The Brief: Eurostars set their sights on Brussels

The Brief: Eurostars set their sights on Brussels
By Elena CavalloneJack Parrock
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Actors, singers and weather presenters are all among the candidates hoping to turn down glamour for a life in politics. We look at some of the famous faces on the European elections campaign trail, you might recognise a few from stage and screen.


Many celebrities have come to Brussels to make political statements - Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst in 2014 and more recently U2 frontman Bono in 2018.

In these EU Elections we’ll seeing famous faces trying to get a seat in the European Parliament.

The French singer Francis Lalanne gives voice to the yellow vests. He's determined to create an alternative to president Macron and the far-right's Le Pen.

In Greece, Syriza's list includes Alexis Georgoulis, a popular actor known abroad for his role in the sequel of 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding'.

Over in Italy Giusy Versace fights for disabled people's rights. She's the first female athlete in Italy to run with double leg amputation. She became a national MP alongside Silvio Berlusconi and now wants a European seat.

Denis Collard is known as Mr Weather for his forecasts on Belgian national radio. He hopes the sun will shine on his new political career with the Belgian liberal party.

If for some national politicians the European Parliament might be seen as a place to end their career, for celebrities it might an opportunity to brush up their image and get involved in politics.

“The European level it’s an interesting one. For example we see that celebrities are concerned with certain issues and important decisions on certain issues are made at European level. And also, if you wish, it is an easier playing field because you can affect policy making without necessarily with national level politics. So, there are reasons that drive these pole towards the European level competition," explains Andrea Felicetti, a professor at Leuven University.

And in times of general disillusionment towards political elites, celebrities might have an quicker nack for gaining the trust of voters.

“There is also the reasoning whereby people say: if this man or this woman made it in her career, she might as well make it in politics, she could be good politician, she can solve the problems that I myself perceive that are going on," Felicetti explains.

Sometimes it is politics that makes a person famous or infamous: it worked for former Italian Prime Minsters Silvio Berlusconi, Yanis Varoufakis once branded Greece's rockstar finance minister or the Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont.

Confident of their reputation, they;re all running for the EU elections - many doing whatever they can to feed their profile.

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