Event 2014

Transatlantic Debating Championship – Troisième Édition



Following the success of the first and second edition, the Transatlantic Debating Championship returned for a third time on November, 13th this year taking place in the Salle Colbert of the National Assembly of France.

The Transatlantic Debating Championship is a biannual event bringing together the best speakers from top universities in the United States, France, Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom. The students involved are selectively chosen; being national or international debating champions, and come to Paris to debate international affairs and topics concerning the shared history of their nations.

Each edition of the Transatlantic Debating Championship pays tribute to a major historical event. The second edition in April 2013 commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Elysée establishing peace between France and Germany. The inauguration unfolded at the Hôtel de Beauharnais, the residence of the German Ambassador to France, in Paris. Her Excellency, Ambassador Wasum-Rainer, presided as president of the Grand Jury for the Great Debate.

This edition commemorated the 100th anniversary of the First World War under the patronage of His Excellency Claude Bartolone, President of the French National Assembly. Each debating team was asked to present their vision of 100 years later. The winning team from the University of Cambridge, represented by Michael Dunn Goekjian and Ashish Kumar, presented the argument “100 years later, remembrance is dead,” while runners-up Léon Zhang and James Hammond  from Sciences Po, Paris made the case “100 years later, a continent is turning into a country.” Teams from the University of Princeton, the University of Vienna, École Polytechnique and Freie Universitat also competed in this year’s edition.

The following dignitaries sat on the jury for the debate: H.E. Ursula Plassnik, Ambassador of Austria to France, Former Minister of European Affairs, M. Stephen Dunbar Johnson, President of the International New York Times, M. Serge Schmemann,  Pulitzer Prize laureate, Member of the Editorial board of the New York Times, Former Chief of the Opinion-Editorial section at the International New York Times, M. Max Maldacker, Minister-director, High Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany, Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des letters, and M. Pierre Grosser, Leading historian, Prix des Ambassadeurs Laureate, Prix de la Revue des deux mondes laureate, with the honourable Declan McCavana, President of the French Debating Association as chairman of the Great Debate.

Also in attendance were honoured guests Mme Corinne Luquiens, Secretary-General of the French National Assembly and of the Presidency, Mme Françoise Meffre, Director of International Affairs and Defense at the French National Assembly and General Yves Demay, Directeur-Général de l’Ecole Polytechnique.

The tournament was opened by H.E Jane Hartley, Ambassador of the United States to France, at the Hôtel Talleyrand, Embassy of the United States. The event was supported by the Embassy of the United States, the Embassy of Austria, the Embassy of Germany, the British Embassy and the Embassy of Canada, and media partner, the International New York Times, and was sponsored by the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères de la France, top Paris lawfirm McDermott Will & Emery and the French Debating Association.

The event was organised by the President and Founder of the tournament, Ian Siecki and his team, Briony Bennett, Paule de La Poype ,Florian Spatz and John Sabet, who met as students whilst studying at Sciences Po, Paris.

Download the summary in English

Télécharger le résumé en français