Meet the winners of the futurEU competition 2024


Sciences Po students win first place in a competition on the future of Europe in Berlin.

The futurEU competition is an opportunity for all CIVICA students to learn, explore and network with each other. More importantly, the competition is a platform that encourages students to actively find and propose policy solutions on reforming the European Union. The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students as well as PhD researchers enrolled at one of our ten partner universities.

On May 2024, the semi-finals and finals of the fourth edition of the competition took place at the Hertie School in Berlin. From the initial 87 teams (216 students), eight teams made it to the finals, after winning a popular vote and passing the judge's selections. Six Sciences Po students made the cut. Three of them were even part of the first two winning teams!

Marion Beaulieu and Sára Kende

Marion Beaulieu and Sára Kende, students from the Master's degree in European Affairs at Sciences Po's School of Public Affairs, were the winning team of the competition!

Their proposalTrain for your future - an ambitious vision for green jobs in the EU”. The EU’s green energy transition will significantly alter employment. The shift away from fossil fuels will impact jobs, particularly in sectors like coal, while the automotive industry’s move to electric vehicles will require workers to update their skills. However, the green transition could also create up to 884,000 new jobs by 2030. The proposal aims to bridge the skills gap, ensuring those affected by job losses can find employment in emerging sectors and promoting dignified, well-compensated jobs. Our proposal advocates for comprehensive training programs, targeted education through a Green Energy Erasmus Programme, and outreach to marginalised groups to ensure all workers benefit.

Their experience: As we are committed to sustainability and our proposal focuses on the green energy transition, we decided to travel to Berlin by train. We had a long but comfortable journey, and we even got the chance to quickly check out the Kölner Dom on our way to Berlin.

The organisation was great, the organisers were friendly, helpful and professional. We got the chance to meet the other semifinalist teams the day before the competition in the informal setting of a traditional German Biergarten.

On the day of the competition, the semi-finals took place in the morning, where the eight semifinalist teams presented their proposals and answered questions by the judges and the audience. After deliberation, the judges announced that we were one of the teams that got into the final! This was followed by the most stressful three hours of our stay in Berlin, where we had to redo our slides and change our presentation following the feedback from the judges, and then present our proposal again.

In the end, the judges and the fellow semifinalists chose our team as the winner for both the popular vote and the whole competition. It’s still hard to believe it, but we are really thankful! After the end of the competition, we had an amazing celebratory dinner with all the semifinalists, organisers and judges. 

Alessandra Turrisi and Anselmo Scano

Alessandra Turrisi, a first-year Master's student in International Development at Sciences Po's Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) teamed up with Anselmo Scano, an International economics and management third-year student at Bocconi University, and were runner-ups of the competition.

Their proposal: We proposed an EU Purple Card to increase the number of low-skilled migrant workers coming to Europe. We modeled it after the EU Blue Card, which targets high-skilled migrants. We believe it is important to introduce a new narrative on immigration, one focused on the opportunities it brings to address EU challenges such as labor shortages and the demographic winter. We also think that providing alternatives to dangerous routes is not only a more realistic and efficient approach to immigration but also a management strategy that reaffirms Europe's commitment to human rights and restores dignity of migrants coming to Europe. 

Their experience: Our journey in Berlin was incredibly fulfilling and intense. The day of the competition everybody was a bit nervous but excited about the possibility to discuss and promote an idea on which we had been working on for months at that point. Anselmo and I had been rehearsing our presentation so much as well as any possible question they could have asked. However, on stage, we received many unexpected questions and it was interesting to see our idea being challenged live. Sometimes the answers were easy as we had been researching this topic through and through, for others instead we had to think quickly and I am really happy we were on stage as a team as we compensated and supported one another.

I think in general the experience was really different from what we do normally, we write many policy briefs in our university but we often have short term projects and we cannot incorporate feedback to improve our work. For this competition, Anselmo and I had to incorporate feedback twice, first after the campaign proposal and then after we got selected for the finalist round during the competition day in Berlin, after which we had only two hours to work on a new presentation.

Finally, this opportunity with CIVICA was also a great way to think about things we learn in class in a different and more original way, as well as learn independently about new fields of interest. In my case, as I study international development, I am not often dealing with EU legislation. However, for this competition I had to study so much and learnt so much more than I could imagine. Going to Berlin was also an amazing experience to exchange with other students of social sciences across Europe. For example, the ideas presented gave us a chance to discuss the upcoming European elections and how we would like to see our proposals in the current political debates. 

Watch the replay and find out more about their proposals and their journey >>

Article credits: Lola Leboulleux (Sciences Po). 

Photo credits: The Hertie School