ITEM’s Martin Unfried in debate with “Spitzenkandidat” Bas Eickhout (MEP)

On 29 April, official candidates for the Presidency of the European Commission debated in Maastricht as part of the campaign for the European elections held later in May this year (23-26 May). This debate was broadcasted live across the European Union. The 90-minute event featured the front-runners to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission.

ITEM’s Martin Unfried has already had the chance to debate with one of the “Spitzenkandidaten” Bas Eickhout at a conference in Europe held last Saturday in Berlin. 

The Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout has been nominated by the European Green Party. Eickhout is an expert on climate change as a Member of the Environment Committee. In Berlin, he emphasized the need for a much better cross-border coordination of infrastructure for the energy transition in order to meet the objectives of the Paris agreement. A topic that has become more important for ITEM with respect to the situation in the Benelux and at the Dutch-German border.

Eickhout has been the shadow rapporteur in the negotiations on a Pan-European Personal Pension Product (PEPP) on which the European Parliament and the Council recently reached an agreement. This instrument should facilitate cross-border mobility by providing a simpler pension product for people who have  worked or who plan to work in several Member States. This topic will be closely monitored by ITEM in the framework of the ongoing work on cross-border pension questions. 

Student debate with MEPs

Students will also have the opportunity to debate. On 14 May, ITEM will organise the event Student Debate with MEPs. During this event, students get the chance to debate with Members of the European Parliament. In addition, students from Maastricht University have had the opportunity to attend the Spitzenkandidatendebat on 29 April in the Vrijthof Theatre in Maastricht.

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