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.


National competitions

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 : 

  1. With the vaccine being available very soon, on which ethical consideration should the
    population get access to the vaccine?
  2. Discuss whether there should be a compulsory vaccination for all, or a subgroup of the
  3. 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.