Fourth Round of Youth Essay Prize Competition: Winners

We are happy to announce the winners of the fourth round of the youth essay competition for citizens of Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The call invited young (under 30 years) citizens of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to submit essays of up to 3,000 words in English on any topic relevant to the Association Agreements & DCFTAs of their countries with the EU. 

This year we experienced the biggest and best competition so far, with a very large majority of the 64 entrants having made serious contributions, posing a real difficulty to the jury to choose.

From the fourth call, four prizes of 500 EUR have now been awarded to:

4th round winners


Moreover, three essays were acknowledged with merit award:

4th round merit award


We congratulate our seven authors!



A word from the chairperson of the jury:


Just a short personal word, having been chairperson of the jury assessing all 64 (!) essays. The jury had four people, one each from Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the EU. 

First and most important, it has been a real pleasure to read them all. For those of us working at times on the official processes such as the 'approximation' of laws, your ideas are refreshing and stimulating. 

We are impressed by the number of high quality submissions, with qualities of several types: linguistic quality in a language that is not your mother tongue; in many a moving personal motivation that gave a human touch to the essays beyond clinical analytical content; sophisticated political/societal understanding of what links to the EU do and do not mean; and finally a general glow of optimism or determination to make things better in the years ahead. 

On our method, in a first stage the 64 was reduced to 20 for closer examination. The problem then was to choose the best few, when the graduations of quality were so fine. 

One particular problem was to deal fairly with contributors whose range of age and academic or professional experience ranged from the schoolboy of 13 up to the experienced post-doc young professional of 29. We decided to apply a certain age discount factor, reflecting that the 13 and 29 year-olds could not be judged on exactly the same standard. 

This was our fourth competition, and we will continue at least into 2020 and 2021. Having been involved in all four, it is impressive how both the quality and quantity of submissions has been rising. 

Last and not least, many thanks to you all for the big efforts that went into your submissions.

Michael Emerson
Associate Senior Researcher Fellow, CEPS