The Schuman Challenge is an academic competition for undergraduate students from U.S. colleges and universities to engage in rigorous dialogue on transatlantic issues.

The 2023 Edition

The 2023 edition of the Schuman Challenge will take place March 30-31, 2023. For more information and to register your team, please contact Alex Chen at achen@wise-ny.org.

Interested students and faculty members are invited to a virtual information session about this year's competition on Friday, February 3 from 1-2 PM ET. Contact Alex Chen to register. A recording will be published after.

The topic: How should the EU and the U.S. tackle the global security implications of climate change?

Biodiversity loss, climate change, illegal/unsustainable fishing, and deforestation are only a few of the many negative and interconnected trends threatening nature and thus our global economy. Given the importance of clean air and water, biodiversity, and a stable climate for our own survival, nature degradation poses direct threats to our overall security. If, as the UN Secretary General recently said, we continue treating nature “like a toilet,” communities on both sides of the Atlantic will struggle to meet basic human needs, resulting in economic, political, and social instability. Student participants are invited to point out the security implications of environmental degradation and present transatlantic policy recommendations that address these implications and strengthen EU-U.S. cooperation.

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    U.S. students participate in the Schuman Challenge
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    Five students from the U.S. pose for a photo.

Competition Details

The Schuman Challenge is the annual foreign affairs contest for undergraduate students in the United States and an opportunity to present and defend transatlantic policy recommendations in front of a panel of judges.

As part of the competition, undergraduate students conduct original research, cite sources, and prepare to present and defend proposals for transatlantic cooperation on a provided topic. As part of the competition, participants present their ideas before foreign policy professionals, mingle with like-minded peers, and engage with brilliant minds in the world of international affairs, including the EU Ambassador to the United States. There are also opportunities for professional development and networking with EU policy officials, alums of graduate programs in international relations, and mentoring sessions on careers in foreign policy.

The competition takes place in Washington, D.C. and comprises two rounds: a preliminary round in which all teams will present their policy proposals. Then three teams will advance to the final round. The presentations and judging will take place in the conference rooms of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States. During their 10-minute presentations, each team will highlight their actionable proposals that will be followed by a 10-minute Q-and-A session with the judges.

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Hear from Participants