European Debate Event Kicks Off in Prague

European Debate Event Kicks Off in Prague

The European Schools Debating Championship in Prague spotlights DEUS workshops, championing European values and combating disinformation. This initiative, supported brings together young people across 20 countires to debate key issues, promoting critical thinking and dialogue across Europe

The European debate community gathered yesterday in Prague for the first European Schools Debating Championship (EuroSDC), a groundbreaking event organized by the International Debate Education Association (IDEA) in collaboration with the Czech Debate Association and all our members. This inaugural championship, taking place from February 15th to 17th, represents a significant milestone in fostering critical thinking, public speaking, and cultural exchange among young people across Europe.

Supported by funding from the European Union and IDEA member nations, the EuroSDC has successfully brought together over 100 young people from 20 countries, offering a platform for them to showcase their skills and engage in intellectual discourse. The tournament features two compelling motions: the debate on the exclusive use of transnational electoral lists in European parliamentary elections, and a critical examination of the Bologna process and EU wide education policies. These topics were chosen for their relevance and potential to stimulate insightful discussions, challenging participants to delve deep into complex European issues.

The event balances competitive debating with our efforts to engage debate club networks in fighting disinformation and polarization in democratic societies. Alongised the youth event, a DEUS workshop was held, aimed at enhancing the participants' understanding of debate techniques and strategies. This workshop is part of IDEA's commitment to educational enrichment and the professional development of young debaters as well of increasing capacity of debate educators. A unique aspect of this year's event is the exhibition of countries and their political issues, providing a comprehensive overview of the diverse political landscapes across Europe. This exhibition serves as an educational tool, encouraging participants to explore and understand the varying challenges and perspectives within the continent, fostering a deeper sense of empathy and global awareness.

In addition to participating in debates, the participants involved in our program took the initiative to highlight and analyze the most significant disinformation narratives and polarizing topics prevalent in their respective countries. Furthermore, they contributed to the content creation for the media campaign titled "What Should Europe Do?" Through this campaign, these young participants actively expressed their perspectives on the preservation and promotion of European values, discussing strategies and actions that could be undertaken at a continental level. This involvement not only amplifies their voices but also encourages a deeper engagement with critical issues affecting Europe today.

We want to move debate beyond just having tournaments, and we hope that an event like this is a celebration of youth engagement, intellectual rigor, and the unifying power of debate. As the debates unfold over the next few days, participants will not only compete for the championship title but also form lasting friendships, expand their horizons, and contribute to a vibrant, informed, and interconnected European community.

Important aspect of this event are more than 70 volunteers from all over Europe who came to Prague to listen to debates, adjudicate, work with young people and/or participate in DEUS workshop. We are using this opportunity to thank them for their effort and enthusiasm.

EN Co-Funded by the EU_POS

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