EUDC 2012: The Belgrade Bid – Who is on board?

Datum: Jan 22nd, 2011
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Category: Turniere

After nine years of absence the Euros shall return to the Balkans if everything goes accordingly to Serbian plans. In 2003 the European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC or Euros) had been hosted in the Croatian capital Zagreb. Now Belgrade wants to be stage to the 14th Euros to be held in 2012. The convenors expect 220 teams by the river Danube. Belgrade allures to the party package the European debating circuit always produces with a wild nightlife. The org comm of Milan Vignjević will do the very best within their power to get the most out of it for the participants. As they promise on their website: “We lived, studied, fell in love and partied in this city. More than once, mind you.” But Milan, currently vice-president to the EUDC Council for Central and Eastern Europe, also knows about the meaning debating does have for his country. He emphasizes:

“The importance of such an event for our region is enormous. In transitional societies, where people are still trying to cope with the basic principles of democracy and the role of civil society in it, debate as a means and a goal at once is extremely valuable on two levels. For students, it enhances their education and perception of the environment around them, on a local and regional scale. For those who form part of the establishment, it proves their interest and determination to promote debate and critical thinking within the society they lead.”

Milan, president of the Belgrade deb soc Open Communication, is sure that with the regularly held Belgrade Open the local debaters have proven already that they stand for exactly two things: “the highest possible quality of debating and the maximum amount of fun.“

With the support of the University of Belgrade, Milan may also build on his own expertise as a successful debater and a convenor: He made it to ESL quarters at Amsterdam Euros 2010, was Best Speaker of the EFL tab at the very same event, won the London Australs (ESL) 2010, is co-convenor of this year’s Belgrade Open and was DCA of past year’s Belgrade Open. In addition to that, Milan was a (co-)convenor of various regional tournaments, as is reported on the website of the Belgrade bid for EUDC 2012.

But what would a bid be without an eminent and qualified CA team? Yes, exactly: Nothing! Therefore, the bidders for Belgrade EUDC 2012 assembled a team of six to survey judging at their prospect competition. CA is Art Ward supported by his DCAs Manos Moschopoulos, Isabelle Loewe, Ben Woolgar, Filip Muki Dobranić and Stephen Boyle. Art knows that the convenors have already been working tirelessly to present a perfectly organized tournament  – given that the “white city” wins the bid. He promises: “For my part I aim to ensure you will experience a very well adjudicated tournament and get to debate some very fair and interesting motions.”

Being an alumnus UCC debater now mastering at the London School of Economics (LSE), Art will take with him a lot of experience in judging to Belgrade: He will be DCA at De La Salle Worlds in Manila, Philippines around New Year’s Eve 2011. He has been CA at Cambridge IV and LSE Open and judged the final of the Australasian Debating Championships 2009. As a speaker, he also gained quite some success: Worlds finalist 2010, breaking to elims at Koç Euros, Turkey (2007), Tallin, Estland (2008) and Newcastle, England (2009). On top of that, he was convenor of Cork Worlds (Ireland) in 2009.

His assistant on the CA team will be Manos from Athens, Best ESL Speaker and ESL quarter-finalist at Worlds 2010. The very same year, he was ESL finalist at Amsterdam Euros and won the London Australs (ESL). While he served as DCA at the UCU Open in Utrecht (The Netherlands), Manos will be busy as CA at various competitions this year: Belgrade Open, Vienna IV and Athens Open. In 2009, he was convenor of the Athens Open.

Isa from Debattierclub Bonn is EUDC champion (ESL) 2006 and reached the ESL semi-finals at Worlds in 2007. In 2008 she was a DCA at Euros in Tallinn. In addition to that, she judged grand finals at EUDC 2010 and WUDC 2011 as well as the ESL final of EUDC 2009 and the EFL final of WUDC 2010. She may well be called one of the most experienced judges in Europe, including competitions in Prague, Cologne, Yeditepe, Bremen, Vienna and Utrecht.

Ben was fourth best speaker at Botswana Worlds this year and broke to the grand final with his team mate Hugh Burns as team Oxford A. Ben also ranked among the Top Ten speakers at Amsterdam Euros 2010 and already won World Schools‘ Debating Championships in 2008. As a debate coach he travelled to Israel and Japan. He studies philosophy, law and economics at Oxford.

Filip was best ESL speaker at Botswana Words and a finalist in the ESL final (together with Maja Cimerman on team Ljubljana A), on top of that he won the EUDC final 2010, again in ESL. He was best speaker (EFL) at Koç Worlds 2010 and was top speaker at World Schools‘ Debating Championships 2007 and 2008.

Stephen is a sought after judge in overseas: He will be chief adjudicator at this year’s US Universities Debating Championship to be held in Vermont, where he also works as a lecturer and rhetoric coach. He coached debaters at workshops on the Balkans (International Debate Academy of Slovenia, Serbia Summer Debate Academy). As a speaker he made it to elims at Worlds twice and to the final at the Oxford IV, again twice.

Finally, there is the person which is the most important at a tournament this size, though rarely to be seen: the tab master. The Belgrade org comm got Bob Nimmo on board, one of the most experienced tab masters worldwide. He was in charge of the tab room at EUDC 2008 (Tallinn, Estonia) and 2009 (Newcastle, England), at WUDC 2009 (Cork, Ireland) as well as at various Cambridge IVs and dozens of other tournaments around the world. Now doing his PhD, he was a successful debater: He won EUDC 2005 and was a WUDC finalist in 2007.

The European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC or Euros) have been held annually since 1999. It was started in Rotterdam where 32 teams of two competed for the title. For the records: In Amsterdam, 192 teams competed for the very same title in 2010. Format has ever since been British Parliamentary Style (BPS), language of debate is English. Debaters from all over Europe and Israel take part in Euros and compete with each other in two categories: the open break (for native speakers) and “English as a Second Language” (ESL). Current champions are Eoghan Casey and Patrick Rooney (Kings Inn), ESL champions are Maja Cimerman and Filip Dobranic from Ljubljana. The next Euros are to be held in Galway, Ireland this summer. Two bidders run for hosting EUDC 2012: Belgrade and Leeds. The EUDC Council is going to decide upon who will win the bid in summer. The Leeds bid and their team will be presented here as soon as more information is available.

apf / glx

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