANCE. Friday 3 May is the very last day to submit the candidates' lists to the competent national authority (Interior Ministry). The full lists will then be displayed on the ministry's website.
ROMANIA. President Klaus Iohannis confirmed by decree that a national referendum will be organised on the same day as the EU elections (26 May), on two ‘national interest issues’: the ban on granting amnesty or pardoning those convicted of corruption and the ban on using government emergency order to implement justice reform.
FINLAND. Electoral lists closed on 18 April with a total of 270 candidates competing for 13 seats. Check who’s running from Finland here. The country as a whole constitutes the electoral constituency. The voting system is based on proportional representation and open party lists, without official list leaders.
HUNGARY. 11 parties will contest the European elections on 26 May, according to the National Election Commission. To run, the parties had to collect at least 20,000 signatures by the 23 April deadline.
LATVIA. Latvian citizens abroad on election day need to register by 7 May to cast the vote in one of the 44 polling stations outside Latvia. Catch up with the first TV debate featuring candidates, which took place in April in Brussels.