Motions at Heart of Europe International Debating Tournament 2019 #HOEDT19


There are 8 preliminary rounds, 4 of them are impromptus and 4 of them will be prepared. The prepared ones consist of two motions as you’ll be debating them both twice, once on prop and once on opp. Please find below the themes for this year’s motions, along with some examples from previous editions (only applicable to the themes we had last year).


Round 1 and 2 (swap sides motion): ICC

THS leaving the International Criminal Court.


Round 3: Education

This theme will encompass all aspects of education. The primary areas to look at are the different education systems, scholarships, the parents’ involvement in their child’s education, quotas, and the curriculum.

Examples from 2018:
– THW allow parents to ban books from their child’s curriculum.

– THBT university ‘safe spaces’ (where individuals who feel marginalized to communicate regarding their experiences without judgement) do more harm than good.

– THR the rise of formalised online education.


Round 4: Politics

This is a broad theme which will overlap with IR, therefore be prepared to have some knowledge on PIR. This theme will primarily focus on current events that are happening in 2019, but it will not include Brexit, as that’s a highly dynamic topic. The motions are going to be more general rather than focusing on just one specific country, for example the motion won’t be on what’s happening in Venezuela, but it will rather ask you to discuss military intervention and then you can use Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Middle East etc.

Examples from 2018:

– THBT foreign aid does more harm than good.

– THBT rights issues (e.g. gay marriage, abortion, legalising drugs etc.) should be decided via judicial decisions rather than referendums.

– THBT military interventions must always be explicitly approved by the receiving country.


Round 5 and 6 (swap sides motion): Open Source

THBT big data companies should go open source.


Round 7: Europe

This is a new theme, which we decided to try this year as after all, the Tournament is in the heart of Europe. Having said that, this theme will not discriminate against any non-European nations, as we will make sure that as long as you keep up with what’s happening in Europe, then you’ll have the same chances as everyone else.


Round 8: Morality and Ethics

This is a class HOEDT theme, beloved by many as motions here don’t need to focus on strong real life examples. The adjudicators will be looking to assess your way of thinking on new topics.


Examples from 2018:
– THBT the internet has made us less tolerant.

– THBT those who took the Hippocratic Oath (do no harm) should not be allowed to participate in death penalty or euthanasia life terminations.

– THS a world where it is impossible to lie.


Octos: Current Affairs

This is a new theme which will work as an umbrella theme for economics, gender, globalisation, and PIR. Seeing as this is the first knockout round, the motions from here on will be slightly more difficult, however still within the knowledge of every debater.


Quarters: Legal

This is the third and final new theme. Debating law might sound intimidating at first, however it’s a perfect start to anyone’s debating career – that’s probably why a lot of debaters end up at law schools. Here, we would advise you to focus on Human Rights, terrorism, the UN, the criminal justice systems, mens rea and actus reus etc.


Semis: IR and General motions

This is the final knockout stage, so prepare for things to get heated! This will be the most difficult round as it will not only judge you on your knowledge but it will also heavily scrutinise your thinking and how the two combine in terms of debating criteria. However, having said that, the adjudicators will take this into account when deciding who goes through to the final. Some areas to look into include economics, global warming, sports, environment, developing/developed countries, GMOs, intellectual property.

Examples from 2018:
– THW hold CEOs of multinational companies personally liable for environmental abuses committed by their company in the developing world.

– THW suspend intellectual property rights for renewable energy.

– THW ration the water consumption per person in developed countries.


Grand Final: European Year of Space

THW ban the use of a space programme for any military or covert purposes.


Detailed information on the prepared motions is available here:


Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the suggested areas to look at are for your benefit only, and this does not mean that we will only have motions on the aforementioned subthemes. The aim of these descriptions is to help you prep for the tournament.