About us

The Nederlandse Debatbond (NDB – Dutch Debating Union) has the goal to promote and support competitive debating in the Netherlands. As a national umbrella organisation, the NDB represents roughly 1,000 debaters of which most are a member of one of the debating societies residing in the Netherlands. By taking on partnerships, generating media attention, serving as a consultative body, giving policy support, and by organising decision-making processes, the NDB aims to constantly improve competitive debating in the Netherlands regarding both the quantitative and qualitative aspect.

Competitive debating is useful

We have a sincere creed that competitive debating is a valuable activity. By debating, all elements of persuasive oral communication are developed. One can think of presentation, argumentation, and listening skills. Next to that, competitive debating stimulates a critical way of thinking and contributes to an expansion of the societal frame of reference of its practitioners. As such, debaters (from high school students to (young) professionals) that generally practise competitive debating are often seen as the leaders of the future.

Many tournaments and events

In the name of the NDB and in cooperation with member societies, tens of debating tournaments are organised annually, amongst which the Dutch Debating Championships (NK). The NK is held every year and represents the most prestigious debating tournament in the Netherlands. Traditionally, it is held near the end of the debating season.

Dutch debaters also regularly represent the NDB abroad, and not without avail. Dutch teams have managed to win the World Championships (WUDC) twice and the European Championships (EUDC) five times. Next to that, if the tournament was unfortunately not won, Dutch teams did manage to reach far stages. With all of these achievements, the Netherlands is ahead in Europe and in the world.

Media attention

Competitive debating has an increasingly important societal function. With the help of the media, the NDB delivers that message. The goal is not only to inform the public but also to enthuse them. For example, there is an increasing amount of attention for Dutch teams at the European and World Championships. Thanks to, amongst others, the Telegraaf, Trouw, RTL Nieuws, and nrc.next, debating is more alive than ever!

Societal partners

Because we can achieve more together, the NDB puts its head together with multiple parties, such as sponsors and societal partners. That way, we cannot only strengthen competitive debating but we can also use the power of debate to solve social issues. The NDB regularly organises meetings to bring all of its parties (members, sponsors, and partners) together. Moreover, the NDB is associated with international organisations like the European Universities Debating Council (EUDC) and the World Universities Debating Council (WUDC). Lastly, the Debatbond is a member of the NJR (formerly Nationale Jeugdraad). With this, the Debatbond supports the goals of the NJR, namely to strive for participation by youths and to meet the needs of youths in the Netherlands.

Since its founding in 2008, the Nederlandse Debatbond has been filling a central role in reaching for more Dutch success. The skills that one learns from competitive debating are utilised more and more and the NDB tries to facilitate it at all costs.