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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola have launched the final phase of a major youth competition celebrating 50 years of Ireland’s membership in the EU. 

Students from Third Level Institutions are being invited to enter the competition on the subject of the EU’s core values – human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights. 

The winner will be awarded €2,000 and entries can be in the form of a podcast, newspaper column / opinion piece, speech, or a poster. 

Marking the launch, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola met some students from across Third Level institutions in Ireland in the Long Room of the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin. 

The Taoiseach said: 

I am delighted to launch the MyEU50 Youth Competition for students in third level institutions. The founding values of the European Union included respect for personal dignity; freedom; democracy; equality; the rule of law and human rights.

As we mark 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the EU through the Government’s EU50 programme and as we face the challenges ahead, we need to draw strength and guidance from those values.

Through the MyEU50 competition, students will be given the unique opportunity to reflect on the enormous progress made by the EU over the past 50 years, and explore how Ireland can best contribute to the Union over the next 50 years.

The President of the European Parliament said: 

The MyEU50 competition is a wonderful initiative. Ireland’s 50-year membership of the European Union is a success story. It is important that young people from across Ireland be aware of the benefits of EU membership, so that they can avail of the opportunities and rights that the EU brings. Our union is a union of values of freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.

European Movement Ireland CEO Noelle O’Connell said:

The MyEU50 youth competition gives students the opportunity to explore their relationship with the EU. Young people are often described in the clichéd term as ‘future leaders’. I believe they are already the leaders of today.

Young people deserve to have their voices heard and this competition allows them to do just that. We are delighted to be working with the Government to roll this competition across the country. 

Overview of competition 

MyEU50 is a competition across all three levels of education in Ireland, Primary schools, Post-Primary schools, and Third Level Institutions, hosted and managed by European Movement Ireland in partnership with the Government of Ireland. As Ireland celebrates 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the EU throughout 2022 and 2023, MyEU50 is an opportunity to reemphasise the role the EU plays in the lives of European citizens, the cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe, and the career opportunities the EU can also provide.  

The third level entries for the competition will focus on at least one EU core value, human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights and demonstrate their relevance in today’s Ireland. Any student attending a third level or higher and further education institution in Ireland can enter. 

Students can enter the competition using one of the following formats: 

  • Podcasts can include debates, discussion, comedy or drama related to EU values. 
  • Newspaper Column / Op-Ed pieces should make a specific argument related to EU values. This can be related to current events or a lesser-known topic and should be written in a similar style to a national or local newspaper. 
  • Speeches can be written on a specific topic or broader theme related to EU values. Students should provide the context of the speech, including who the person making the speech might be and the intended audience. 
  • Posters can be designed for any purpose related to EU values, eg a call to action, public information, public art etc. All poster design styles will be accepted. 

All entry types will be assessed on their creativity, representation of European values and research. 

The deadline for submissions is Friday 31st March and the winner will be announced at a ceremony in April, with €2,000 up for grabs for the winning entry. 

MyEU50 launched in September 2020. Submissions were received from 5,000 students across both primary and post-primary level during the first phase of the competition. The winners of the primary and post-primary level competition were announced at an awards ceremony in December 2022. 

  • Primary Level winners – Balbriggan ETNS, Co Dublin.
  • Post – Primary Level winners – Gaelcholáiste Mhaigh Nuad (Maynooth), Co. Kildare. 

For the competition website, please visit MyEU50: Ireland EU50 Youth Competition (

For more on the EU50 programme, please visit