The Maastricht Debate 2024
Have your say on Europe’s future!
The 2024 Maastricht Debate is the political moment of the spring for European voters.
We put the candidates in line to lead Europe onstage to answer your questions –
so you can decide how you want to cast your ballot.
Each contender for the office of chief policymaker of the European Union will represent their own political party on the podium in Maastricht, the birthplace of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty that established the European Union. Candidates will answer questions from our expert moderators on the themes chosen by European youth.
Join us, Studio Europa Maastricht and POLITICO,
in Maastricht on April 29 at 7:00 p.m. CET for the third edition of the Maastricht debate.
Be a part of the conversation. Shape the Europe of tomorrow – at the Maastricht Debate.
The following five parties have committed to attending the debate in principle, listed in alphabetical order. Candidates’ details will be shared in advance of the debate.
European Free Alliance
Party of the European Left
Party of European Socialists
ALDE / EDP
Renew Europe Group
The debate questions will focus on three key themes, selected by European youth via a survey conducted by Maastricht University. Check out this year’s themes below.
Climate change stands as a pivotal challenge demanding immediate attention, and the pressing nature of this crisis is evident through escalating environmental crises. The need for swift action is mirrored in the worldwide outcry for proactive measures that go beyond mere rhetoric. Young people across the world are leading these calls, demanding from leaders in the European Union to grapple with how best to address this crisis, and how to best safeguard the planet’s future.
Foreign and Security Policy
Europe’s foreign policy has been particularly challenged by the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. Important concerns of young citizens pertain to Europe’s responsibility in promoting peace and preserving stability in a region plagued by conflict and tension. This conflict presents a complex challenge to Europe’s CFSP, and young citizens are expecting from their leaders that they navigate multiple diplomatic landscapes while ensuring peace, security and stability.
The European Union’s effectiveness in multi-level governance has come under intense scrutiny in recent times. Young citizens associate themes such as democratization, legitimacy, transparency, and economic and social justice with discussions around reforming the EU to better serve its diverse member states while fostering trust and transparency among citizens. Debates revolve around the EU’s role in governing multi-level structures as well as addressing issues such as trust, corruption, and citizen representation within the Union.
Barbara Moens, journalist
Barbara Moens is Chief EU Correspondent at POLITICO, based in Brussels. Prior to joining POLITICO, Barbara covered Belgian politics for the Belgian national daily De Tijd. Barbara studied at KU Leuven, the Université de Strasbourg, the University of Brussels and Vlerick Business School, and holds master’s degrees in history and international relations. She was a Fulbright scholar at the Missouri School of Journalism and now teaches Journalism at the University of Brussels. She is a native Belgian, born in Brussels.
Marcia Luyten, journalist
Marcia Luyten is a Dutch journalist, writer, presenter and publicist and an alumna of Maastricht University. For over six years she hosted one of the most respected TV-shows on politics and current affairs in The Netherlands (Buitenhof) and previously worked as an Africa correspondent for Dutch newspapers and as a diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The 2024 Maastricht Debate is brought to you by two co-organizers: Studio Europa Maastricht and POLITICO, the leading European publication for EU influencers.
Studio Europa Maastricht
Studio Europa Maastricht is a centre of expertise for Europe-related debate and research founded in 2018 and supported by the partners of the Maastricht, Working on Europe programme: Maastricht University, the Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht. Together we aim to position Maastricht, the capital of Limburg, as a meeting place for citizen dialogue and debate and establish a centre of excellence for research on Europe and European integration.
POLITICO connects and empowers professionals through nonpartisan journalism and actionable intelligence about European politics and policy. A global nonpartisan politics and policy news organization, POLITICO launched in Europe in April 2015 and is a subsidiary of Axel Springer SE.
With operations based in Brussels and additional offices in London, Berlin and Paris, POLITICO connects the dots between global power centers. Its journalism lives online at politico.eu; in POLITICO Pro, the real-time policy intelligence service for professionals; in daily and weekly newsletters, such as Brussels Playbook, London Playbook and Playbook Paris; in print via a weekly newspaper; and through live events.
Maastricht University (UM) is the most European university in the Netherlands with 22,000 students and 5,000 employees. The university stands out for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education. Learn more about the university here.
The Dutch province of Limburg is the southernmost of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. It is in the southeastern part of the country, stretched out from the north, where it touches the province of Gelderland, to the south, where it internationally borders Belgium and Germany. Learn more about the province.
The oldest city in the Netherlands has great appeal, not only for day-trippers and tourists, but also for new residents. This can be seen in the city’s wonderful nicknames, such as the “Culinary capital of the Netherlands” and “Europe’s smallest metropolis.” Learn more about the city here.