European Election Debate
24 Apr 2014 16:30

One vote: many voices and real choices

On Thursday April 24, the European election debate ‘One vote: many voices and real choices’ took place in the auditorium of Campus The Hague. This debate was organised by the Clingendael Institute, Leiden University, the Montesquieu Institute, the Netherlands Association for International Relations, and the European Movement in the Netherlands.

The slogan for the 2014 European Parliaments’ elections “This time it's different”, is intriguing. But what’s so different this time? Sure -the EP has gained more powers since Lisbon; European political parties have put forward candidates for the position of Commission president and Europe has become more economically integrated than ever. Not at all different is the way the elections for the European Parliament are organised: national political parties campaigning on the basis of national election programmes. This election debate was split up into four themes: Green Europe, Social Europe, Open Europe, and Europe Light.

Nearly 200 people attended the debate. Even more were able to watch the debate through a live stream in the Campus café and on the websites of the organising partners. EU watcher and Brussels-based journalist Joop Hazenberg moderated the event. Read full report





16.30 Welcome by Joop Hazenberg

16.35 Presentation of a comparative analysis of the election programmes by Leiden University

16.50 Introducing the politicians

16.55 Debating rounds: Social Europe, Open Europe, Green Europe, Europe Light

18.20 Public voting

18.30 Drinks


Green Europe: GroenLinks vs. CD&V


Bas Eickhout (GroenLinks, Greens) and Tom Vandenkendelaere (CD&V, European People's Party) debating green growth and energy.


Social Europe: PvdA vs. VVD


Agnes Jongerius (PvdA, Party of European Socialists) and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (VVD, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) debating the need for EU unemployment and inequality measures.


Open Europe: Sp.a vs. CDA


Saïd El Khadraoui (SP.A, Party of European Socialists) and Dirk Gotink (CDA, European People’s Party) debating on the internal market and external trade negotiations.


Europe Light: PVV vs. D66


Marcel de Graaff (PVV) and Gerben Jan Gerbrandy (D66, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) debating on whether the Netherlands should leave the EU.


Using their smartphones, the audience voted on a range of statements and determined the winner of the debate.




Click here to watch more photos and videos of this debate.