Template - EPCA press coverage
3rd EDITION OF THE EUROPEAN YOUTH DEBATING COMPETITION
YOUNGSTERS IN BULGARIA HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCUSS THE “SMART CITIES OF THE FUTURE” AND THE ROLE OF PLASTICS AND PETROCHEMICAL PRODUCTS.
Bulgarian students aged between 16 and 19 participated in this year's European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) on 18 May 2018 in Sofia Municipality. The topic under discussion was: “Living, learning, working and moving in Smart Cities of the future: with or without plastics and petrochemicals”. The EYDC offers a unique opportunity for students to acquire new skills, by interacting and expressing themselves about societal and industry linked topics.
EPCA (the European Petrochemical Association) and PlasticsEurope (the association of plastics manufacturers) aim to engage young people with future trends and challenges, and encourage them to formulate their own arguments on these issues. They once again partner and organize a series of debating competitions for youngsters in Europe. This time, nine countries host the National Finals: Belgium or the Netherlands for a joint “Benelux” Finals, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
The Bulgarian National Final was attended by 49 students from 13 Bulgarian schools, accompanied by their teachers and guests at the event. Branch association Polymers, partner of PlasticsEurope, was in charge for the organization of the event in Bulgaria. Honorary president of the debates and member of the jury, Mr. Ivan Velkov - Deputy Chairman of Municipality Council, welcomed all guests and gave encouraging words to participants in the National Youth Debating Competition. International jury: Ms. Nathalie Debuyst - Communication and Education Manager, EPCA; Mr. Rafał Skalski - Director of Petrochemicals Sales Support Team - PKN ORLEN S.A.; Mr. Venelin Marinov - Project manager LRC LUKOIL Neftohim Burgas; Mrs. Danita Zarichinova - Zero waste team NGO "For the earth"; Mrs. Neli Koseva, Assoc. Prof. PhD Director Institute of Polymers Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; Mrs. Tzvetanka Todorova – President of the Board Branch Aassociation Polymers, assessed the in-depth research and preparation on the topic, the high standards of public speaking skills with well-informed, logical and persuasive arguments of the participants.
In the end, the jury selected 3 winners: Nikolay Boshnakov (91 German Language High School “Prof. K. Galabov”), Ioan Petrov (First English Language School) and Yana Zaharieva (International School Uwekind). They will be representing Bulgaria when they fly to Vienna to compete at the European Finals 2018, scheduled to take place on Monday 8th October 2018 during the EPCA 52nd Annual Meeting, the largest gathering of the Petrochemical industry in Europe.
Participants at the National youth debating competition presented their perspectives on “smart cities”, knowing that it is an evolving concept with different form of practices to make cities work better, for better living. Bulgarian youngsters presented themselves on an extremely high level demonstrating debating skills and in-depth thinking, as well as interesting public positions.