BBC World Service to launch DAB+ service in Brussels and host World Questions debate

Europe is going through historic change but not in any planned way. The movement of people simply walking across a continent has created new demands and new debates.Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service
Date: 30.10.2015     Last updated: 30.10.2015 at 19.02
Category: World Service
The future of Europe will be under debate on the BBC World Service in a new series, World Questions, which gives people across Europe the chance to question key players and discuss issues impacting Europe and the EU.

The first debate will take place in Brussels on 17 November, to air on 21 November.  This will also mark the formal launch of the BBC World Service on DAB radio in Brussels.

As Europe faces one of the biggest crises of modern times - the mass movement of migrants across its borders - the BBC World Service is creating an opportunity for people across the continent to debate the issues involved. In a series of special events in the capitals of Europe, the BBC’s Jonathan Dimbleby will invite members of the public in Brussels, Berlin, Athens and Riga to put questions to a panel made up of politicians as well as academics, writers and political analysts.  

The World Questions debates will also look at the relationship between nation states and the European Union and how suited the European Union is to new and demanding global changes. There will be chance to discuss defence issues, jobs, debt and the survival of the single currency. 

The first debate will be at the Royal Library of Belgium in Brussels, an institution which has a long history as a custodian of democratic ideas. On the panel will be Frans Timmermans , the First Vice President of European Commission;  Roberta Metsola MEP, member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee and rapporteur for Asylum and Migration; the Swedish Democrat MEP, former truck driver and Transport Committee Member, Peter Lundgren, the best-selling writer David van Reybrouck author of ‘Against Elections’. 

Is the ‘European Project’ about to collapse, or will it find new ways to deal with the challenges of today? Join us for a World Questions debate in Brussels about Europe - heard around the world.

Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service says: “Europe is going through historic change but not in any planned way. The movement of people simply walking across a continent has created new demands and new debates. We are delighted to partner with the Royal Library to capture that conversation and in a series of debates that we hope will help our audience understand and help shape that debate."

Patrick Lefèvre, Director-general, Royal Library of Belgium, says: "The Royal Library of Belgium wishes to be a place where not only students and academics come to learn and research but where everyone can have access to unbiased information. Debate and discussion remain critical cornerstones of our democracy therefore we welcome this debate in our institution.”

The debate in Brussels will also mark the arrival of the BBC World Service on DAB+ in Brussels.  Norkring Belgium will now broadcast BBC World Service English on its DAB+ Network launched earlier this year. 

Mary Hockaday, Controller of World Service English says: “The BBC World Service is the home of impartial reporting and international debate.  With Europe and its institutions under increasing scrutiny, now is the ideal time for the BBC to be broadcasting into Brussels on DAB+ and we’re delighted to partner with Norkring DAB+ to make this happen.”