Schuman Challenge

The Schuman Challenge is an annual debating contest hosted by the European Union Delegation to the USA in Washington D.C. The event is named after the statesman and founding father of the European Union, Robert Schuman. During this three-day competition, teams of three to four undergraduate students represent universities from around the nation to debate transatlantic policy in front of an audience of foreign affairs experts, including DC policymakers and European Union delegates

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Took Kit For Competition Participants and Associated Schools

Delegation of the European Union to the United States- Schuman Challenge Website

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Testimonials from Schuman Challenge Alumni

“Although COVID presented unforeseeable challenges to the whole process, it was a blast. The Schuman Challenge was a unique opportunity to get some valuable first-hand experience in policy-making that one would not otherwise get in a course. The possible reward of presenting policy to ambassadors and heads of prominent think tanks raised the stakes, but in a way that made the process engaging and fun.” -UW-Madison debater Aleksander Cwalina (2020 Schuman Challenge)

“The Schuman Challenge was an excellent opportunity for me to get a taste of working in the foreign policy world by collaborating on a team to devise solutions to a relevant global issue and then receiving feedback on my ideas from real foreign policy experts in Washington, D.C.” -West Virginia University debater Karen Laska (2019 Schuman Challenge)

UW-Madison Students Compete in The Schuman Challenge 2020

In 2020, Aleksander Cwalina, a junior majoring in Political Science and Journalism; Anitha Quintin, a senior majoring in Political Science, International Studies, and Mathematics; Michael Sauer, a senior majoring in Political Science and Economics; and Zach Dyar, a freshman majoring in Economics represented UW-Madison in the Schuman Challenge on October 28 through October 30.

Click here to access the recap of the 2020 Schuman Challenge. 

Pranav Krishnan is a freshman majoring in Economics and Political Science. He is participating in the Schuman Challenge to further his learning about American and European foreign policy and the predicament in Afghanistan. And hopes to utilize his experience in pursuit of a career in international relations.

Ali Beneker is a freshman at UW-Madison studying Economics and Journalism and is thrilled to be on the Schuman Challenge team this year. A regular debater in Wisconsin Speech and Debate and a writer for an online publication, Ali is excited to bring writing, editing, and persuasive skills to the team. Participating in the Schuman Challenge is helping her reach her goals of a future career in political communication!

Aleksander Cwalina is a senior studying journalism and political science, with minors in European studies and German. As a multilingual immigrant to the United States, he feels deeply connected to Europe both through his personal life and through his studies. He has previously competed in the the Schuman Challenge, saying, “The Schuman Challenge plays a key role in (deepening his connection to Europe) by providing me and other students interested in European affairs the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in researching, creating, and defending policy pertinent to current events.”

Danielle Lennon is majoring in History and Psychology with a certificate in Southeast Asian Studies. She plans on graduating in 2023 and chose to compete in the Schuman Challenge due to her historical knowledge in US Foreign Policy during the Cold War and the parallels that can be seen in governmental choices that occurred in Saigon in comparison to Kabul. Because she plans on going to graduate school to study law, and its relation to immigration. She says, “the Schuman Challenge is a great opportunity for me to gain a better understanding in the mechanisms of foreign policy and diplomacy and the questions that arise in time sensitive decisions by governmental agencies.”