Fifth Round of Youth Essay Prize Competition: Winners

We are delighted to announce the winners of the fifth Youth Essay Prize competition, open to citizens of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine under the age of 30 years, with no lower age limit. The essays written in English, not exceeding 3,000 words, should concern a topic either of broad European relevance, or the European aspirations of the author's country. 
Our congratulations and €500 Prizes go to:
- Anastasiia Agarkova, Ukraine, age 13, 'Visa-free regime: a diplomatic gesture or a fateful decision?'
- Nichita FrunzăMoldova, age 19, 'Agriculture: a RM-EU Association Agreement priority in desperate need of change'
- Varvara Kabarhina, Ukraine, age 20, 'The Culture of Memory of the Second World War: The Common Denominator of Ukraine and Europe'
- Shalva Dekanozishvili, Georgia, age 24, 'Tracking Georgia’s Occupational Safety Progress Post-Association Agreement: The Good, the Bad and the Uncertain'


With Merit awards also to:
 - Tamar Tkemaladze, Georgia, age 22, 'Uncovering Traces of the Association Agreement: Alongside My Route'
-  Serhii Lashyn, Ukraine, age 22, 'Of Carrots and Sticks: Sustainable Development in EU-Ukraine Association Agreement'
There will be another competition in 2021.
It may be of interest to competitors to know how the jury works to decide the prize winners. The jury has four members, one each from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the European Union. Four criteria are assessed for each essay: i/ Relevance and interest, ii/ Analytical and drafting quality, iii/ Originality, and iv/ Age factor. All these criteria are marked on a rising scale of 1 to 5. The age factor is to adjust for the factor that one cannot reasonably grade the school boy or girl on exactly the same scale as the post-doctoral graduate and young professional. For this purpose five age categories are used, with the youngest winning 5 points and the oldest (under 30) 1 point.  On this occasion there were 57 valid submissions, which in a first round were reduced to a shorter list of 20, and then subject to closer scrutiny. The scores of the four jury members were aggregated to be the basis for the decisions. While there were no quotas by country, gender, or age constraining the decisions of the jury, it is good to see a fair balance of these factors in the actual results.
It has to be said that the jury's task was not easy, since many of the 20 short-listed essays were close to the prize-winning scores.
It is planned soon to organise an open Zoom webinar, with short presentations by the prize and merit winners, with Q and A and debate, and with all the 20 short-listed competitors invited to participate. 

Michael Emerson (jury chairperson)
Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)