Event 2013

On April 10th and 11th 2013, the second edition of the TRANSATLANTIC DEBATING CHAMPIONSHIP took place in Paris, honouring the 50th anniversary of the Traité de l’Elysée between France and Germany. It brought together teams from the US, the UK, Germany and France’s most prestigious universities (Princeton University, Sciences Po Paris, École Polytechnique, Université Panthéon-Assas, Berlin Debating Union, University of Cambridge).

For the 2013 edition, the championship’s diplomatic partners were the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Paris, the Embassy of the United States in Paris and the Embassy of the United Kingdom in Paris. Providing institutional support, there were the French Debating Association and the DAAD. Our respected corporate partners were McDermott Will & Emery and Guggenheim Partners Suisse.

The teams arrived in Paris on April 9th to participate in the official inauguration cocktail at the Hôtel de Beauharnais, residence of the Ambassador of Germany to France.

On Wednesday, April 10th the semi-final debates were held at Sciences Po (Amphithéâtre Caquot). The first semi-final saw Sciences Po opposing the University of Cambridge on the motion “This House Believes FRENCH MILLIONAIRES should escape to ENGLAND”. The University of Cambridge opposed the motion and won the debate. The second semi-final took place between École Polytechnique and the Berlin Debating Union who debated the motion “This House Believes FRANCE should be more GERMAN.”  École Polytechnique proposed the motion and won the debate.

In the third semi-final, Princeton University and Université Panthéon-Assas debated the motion “This House Believes AMERICA has NO CULTURE,” which Princeton University proposed and won.

The GRANDE FINALE debate took place on Thursday, April 11th and opposed the teams from the University of Cambridge and Princeton University at Sciences Po’s major amphitheater. The two victorious semi-finalist teams (those with the most points as judged by our esteemed juries) faced one another and debated the motion “This House Believes GERMANY SHOULD LET EUROPE DIE.

The honourable jury entrusted to decide the supreme winnerswas presided over by Her Excellency Susanne Wasum-Rainer (Ambassador of Germany to France). The other members of the jury included Professor Ghassan Salame (Former Senior Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po), Mr Pablo Stalman (CEO of Guggenheim Partners Suisse) and Mr Antony Martinez (Prestigious Lawyer & Partner at McDermott Will & Emery). Mr Declan McCavana, President of the French Debating Association, was the Chairman of the Grande Finale.

The tournament is designed to bring students from across the Atlantic together, to debate the contentious issues that currently shape transatlantic relations and international politics. The debaters of the Transatlantic Debating Championship are some of the brightest students at their respective universities, destined to be influential in their careers and home countries. The tournament gives these debaters the opportunity to network and form relationships with young people of similar ambition and merit from around the world.