The first big Spitzenkandidat debate of all lead candidates except EPP’s Manfred Weber took place in the city of Maastricht on Monday 30th April. Organised by the University of Maastricht, the debate was moderated by Politico Europe’s Ryan Heath and Rianne Letschert, rector of Maastricht University, and focused on 3 main themes: Digital Europe, Future of Europe, and Sustainable Europe.
ACRE lead candidate Jan Zahradil was the only speaker campaigning for a real EU reform against further centralisation and politicisation of the Commission.
“My country joined the EU 15 years ago together with 9 others. But even after these 15 years we are still different and we need to respect that. We need to find a new balance between EU solutions and national solutions. I call this a flexible Europe and I believe it is the only way forward out of the current deadlock, “ said Jan Zahradil in his final pitch. The debate can be watched on Politico Europe YouTube channel.