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Lead candidates for European Commission presidency face off in debate – Europe live

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Lead candidates to debate in Brussels

Today’s debate, to be held at the European parliament in Brussels, is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which also organises the Eurovision music contest.

This will be the third and last major debate ahead of the June elections. The first, in late April, took place in Maastricht. The second, co-hosted by Bruegel and the Financial Times and focused on economic issues, took place in Brussels earlier this week.

There will be five contenders on stage:

Ursula von der Leyen, the lead candidate for the centre-right European People’s party. Von der Leyen, a German politician, is the current European Commission president who is seeking a second term.

Nicolas Schmit, a politician from Luxembourg currently serving as European commissioner who is the lead candidate for the Party of European Socialists.

Terry Reintke, a German member of the European parliament representing the European Greens.

Sandro Gozi, an Italian politician representing Renew Europe Now.

Walter Baier, an Austrian politician representing the Party of the European Left.

The selection participants has proven controversial.

The far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) party, as well as the European Conservative and Reformists, will not be represented on stage.

While the exclusion is due to rules only permitting formal lead candidates to debate, ID has raised concerns about the arrangement.

Key events

What to expect at today’s debate

The debate will kick off at 3pm CET.

The five candidates will be asked questions on the following themes:

There will also be “spotlight” segments, where moderators will pose questions to specific contenders.

Lead candidates to debate in Brussels

Today’s debate, to be held at the European parliament in Brussels, is organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which also organises the Eurovision music contest.

This will be the third and last major debate ahead of the June elections. The first, in late April, took place in Maastricht. The second, co-hosted by Bruegel and the Financial Times and focused on economic issues, took place in Brussels earlier this week.

There will be five contenders on stage:

Ursula von der Leyen, the lead candidate for the centre-right European People’s party. Von der Leyen, a German politician, is the current European Commission president who is seeking a second term.

Nicolas Schmit, a politician from Luxembourg currently serving as European commissioner who is the lead candidate for the Party of European Socialists.

Terry Reintke, a German member of the European parliament representing the European Greens.

Sandro Gozi, an Italian politician representing Renew Europe Now.

Walter Baier, an Austrian politician representing the Party of the European Left.

The selection participants has proven controversial.

The far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) party, as well as the European Conservative and Reformists, will not be represented on stage.

While the exclusion is due to rules only permitting formal lead candidates to debate, ID has raised concerns about the arrangement.

Welcome to the blog

Welcome to a special edition of the Europe blog, coming to you from the European parliament in Brussels.

We will be focusing on today’s EU election debate – the last major debate ahead of June’s European elections.

Send thoughts and tips to lili.bayer@theguardian.com.

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