For the last couple of months, I've been really busy helping organise the series of Green Primary debates that are taking place both online and in cities across Europe. We want to make sure that people have an opportunity the get to know the four Contenders very well, so they can make an informed decision when they choose who they want to be our two Leading Candidates in the 2014 European Elections.
On Tuesday November 19, we held the first debate in partnership with Debating Europe. It was an online hangout with our four Contenders, that was broadcasted live on both our website and the Debating Europe website. You can find a video of the hangout here.
It was a really exciting project. Once we'd decided what platform we were going to use (Google Hangouts), we worked very closely with Debating Europe and our moderator to figure out the best possible format. Once we had the technology and a plan of action, the next step was to do practice runs with our Contenders and their staff to make sure that everyone knew what to do.
We're really happy with how it went – all of the Contenders managed to get their views across very well (from an airport lounge, in Monica Frassoni's case!) and we received a lot of smart questions from Twitter, Facebook and by email. I was great to see how engaged our audience was. We had 572 unique viewers through our site, while debating Europe had 805 through theirs. More than 100 questions were asked, and 700 tweets were sent about the debate. It gave us a great boost in voting figures too!
Right now, we're busy preparing for the next debate, which we're organising with the Greek Green party Oikologoi Prasinoi. It's taking place in Athens this Sunday, November 24, at 17h00 EET (which is 16h00 CET). This is the first live debate, and it should be pretty special. The fact that Greece is one of the birthplaces of European democracy, and the impact of the financial crisis on the country will give the Contenders a really good opportunity to talk about what they see for Europe's future. I can't wait to see what the local audience wants to know and what they have to say.
It'll be livestreamed on greenprimary.europeangreens.eu and ecogreens-gr.org if you can't make it to Athens. You can find more details about the Athens debate here, and a schedule of other debates and online events here.
I hope you enjoy it!