Applications are OPEN for the TEPSA Student Contest 2023

Russia’s war in Ukraine has drastically changed the geopolitical environment, challenging the foundations of European and international security. In addition to its security implications (strategic shifts in terms of military support, increased defence capabilities, renewed transatlantic partnership and revamped debate about EU and NATO enlargement), the war has had a major societal impact by causing living costs such as energy, fuel, and food to increase drastically. This takes place in a context where the European economy was already undermined by the previous years of the COVID-19 pandemic. With record inflation rates, the EU is facing a cost-of-living crisis, where citizens lose purchasing power as an increased proportion of wages is spent on essential goods.

This asks fundamental questions for the future of the Union in the years to come: how has the EU’s response to the war changed the continent’s approach to key policy areas such as climate and energy, rule of law and democracy, as well as security and defence? What will the future of Europe look like in the context and wake of the war in Ukraine? TEPSA aims to contribute to this debate and reach a possible solution to these questions by giving the possibility to young Europeans to make their voices heard and to share their insights on this important theme.

With the support of the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) Programme, TEPSA is organising a student contest on the theme of ‘The future of Europe in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine’, open to undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students from the TEPSA network and beyond.


The contest is open to Bachelor, Master and PhD students, who should submit a short essay or policy brief (1500-2000 words) on one of the three selected categories below: However, participants are not bound to these proposals and new ideas or topics are welcome.

  • Green and energy transitions: how can the EU eliminate its energy dependence on Russia and avoid future interdependencies which could be used against EU strategic interests? How is the implementation of the EU Green Deal impacted by the war (e.g. regarding agriculture, energy transition, trade and industry, etc.)? How can the EU ensure that Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction complies with the EU Green Deal?
  • Democratic values and the rule of law: what kind of democratic instability does the EU face in the fallout of these policy crises? How is the resilience of European democracies impacted by Russia’s war in Ukraine and by the cost-of-living crisis? How should the EU protect its fundamental freedoms from the threat of disinformation and foreign interference? What kind of partnerships with neighbours can help strengthen core EU values while progressing on the enlargement process?
  • EU in the world: are the consecutive crises pushing for more united defence and security policies, or do they exacerbate divisions between the Member States? What should military and political support to Ukraine look like in the months to come? How can the EU remain a strong geopolitical actor, what are the most relevant tools available (e.g. sanctions)? What is the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine on the Transatlantic partnership?

We recommend you consult the latest APA guidelines which include standards to format your paper and your references. You can have a look at the essays of last year’s winners here.


The results of the contest will be announced by 29 April 2022 and the three best papers will be published by TEPSA on its site. The three winning authors will be invited to participate in TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conference in Madrid, on 1-2 June 2023, with travel and accommodation costs covered (up until €400).

The Pre-Presidency Conferences are TEPSA’s flagship activity. They take place twice a year in the capital of the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU prior to the beginning of its mandate. The main aim of TEPSA’s Pre-Presidency Conferences is to bring together academics and researchers from the broad TEPSA network, policy-makers, media and civil society in order to discuss the agenda and challenges of the upcoming Council Presidencies.


Papers should be submitted no later than Sunday 9 April 2023 (midnight) to eva.ribera[at] and hugh.evans[at] with “Student contest_LAST NAME” as the subject of the email. For any question on the contest, please send an e-mail to eva.ribera[at]