Young people debate issues at the seat of European government

Image courtesy of European Youth Forum

Young debaters from across Europe took part in the League of Young Voters European Cup, organised by the International Debate Education Association, from 9 to 10 May 2014 at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The event was the culmination of the Engage, Debate, Vote! project which saw 200 young people take part in 13 debate tournaments across 11 European countries during April and May 2014.

The project was set up for young people to use debate as a tool to explore issues that are important to them in the forthcoming European Parliament elections, to encourage voter turnout, and to raise the profile of the youth voice with European political parties and commentators.

The Final took the format of a debate tournament - the League of Young Voters European Cup - in the European Parliament during the European Youth Event attended by 5,000 young people.

Motions debated included:

  • Round 1: This house would substantially lower labour regulations for young people in areas with high youth unemployment. 
  • Round 2: This house believes that internet piracy has done more good than harm.
  • Round 3: This house believes that the European union should guarantee membership to regions of member states that secede from their parent state.
  • Round 4: This house supports hydraulic fracturing. 
  • Round 5: This house would implement tradable quotas for asylum seekers within the European Union.
  • Semi-final: This house supports Atletico Bilbao's cantera policy.
  • Final: This house would create a common history curricula for the entire European Union.

The final debate focused on one unified history curriculum for youth across Europe and gathered together finalist teams from Poland, Croatia, Hungary and the United Kingdom. The final was won by Poland, with Croatia the runner up. 

Before the debate between the finalists, young people in the audience took part in a role-play game to experience debate as a tool and focused on different European topics.

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