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Annual events and competitions for Irish students

There are a number of annual events and competitions aimed at second and third level students. See details of some of them below.

Model Council of the European Union debate

The Model Council is an annual debate for secondary schools organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. It is a simulation of a meeting of the Council of the European Union and involves teams from secondary schools around Ireland, each of which represents an EU Member State. The event allows schools to learn about the EU's decision-making process.

The 2021 virtual Model Council took place on 23 April. The topic was Health, specifically cross-border health threats.

The competition was won by St Joseph's Secondary School, Tulla, Co. Clare. Second place went to St Mary's College, Naas, Co. Kildare, and third place to St Columba's College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal.

More information about the 2021 winners is available here.

The short video below provides an overview of the 2021 Model Council.

All-island ‘Aistritheoirí Óga’ (Young Translators) competition

The ‘Aistritheoirí Óga' (Young Translators) translation competition is organised jointly by the European Commission and the Irish Government. It is open to students across the island of Ireland who were at least 15 years of age on 1 September (current academic year) and who have the ability to translate from English into Irish, or from a choice of five other European languages into Irish.

The competition has three goals: to promote a high standard of Irish, to encourage multilingualism among secondary school students and to encourage their interest in careers with Irish.

There are six categories in the competition: a prize for the best translation from English in each province, an overall prize for the best translation across the island of Ireland, and a prize for the best translation from a language other than English.

The competition is launched in November/December each year and Competition Day takes place in the Spring.

Further information about the competition, the registration process and the rules of the Competition can be viewed here.

EU stand at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition

The EU stand at the 2020 BT Young Scientist Exhibition
The EU stand at the 2020 BT Young Scientist Exhibition

The EU Commission Representation in Ireland hosts a stand at the annual BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition.

A variety of activities including free resources about the European Union are made available to visitors.

Information Officers from the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Liaison Office are also present to answer any queries.

Juvenes Translatores competition

Since 2007, the Juvenes Translatores translation competition is organised annually by the European Commission. It is open to students across the European Union who are 17 years of age and who have the ability to translate between any two of the 552 possible language combinations of the EU's 24 official languages.

The competition is launched in September each year and schools can register up until mid-October.  All entries are then entered into a random draw and 705 schools are invited to proceed to the next stage.  The final number of participating schools per country is equal to the number of MEPs representing that country – i.e. 13 for Ireland.

Each participating school then nominates 2-5 students to take part in the simultaneous contest (in all EU Member States) on Competition Day, usually during November. 

The winners — one per country — are announced in early February and prizes are presented at a special ceremony in Brussels during the Spring.

For further information about the Juvenes Translatores competition, please see the dedicated webpage.

Media workshop for third level students

Students taking part in the virtual Smedia workshop 2020
Online Smedia workshop in 2020

The European Commission’s annual media workshop takes place in Autumn each year.  It is aimed at increasing the interest of third level students in journalism, in particular in the context of EU affairs. Speakers provide valuable tips on writing techniques and research skills and teach students how to approach issues from a journalistic perspective. They also give an overview of the media environment in the EU.

In addition, the workshop helps students to prepare for the national student Media award ("Smedias") in the EU category. The Smedias prize is awarded to the best article which covers EU affairs and which was printed in a student publication during the previous year. The winner's article is also published in a regional or national newspaper such as the Irish Times.