Presidential debate: candidates make their pitch for becoming Commission President 


People from all over Europe watched six candidates for the Commission presidency discuss their visions for the EU.

Broadcast by at least 35 channels and more than 60 online platforms, the Presidential Debate - EU Elections 2019 on 15 May was an opportunity to discover where lead candidates stand on a range of issues. The debate at the European Parliament in Brussels was hosted by three TV moderators. Lots were drawn to determine the speaking order.

The debate is one of the key events in the run-up to the European elections

on 23-26 May. The new European Parliament and European Commission will set the direction for the EU for the next five years.

Watch the video above for some of the highlights.

About the lead candidate process

Political parties put forward candidates for the post of president of the European Commission ahead of the European elections. The lead candidate nominated by the Council, and able to command a majority in Parliament, will be elected President of the European Commission by a vote of Parliament.

The lead candidates are sometimes referred to by the German term spitzenkandidaten. This system was first used in 2014 to select current Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Some political parties have nominated more than one lead candidate, but appointed a single candidate to represent them in the debate on 15 May.