ECNAIS Student Debate Event and Conference In Lisb

Lisbon, Portugal | 19 - 21 April 2023

The ECNAIS Student Debate Event and Conference “Promoting Democracy and Civic Engagement” was held in Lisbon, from 19 to 21 April 2023. This Conference has been organized in good cooperation with the Portuguese member of ECNAIS, AEEP – Portuguese Association of Independent Schools.  During the opening session we had a beautiful musical presentation of Harp and Guitar by students from Escola de Música Nossa Senhora do Cabo. In the opening session we had speeches from Luís Virtuoso - AEEP President, Rodrigo Melo -  ECNAIS Chairman and António Leite - Secretary of State for Education.

On April 20th, the first day of Conference, Oksana Balakshyna made a very emotional portrait of the experience of teaching  and studying in Kyiv Private School Athens. Professor Gonçalo Matias spoke about Migration challenges and dynamics in the European Union and Professor Miguel Monjardino spoke about Educating for freedom in the heart of the Atlantic. On April 21st, the last day of the Conference, participants had school visits to Colégio de Santa Doroteia;  Colégio do Sagrado Coração de Maria; Colégio Pedro Arrupe; Escola de Comércio de Lisboa and Externato São Miguel Arcanjo. On the the afternoon, we had a panel about “Civic Education at school – perspectives from 3 European Countries” with the participation of Bulgaria - Radka Karagyozova, The Netherlands, Jan van Deutekom  and Portugal, Susana Sousa. This panel included one student per country.

The 2023 ECNAIS Conference was a very special one because we hosted the 1st ECNAIS Student Debate Event ( In partnership with DDI - Stichting Nederlands Debat Instituut and with support from Porticus, we trained teachers all over Europe, students have debated at their schools and at the national level and, in Lisbon, 12 teams from 11 countries (Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkiye, UK) debated in 3 rounds and one final. The motions debated were: “we live in a post-truth world”; “European countries should establish quotas for young people in government” and “it is possible for European countries to achieve a common immigration policy”. In the final, Spain and Bulgaria debated the motion “Parental school choice reduces inequalities”. The Spanish team had the highest score in the final debate.

VIDEO of the event

More information about the Conference here