The 2019 edition of the European Prize for Eloquence, the annual French-language public speaking competition, has been won by Simon Derieux-Billaud, a French student, who spoke on the theme “Can we still have dreams of Europe?”. The second prize went to Alina Marchenko (Ukraine), with Ellen O'Rourke (Ireland) in third place.
Organised by the School for Young Orators of the Strasbourg Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in co-operation with the Council of Europe, the competition seeks to foster, among the students who take part, a sense of allegiance to common European values, to stimulate discussion and debate and to improve public speaking skills.
This year, twelve students from nine countries – France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine – took part in the competition.
The six finalists debated the followed issues:
- Europe of armies or Europe disarmed?
- Can we still have dreams of Europe?
- Is Europe in a free Union?
The jury was made up of:
- Leyla Kayacik, director of the Private Office of the Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe
- Catherine Trautmann, Vice-President of the Eurométropole de Strasbourg, former Minister for Culture and Communication and MEP
- Joseph Areny Ache, Permanent Representative of Andorra to the Council of Europe
- Rémi Mortier, Permanent Representative of Monaco
- Hervé Moritz, chair of the association Jeunes européens and former editor-in-chief of the Taurillon
- Chloé Ponce Voiron, director, scriptwriter and actress
- Chantal Cutajar, deputy mayor of Strasbourg