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University of Münster

Münster University is the most successful participating university of NRW debates with three victories in the second, sixth and eighth editions. Münster's students have taken part in the debates every year since the first edition (2015/16).

Dr. Matthias Freise

Dr. Matthias Freise has been a senior academic councillor since 2009 and a private lecturer at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Münster since 2018. His research focus is on the European integration process, in particular EU cohesion policy. In addition, Dr. Freise conducts research in the field of civil society and third sector research.

The team

In Dr. Freise's seminar "The European Union in Political Discourse", Master's students from a total of three degree programmes come together: the Master of Political Science, the Master of Education Social Sciences and the Master of International and European Governance. The latter programme is a binational cooperation programme with Sciences Po Lille, from which a particularly large number of students are taking part in the seminar this year. In Münster, as in previous years, the students' preliminary debates will again be recorded so that video analyses can be carried out later.

University of Duisburg-Essen

The University of Duisburg-Essen is the founder of NRW debattiert Europa and has participated in the debates every year since 2016. Their unique victory was achieved at the first edition.

Dr. Oliver Schwarz

Dr. Oliver Schwarz has worked at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2004. Questions of European integration and European policy are at the centre of his research and teaching. He is the coordinator of the mentoring programme for the Bachelor's degree programme in Political Science and co-director of the Duisburg branch of the Southeast Europe Society (SOG). You can find more information about him on his university page or on his Twitter account.

The team

The team from the University of Duisburg-Essen is made up of students from the Bachelor's degree programme in Political Science. The 29 students attending the seminar "European Integration and Politics in the European Multi-level System: NRW Debates Europe" with Dr. Oliver Schwarz learn about many European policy topics as well as the basics of the debating format and apply what they have learned in a preliminary debate.

University of Cologne

With the exception of the 2nd and 6th editions, the University of Cologne has participated in NRW debattiert Europa since the first edition. Cologne won the trophy once in the winter semester 2017/18.

Helena Heberer

Helena Heberer ist Promovendin an der Universität zu Köln in der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät.

The team

The students at the University of Cologne who are taking part in the debate competition are all studying for a Master's degree in Political Science and are attending the seminar "Institutional Reform of the European Union". The seminar consists of a total of 18 participants who are preparing for the competition together.

University of Wuppertal

Teams from the University of Wuppertal have participated in the debates since the third edition of NRW debattiert Europa, except for the fifth edition.

Dr. rer. soc. Michael Franke

Michael Franke has been working as a research assistant at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Wuppertal since 2019. He completed his doctorate at the University of Bochum, where he also worked as a research assistant at the Chair of International Politics. The dissertation "Government Policy in the World Financial Crisis" was published by Nomos in 2020. His research and teaching focus on the fields of international relations and international political economy. He is particularly interested in researching politics in times of economic and social crises.

University of Bielefeld

The Bielefeld team competed for the first time in the eighth edition (2022/23) of NRW debattiert Europa.

Dr. Sonja Blum

Dr. Sonja Blum currently holds the Chair of Comparative Politics and Policy Analysis at Bielefeld University. She is also a Research Fellow at the Public Governance Institute of the KU Leuven. Her research interests include comparative public policy, social policy in the European Union, policy processes and policy design, and evidence and policy.

Dr. Norman Laws

Dr. Norman Laws has been working on sustainability policy issues at Leuphana University for a long time. He is a lecturer at the universities of Bielefeld and Lüneburg. His main occupation is head of department for European policy speeches and publications at the State Chancellery of Hesse.

The team

The seminar "The Future of Europe - A NRW-wide Debating Competition" is mainly attended by students from the BA Political Science at Bielefeld University. It is also offered as part of the qualification programme "Intensive Europe" at Bielefeld University. The seminar takes place as a block seminar in presence on different dates, where basics are worked out and also rehearsal debates are held.

Radboud University

The Dutch Radboud University is taking part in the 9th edition of NRW debates Europe for the first time, with an English-speaking team.

Dr. Gijs Jan Brandsma

Dr Gijs Jan Brandsma researches politics and governance in the European Union as well as support in parliaments. He is particularly concerned with transparency, democratic accountability, decision-making processes and the relationship between the European institutions and the Member States.

Former participating universities

University of Düsseldorf

Since the first edition of NRW debates Europe, teams from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf have taken part in the debates every year, with the exception of the fifth and ninth editions. A Düsseldorf team was able to achieve a unique victory in the fourth edition (2018/19).

University of Bochum

Ruhr University Bochum was the winner of the fifth edition of NRW Debates Europe. Bochum teams have taken part in the debates every year since the second edition, with the exception of the seventh edition (2021/22) and the ninth edition (2023/24).

University of Bonn

The University of Bonn took part in the seventh edition of NRW Debattiert for the first time. In the same year, the Bonn team achieved a unique victory. A team from Bonn also took part in the 8th edition.

University of Siegen

The team from the University of Siegen participated once in NRW debattiert Europa, at the fifth edition (2019/20). Originally, the Siegen team was supposed to take part in the third edition for the first time, but cancelled at short notice.

RWTH Aachen University

A team from Aachen only competed in the seventh edition (2021/22) of NRW debattiert Europa.

Fernuniversität in Hagen

A team from the Open University in Hagen only competed once in the seventh edition (2021/22) of NRW debattiert Europa.