European Elections: What happened this week?

Frans Timmermans dances during a visit to Ireland on the campaign trail
Frans Timmermans dances during a visit to Ireland on the campaign trail Copyright Reuters
By Lindsey Johnstone
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This time next week the polls will be open for the European election. But where do they open first? And farthest away from the Brussels bubble? And what is the "powerful substance" that could sway results in Romania?


This time next week voting will be underway for the European elections – in some member states anyway. But where do the polls open first? And last? And farthest away from the Brussels bubble? What is the "powerful substance" that could sway results in Romania? And what is former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis up to in Germany? The answers to all these questions and more can be found in this week's round-up...

28 things you might not know about the European elections

As we hurtle towards the elections, we present 28 things you might not know about the bloc-wide ballot and the parliament it elects – one in honour of each member state. Where will be the first and last places to vote? Who are the oldest and youngest MEPs? Which ballot box is farthest from Brussels? Which countries have made voting mandatory? And which candidate once banned Donald Trump from his home city?

Poll position

A poll published on Thursday, commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations and based on YouGov polling in 14 EU member states, revealed that the majority of Europeans believe that the EU could collapse in the next 10 to 20 years. However it would seem they are not happy at the prospect, as two-thirds of those polled said they have positive feelings towards the bloc – the highest recorded in more than 25 years.

The inhabitants of this south London house are ready for the electionsReuters

Toil and trouble

While Romanian citizens are getting ready to hit the polls, a group of self-proclaimed witches are working to make sure the "right" candidates get seats. Euronews spoke to one who says she is working on a mass ritual ahead of the vote, to enlighten candidates so they make the best decisions for the Romanian people. “We are preparing a very powerful substance for May 25, which my daughters will go and throw over the Romanian government building," she explained.

Debating society

Candidates in the race to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president clashed over jobs, climate change and how to fix the EU at a special debate in Brussels on Wednesday night. Watch the whole debate on and hear what Timmermans, Keller, Tomic, Verhofstadt and Zahradil had to say – and how it measures up to what each of them told us in our individual interviews before the debate.

Manfred Weber gets ready before the candidates' debateReuters

Trans-Europe Express

A familiar face has popped up in a location less expected. Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is running in the European elections... in Germany. And he is not the only politician taking full advantage of freedom of movement. Sandro Gozi from Italy was undersecretary for the left-wing government of Matteo Renzi, and has now joined the party set up by the French President Emmanuel Macron, La Republique en Marche.

And in news from elsewhere...

Deutsche Welle: Will trolls or truth win in the European Parliament elections?

BBC: European elections a moment of truth for nationalists

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