From Germany to Spain, through Austria, France and Italy. They visited (almost) all Europe trying to get as many votes as possible. The six candidates for the European Commission Presidency, after months of electoral campaign, are now waiting to see which party will win the European Parliament.
Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, front men of the biggest parties, were the most dynamics too: the EPP leader travelled in his blue van around 18 of the 28 Member States, while the PES champion visited even 24 of them.
Still, they both snubbed one of the biggest European countries – and the most eurosceptic of them all: the United Kingdom, led by David Cameron. Both Schulz and Juncker chose not to talk there: the EPP leader sent his blue van with a group of young supporters. In his defence, we could say that no UK party joined the EPP group at the Parliament: Tories had a group on their own during this term, even though it could not be possible for them in the forthcoming one. On the other hand the Labourist party didn’t support Schulz as a candidate to the European Commission, even if they sit in the S&D group in Strasbourg. Only the young candidate for the Greens, Ska Keller, and the leader of Liberals and Democrats, Guy Verhofstadt, decided to be in the UK too during their campaign. Even Alexis Tsipras, leader of the European Left, and the other candidate for Greens, José Bové, thought they could avoid trying to the those votes.
Which were the most visited Member States during this presidential campaign? Which were left on their own instead? All of the six candidates visited Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Spain at lest once. Just Juncker and Tsipras visited the far and little Cyprus, while only Ska Keller visited Estonia and Hungary, and Schulz was the only one in Lithuania.
Ireland was among the favourite places to be for the candidates: the only one who wasn’t there? Jean-Claude Juncker, maybe he does not love the climate. Another one of the “big excluded” is the latest country to join the European Union, Croatia – visited by Schulz and Keller only.
Dealing with the presentation of the electoral campaign, gold medal to the EPP and PES candidates again: both Juncker and Schulz were very active on Twitter and Facebook, and have invested much on their websites (featuring the maps of their electoral tour, for instance).
Back to numbers: Schulz visited more Member States than anyone (24), then Juncker (18), Ska Keller and Bové (17 in total), Verhofstadt (14). Last one, Tsipras – only 12 states out of 28. The Greek leader of the European Left has travelled less than his challengers, yet he invested much on travelling repeatedly around crucial Member States: in Italy, for instance, he visited Bologna, Turin and Palermo.