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EPCA and PlasticsEurope join forces to promote STEM education

Former President of European Council Herman Van Rompuy awards winners of 2016 European Youth Debating Competition

From over 500 students who took part in the 2016 European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC), ten students have been selected as the winners of the competition. A group of jurors selected amongst EPCA, PlasticsEurope and young leaders GmbH chose the winners of this competition. Former President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy (2009-2014), keynote speaker of the EPCA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting closing lunch, joined the jury in awarding the winners their prizes, also emphasising the crucial role played by students for our future. The event took place in Budapest, Hungary, during the EPCA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting on 4th October 2016. Throughout the competition students had the opportunity to discuss and debate the theme "How would you imagine your future – with or without the petrochemical industry and plastics?”

During the closing ceremony, keynote speaker President Van Rompuy; alongside Tom Crotty, EPCA President and Director of Ineos; Karl-H Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope; as well as Reinhard Werner, President of young leaders GmbH, presented the prizes to the 10 winners of the Final Debate of the European Youth Debating Competition 2016.

The 10 winners are: tied for 1st place; Ms. Gaïa Jeannot and Ms. Caroline Gakpetor, 3rd place: Mr. Gustavs Zilgalvis, 4th place: Ms. Aleksandra Janowska, 5th place: Ms. Matea Maloča, 6th place: Mr. Romme Te Velde, 7th place: Mr. Tomislav Veble, 8th place: Mr. Luka Baković, 9th place: Ms. Alina Nassyrova and 10th place: Mr. Eljon Bofe.

The arduous task of selecting the winners was given to a jury consisting of representatives of the Chemical and Petrochemical industry, the press, academics and NGO’s.

“I was profoundly impressed and inspired by the overall level of maturity and debating skills the young debaters have presented. Seeing the challenges Europe faces, I am convinced that initiatives like this are crucial and deserve our continued support” stated Cathy Demeestere, CEO of EPCA. Karl-H Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope added: “We launched this initiative to promote STEM education and the importance of science, as education in these fields are crucial for the future of our industry and the overall competitiveness of the European Union”

04.10.2016 The ten winners of the Final debate of the European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) 2016
along with Herman Van Rompuy, Former President of the European Council (2009-2014),
EPCA President Tom Crotty, PlasticsEurope President Karl-H Foerster, and EPCA Anuual
Meeting moderator Nadine Dereza, on stage at the EYDC awards ceremony during the
EPCA 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting closing lunch.

Editor’s Note:
The European Youth Debating Competition (EYDC) was organised in 9 EU Member States (Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom), between April and September 2016 by the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) and PlasticsEurope. All debates had the same topic “How do you imagine your future: with or without the petrochemical industry and plastics?” Its objective was to promote STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as to inform about sustainability and resource efficiency, all of them being key ingredients for the future of both industry sectors and the overall competitiveness of the European Union.
For more information on the European Youth Debating Competition, visit:

Editors’ note

The European Petrochemical Association (EPCA) EPCA is the quality network in Europe for the global chemical business community consisting of chemical producers, their suppliers, customers and service providers. It operates for and through more than 700 member companies from 53 different countries that represent an aggregate turnover of over €4.4 trillion and employing over 5.6 million people. EPCA serves as the platform to meet, exchange information and transfer learning, as well as a think tank for its members and its stakeholders.

PlasticsEurope is one of the leading European trade associations with centres in Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan and Paris. We are networking with European and national plastics associations and have more than 100 member companies, producing over 90% of all polymers across the EU28 member states plus Norway, Switzerland and Turkey.


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