Print version

IAI Prize “Young Talents for Italy, Europe and the World”

2018 - current

This is the flagship initiative that the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) launched in 2018 to encourage the younger generation to reflect on the role of international relations in daily life. The aim is not only, nor primarily, educational but also to provide a platform for young European citizens and future leaders.
The competition is aimed at young people under 26, high school and university students, as well as fresh graduates. The prize is awarded to the best essays on issues concerning European and global dynamics.

The initiative gained official recognition from the President of the Italian Republic.


The topic selected for the first edition (2018) was: “Europe and You: a love/hate relationship. What does Europe mean to you and how can it be improved?"
Focusing on the relaunch of the European project was an apt choice for the Institute founded by Altiero Spinelli.
Participants were asked to comment on the meaning of the European Union in their everyday life as well as in the future – both their own and that of their country, and how they would like to change it to feel proud and active citizens.

The awards event took place on 10 October 2018.


The topic selected for the second edition (2019) was: "Democracy in Europe: On the edge of a precipice or a New Beginning?".
Participants were asked to answer questions such as: how can liberal democracies survive and thrive in the digital age?

Starting from this year, the competition has been extended to high school students.

Moreover, IAI has promoted a special communications award in memory of Antonio Megalizzi, the Italian journalist who died in the Strasbourg terrorist attack on 11 December 2018.

The awards event took place in Rome on 24 September 2019.


The topic selected for the third edition (2020) was: "The Planet, Europe and I: how to combat climate change, guarantee a sustainable development model and safeguard the environment?".
This year, due to the restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the final event was recorded and then broadcasted on 1 October 2020 via the ANSA Agency website, Italy’s leading wire service.


The fourth edition (2021) of the IAI Prize focused on the crisis triggered by Covid-19 and the great challenges facing Europe. The title chosen was "The Post-Covid World, Europe and I". This year too, Europe and Italian foreign policy remained central, but with a focus on one of the most important global challenges for citizens and member states of the European Union: the role that Europe can play in the post-pandemic world. The question the participants were invited to answer was: how can Europe counter the weakening of multilateralism and work with the new US administration and other global powers to strengthen international cooperation and contain the influence of authoritarianism and nationalism?

The final event took place in hybrid mode also in 2021.


This fifth (2022) edition’s topic is: "Borders in an Interconnected World".

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shed new light on the significance of borders and state sovereignty in the international system. What is the value of national borders in the 21st century? How can and must the international community preserve the international order based on the territorial integrity and independence of sovereign states? How can borders combine with the promotion of a freer, more democratic and more integrated world? These are just some of the questions participants are invited to answer this year.

Related content