Sharing good stories IDEA NL members #3 Slovenia - Debaters as young public intellectuals

This story from our Slovenian friends from our member organisation ZIP  is already the third one in our series of good stories from IDEA NLmembers to show impact of debate education.
IDEA NL is an organisation that consists of strong members who are all network debate organisations with long history of debating education. Some members already over 20 years! Decades of debate education! Decades of stories to share.
We hope you will find it as inspiring as we do!

Sharing good stories IDEA NL members #3 Slovenia - Debaters as young public intellectuals

A school debate team won Europe’s largest debate tournament and debaters got invited to be one time political commentators on national TV. 

In late December 2018 Reja Debevc, Filip Korošec and Filip Gavranovič from Bežigrad Debate Club (member of Za in Proti - the national debate organisation of Slovenia) won the championship title at the largest tournament in Europe (Winter Holidays Open) for the second time in 3 years. 
The result did not go unnoticed. All three debaters were invited as one time political commentators to star on Studio City. This is the prime time national TV informative talk show.
They offered their comments on some of the most pressing issues of Slovenian and European society and politics. 

It was inspiring to see that competitive debate programs are not limited to competition and formal education but are producing future public intellectuals who can positively reshape public discourse with their listening, critical thinking, speaking, argumentation and research skills. 

Watch the whole show here  

Link to the excerpt from the show with debaters’ commentary

You can read some of their comments below: 

On hate public discourse, hate speech and possible regulations, Reja Debevc: 
“Many people believe that hate speech legislation is violating basic freedom of expression. But we need to be careful here. The point of hate speech is that it is coming from the position of power and that it is directed towards marginalised groups. It actually takes their freedom of speech away by closing the discussion with the argument of power.” 

On nationalism, Euro-scepticism and the future of EU, Filip Korošec: 
“I am a Slovenian but I am also an European. I regret radical Eurosceptic parties entering EU parliaments. I think we should try to solve EU problems by redefining and rebuilding the future of Europe not by destroying it.” 

On democracy and active citizenship, Filip Gavranovič: 
“Our message to the people in the position of power is that we are watching them. Society has and should have historical memory. At the next elections we will remember what they did in four years and we will vote accordingly. This is the minimal basis of democracy and active citizenship.” 

Slovenia debating