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Alexander Stubb (right) and Manfred Weber (left), the two candidates to lead the European People’s Party (EPP) into the next European elections, squared off in a debate at EPP Congress Helsinki on Wednesday. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)
Alexander Stubb (right) and Manfred Weber (left), the two candidates to lead the European People’s Party (EPP) into the next European elections, squared off in a debate at EPP Congress Helsinki on Wednesday. (Credit: Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

 

Alexander Stubb (NCP), a vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), says he was hopeful the race to lead the European People’s Party (EPP) into the next European elections would have developed into a primary election between him and his rival candidate, Manfred Weber of Germany.

Stubb and Weber squared off against each other in what was the first and only debate between the two candidates at the EPP congress in Helsinki on Wednesday.

“It was a nice fireside chat. I think it was also what was expected,” characterised Stubb.

“I had hoped for several different debate events, because if we want to promote our message for Europe especially in a race like this, we should look at it as a primary election. It’d mean that we tour all 27 capitals [of EU member states] and visit discussion events,” he added.

Stubb viewed that, due to the lack of debates, both he and his rival candidate likely remain mostly unknown to the delegates who will select the lead candidate of the EPP in Helsinki on Thursday.

“If you started digging up the differences, I’m in favour of all member states having a commissioner; Weber is not. In terms of values, I may be leaning slightly towards the harder [end of the spectrum]. If you had to put us into boxes, I’d probably fall into the centre-right moderate liberal box and he into the centre-right conservative box,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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