European Debate Contest on 6 and 7 March 2017 at the Council of Europe


For the third year running the School for Young Orators is organising the competition for the award of the European Debate Contest. It will take place at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on the 6th and 7th March 2017. The speakers will give an address in French before a prestigious panel and against an exceptional background.  The subject will be prepared in advance and must concern Europe and its future.

The competition will bring students from all over Europe together to debate issues covering political, philosophical, economic and historical aspects of Europe. All competitors must present an address in their own personal style and the strength of their arguments will be as important as the delivery of the speech. All participants will compete on Monday 6 March, and the best speakers will take part in the final on Tuesday 7 March. The competition itself will take place in the early evening and during the day visits to the European institutions will be organised.

In the two previous competitions, the participants debated on subjects such as “Pourra-t-on un jour supprimer les frontières en Europe” (Is a Europe without borders possible?), “De l’Europe des peuples à l’Europe des populismes” (From a Europe of the people to a Europe of populism), and “L’Europe, un vieux continent?” (Is Europe an old continent?).

The prize is an (unpaid) training course at the Council of Europe in a field linked to the winner’s academic studies.

The following rules apply to participation in the European Debate Contest: the speakers must be nationals of Council of Europe member or observer states; they must be studying for an honours degree, a master’s or a doctorate and have been trained in the fields of political sciences, social  sciences,  international and European affairs, law, economics, or history.

There are no enrolment fees for taking part in the European Debate Contest. Nevertheless, participants will have to cover their own travelling expenses and subsistence. Free, shared accommodation will be offered to those participants who so request.

To submit your application, you should send your CV and a short letter of motivation  to before Monday 20 February 2017. The documents may be sent in French or English. The first replies regard the shortlisting of candidates will be sent out by the end of January.

conseil-de-l-europe-strasbourg-1362853816 (1)

Candidates will be short-listed according to their academic background and their interest in European affairs. Previous experience of debating or theatre will be taken into account but is not a prerequisite. Likewise, any qualifications in French will be an asset for persons whose mother-tongue is not French but are not essential. We wish to ensure the widest possible representation of all Council of Europe member states.