Croatian Debate Society

Croatian Debate Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1998 with the main goal of promoting debate as a means of fostering critical thinking and youth participation. As of 2022, we have more than 2000 students involved in 140 debate clubs.

Croatian Debate Society acts under the motto „Dare to think“. Our mission is to encourage democratic values and personal growth through education, open discussion, informal education, public advocacy and youth work.

We implement our mission through four key programs: debate program, youth participation and civic education, socio-pedagogical program and international cooperation. By involving youth from all parts of Croatia in these programs, we aim to:

  • foster critical thinking and public speaking skills,
  • contribute towards prevention of risky behavior among adolescents,
  • encourage youth to initiate change in their communities and
  • provide opportunities for intercultural exchange of ideas.

Over the years we have organized numerous local, regional and international tournaments, several debate summer schools, and hundreds of public debates. Our debaters also competed in international tournaments and WSDCs, either as members of Croatia's national debate team or CDS debate clubs. International tournament Winter Holidays Open, which takes place in Zagreb every year since 2013 (except the last two online editions), hosts around 100 teams and is the biggest in-person tournament in Europe. In 2018 CDS convened the World Schools Debating Championship, which was the biggest WSDC to date.

Volunteer work is what makes all of our activities possible, with more than a hundred active volunteers putting in more than 45 000 hours of work a year. We also include volunteers in the operational and decision-making aspects of our organization.

We are extremely proud of our results:

  • more than 60 000 students reached since our foundation,
  • volunteers (CDS alumni, university students and teachers) empowered to coach more than 140 debate clubs,
  • long-term positive influence of youth involved in our programs: >80% report better communication and public speaking skills, increased tolerance and an improvement in critical thinking.


  • Berislaviceva 16, 10000, Zagreb, HR
  • +385912317601