European Ethics Bowl 2021
The 2021 season of the European Ethics Bowl was organized after a successful pilot in 2020. Seven new member institutions joined the competition. Five organized an institutional competition and sent their winning team to the semifinal round.
In the initial months of the pandemic, countries were closing down one after another and city streets were emptier than ever. As everything shut down to combat the pandemic, the impact of human activity on the environment became even more apparent. With this in mind as well as taking into account the increasing number of natural disasters, extreme weather events, and climate change, the decision to choose Environmental challenges as the main theme for EEB 2021 was simple.
Institutional competition was organized by the institutional members. The case study was presented during the launch of EEB 2021 and revolved around the taxation of high-pollution means of transport.
The dilemma faced by the participating teams was: “Should the EU tax high-pollution means of transportation such as short-distance flights within the EU, even though this might restrict the younger generation from experiencing what European integration means?”
Participating teams had one week to present their thoughts and opinions on this dilemma in a 3-5 minute video. During the competition, they discussed their views with the opposing team and answered any questions posed by the jury.
In the semifinals, nine teams from across Europe competed for three spots in the finals. The case study, which was presented to them almost two weeks before the actual competition, dealt with the ethics of pricing. The teams then had one week to create a 3-5 minute video explaining their views on the given dilemma.
The dilemma was: Promote environmental consciousness and still need to pay for measures against climate change. Who shall pay the bill? Shall poor people live in worse environmental conditions?
At the beginning of the debate, they were given videos of the two opposing teams and had 30 minutes to prepare the questions. After the time was up, they debated with the opposing teams and answered the questions posed by the judges.
After an hour of high quality debates, it was difficult for the judges to decide which teams had won each debate. In the end, teams from Prague University of Economics and Business (Czech Republic), Université Paris Dauphine (France) and Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) qualified for the final round of competition.
In the final round of EEB 2021, three teams dealt with the topic of just transition. They received the case study the morning of the competition and had about eight hours to study the topic and prepare for the competition. The teams were presented with the dilemma: “Should the” just transition” be a market-based or policy-induced transition, and who should have a voice in this policy-making process. Those who are most affected or those who pay for it?”
In the final round, all three teams first presented their views directly to the opposing teams, judges and esteemed guests. Then they had a few minutes to prepare questions for the opposing teams. After that, they debated on the presented topic and answered the questions of the opposing team and the judges.
After a long deliberation the judges announced the winning team – team Germany from the Goethe University Frankfurt.
European Ethics Bowl 2020
European Ethics Bowl 2020 was a pilot project organised by four founding partners of the EEB.
As the whole world was facing the pandemic COVID -19 and there were more than enough ethical dilemmas involved. It was not too difficult to choose the main theme of the 2020 EEB cases.
In the first phase of the competition, the preliminary round, each founding partner held a separate competition to select its national winner. The case study was the same for all participants and revolved around COVID-19 tracing apps. The dilemma faced by the participating teams was:
"The European Commission is planning to call for tenders to develop a pan-European tracing app. Should the use of this app be mandatory to use for all European citizens?"
Participating teams had one week to prepare and present their thoughts and opinions on the dilemma at hand in a 3-5 minute video. During the competition they discussed their views with the opposing team and answered any questions asked by the judges.
At the semi-finals four teams studied the case that focused on the financial assistance to the companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The dilemma faced by the participating teams was:
"On which ethical considerations should the EU base its allocation of COVID-19 recovery funds to companies and industries across member states?"
The competition format of the semi-finals was the same as the format of the preliminary round. Teams had about a week to prepare and present their views on the given dilemma in a 3-5 minute video. Later they debated with the opposing team during the competition and answer judges questions.
On the morning of the final competition the final two teams were presened with a case that focused on a hot topic of allocation & distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Teams were faced with three dilemma :
- With the vaccine being available very soon, on which ethical consideration should the population get access to the vaccine?
- Discuss whether there should be a compulsory vaccination for all, or a subgroup of the population.
- To what extent should private businesses be allowed to provide their services only to vaccinated people?
In the final round, the teams presented their views directly to the opposing team, the judges and the esteemed guests. And then, after some time to prepare questions for the opposing team, they debated on the topic presented, answered questions from the opposing team and the judges.