Welcome to Round 1 of the Future of Europe E-Debate Competition!
The topic for the 1st debate is:
The President of the European Council should be elected by EU citizens.
In this debate the EU Debaters (Affirmative) will face TeamBG1 (negative).
The 1st debater of the affirmative team has 24 hours to post the 1st speech of the debate. Even if the speech is posted before the 24 hours expire, the 1st negative speakers’ 24 hours of preparation time will begin when the initial time expires.
Before posting please consult Guildelines and the Online Debate Guide.
Good luck to all teams!
I thank both teams for this debate.
This was a close match, but in the end I sided with the opposition, TeamBG1.
To summarize, I felt that both halves of the debate were close, but at different levels of quality. The first speeches for the affirmative and negative team were fairly strong, but the 2nd speeches were comparably weaker. I felt overall that the 1st opposition speech was marginally better than 1st proposition, as well as the 2nd opposition speech being a big stronger than the 2nd affirmative speech, which made the end result clear.
The first proposition speaker does a good job of setting up the debate and what the general parameters are, the context for the position of EU Council president, it’s history and potential influence. There are solid argumentation for why such a change might increase people’s interest in the EU and maybe cultivate the feeling of “unity” or “democratic representation” (such as active participation and increased focus on the EU decision-making process. First opposition also does a good job of giving weight to this role, which can have real lasting impact on the union, despite not having “true legislative powers”. It was also pointed out that such a process might encounter problems when it comes to national media coverage, or the potential for people to only vote for their own people, or based on charisma, populist rhetoric and so on. It was furthered that what the EU needs is actually to create that sense of identity among its member states.
Although some of the problems identified are quite specific to this situation and there is no specific impact given of potential harms, the second proposition also doesn’t debunk these potential problems, other than by calling them out as being “unspecific”. Both 2nd speeches for either team unfortunately do not expand or further develop the initial arguments in a compelling way. Some of the claims and harms are mitigated by the proposition pointing out that “no negative outcome is especially probable” but without showing why a positive outcome is actually likely. But the idea of “participation in the voting process leads to greater unity or involvement in the EU” is repeated but not expanded upon. Similarly, the 2nd opposition speeches tries to focus on the dangers of electing a president with superficial criteria, such as charisma, but this argument doesn’t evolve past the initial presentation made by the 1st speaker of opposition.
In the end I did find that opposition’s arguments seem to be more grounded in the realities of the European Union, and more potential risks and challenges are outlined, compared to the potential benefits presented by the proposition team. In conclusion, I believe TeamBG1 wins this debate.
1st Affirmative: 15 (Content: 7; Style: 4; Strategy: 4)
2nd Affirmative: 12 (Content: 5; Style: 4; Strategy: 3)
1st Negative: 17 (Content: 8; Style: 5; Strategy: 4)
2nd Negative: 12 (Content: 5; Style: 4; Strategy: 3)