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Buzek to be quizzed in public today on Parliament Presidency after Watson pulls out of race


08 Jul 2009


Public Affairs

Jerzy Buzek (Poland, EPP), the favourite to become the next European Parliament President following the decision by Mario Mauro (Italy, EPP) and Graham Watson (UK, ALDE) to pull out of the race and back Buzek, will be quizzed on his plans in public today in the only public debate to be held ahead of next week’s plenary vote in Strasbourg. The election of the new President will take place on Tuesday 14 July, by secret ballot. The only other official candidate, Eva-Britt Svensson (Sweden, GUE/NGL), will make a statement on her plans before the interview begins.

The event will be moderated by European Voice Editor Dana Spinant. It is being organised by the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform (CPR) and European Voice, with the support of public affairs consultancy Burson-Marsteller, and will take place today, Wednesday 8 July, from 12.30 to 14.00 in European Parliament room PHS 1A002. It will be streamed live on the European Voice website. Instant analysis will be provided on, a Burson-Marsteller initiative.

Today’s event is the 4th CPR / European Voice / Burson-Marsteller European Parliament Presidential debate in a row. The first debate took place in 2001 (for the half-term elections), the second in 2004 and the third in 2007.

Alexander Alvaro MEP (Germany, ALDE), who leads CPR, said the debate was being organised in order to bring more transparency and excitement to the work of the European Parliament: “The future of the European Union should not fall victim to political wavering and distance from its own citizens. As Members of the European Parliament it is our duty to further the European project in the best interest of our societies. The European Parliament's President speaks for the only directly elected body of the European Union and must engage both the citizens and Members of the House. Since the official procedure doesn’t foresee a debate, the Campaign for Parliamentary Reform has once again organised one to give new and returning members the chance to hear their future speaker's priorities, so every MEP is free to make up his or her mind on the basis of this public event”.
Note to the editor, not for publication:

Registration for the event starts at 12.30, with sandwiches being provided. The debate itself will start at 13.00 sharp. Interpretation will be provided in English, French, Polish and Swedish. A live debate stream can also be viewed in room PHS 04 B 001, and on Burson-Marsteller Brussels will be providing a Twitter commentary: to receive updates, log in to Twitter and follow @bmbrussels, and join the debate, by adding #epdebate to your tweets.

For more information please call:

Office of Alexander Alvaro MEP, tel. +32 22847328
Michiel van Hulten, Managing Director Government Relations Burson-Marsteller, tel. +32 479 349440