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Political leaders to debate at the University of Twente

In the weeks ahead of the Dutch national elections, the political leaders of all political parties will visit the University of Twente.

Together with regional newspaper De Twentsche Courant Tubantia, the UT organizes a series of debates with the top candidates of fourteen parties. Eleven political leaders have already confirmed their presence between 22 February and 13 March 2017.

From Tower to Tower

‘From Tower to Tower’ (Van Torentje naar Torentje, in Dutch) is the name of the debate series, referring to the Tower in which the Dutch Prime Minister has his office and the little Tower at the campus of the University of Twente, designed by Wim T. Schippers, in the pond in front of De Vrijhof.

From 22 February until 13 March 2017, a programme will be held at the Ampitheater in De Vrijhof daily, where guests will have the opportunity to attend the meetings and interviews. There is the possibility to ask your question and masterclasses in politics will be held prior to the interviews. The event is organized in close collaboration with Studium Generale.

Presence

All fourteen political parties that are currently present in the Dutch House of Representatives have been invited. Sybrand Buma (CDA), Alexander Pechtold (D66), Emile Roemer (SP), Gert-Jan Segers (ChristenUnie), Jesse Klaver (GroenLinks), Marianne Thieme (PvdD), Henk Krol (50PLUS), Kees van der Staaij (SGP), Tunuhan Kuzu (DENK), Jan Roos (VNL) and Jacques Monasch (Nieuwe Wegen) have already confirmed their presence. We are awaiting a positive answer from Mark Rutte (VVD) and Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA), as well as Geert Wilders (PVV).

Public debate

Victor van der Chijs, president of the Executive Board of the UT: “The University of Twente is right at the heart of technological development and innovation in Eastern Netherlands. They have a great impact on humans, society and therefore, politics. Our university is always searching for the public debate: internationally, nationally and also on a regional scale. We are looking forward to let the political leaders experience the core of the public debate in Twente and at our campus in real-life."

Tubantia has set a unique series, as the regional newspaper has been able to bring all political leaders to Twente ahead of the last five national elections. New in the initiative of Tubantia is the collaboration with the University of Twente, hosting the debates at the UT campus. “The University contributes by sharing its knowledge”, Martha Riemsma, editor in chief at Tubantia, states. “Together, we will zoom in on the large themes that are relevant to our society.”

Possibility to attend

Early 2017, final dates and times of the debates with the political leaders will be published. From that moment on, it is possible to sign up for the debate sessions which are held in the Amphitheater in De Vrijhof. Attendance is free of charge, all sessions will be held in Dutch.