Each year at the General Assembly, the EGU organizes a limited number of Union Symposia (US) and Great Debates (GDB). These union-wide events are intended to be cutting-edge, current, and of interest to a broad range of the space and geosciences. USs and GDBs are web-streamed and archived online (2019 examples) after the General Assembly (subject to speaker and convener agreement).

Submission of proposals for a US or GDB session is possible during the call-for-sessions, but please note the earlier deadline. The proposals are evaluated for acceptance in the EGU's programme committee before the deadline of the general call-for-sessions. Rejected proposals can then be considered for resubmission as a regular session.

When submitting a proposal for a US or GDB session, please consider these guidelines:

  • Please check the general convener guidelines and rules.
  • A US consists of two time blocks separated by a break. Each time block has 3 lectures of 30 minutes each (so the US has a total of 6 lectures). In addition, each time block can have 15 minutes for introduction or discussion.
  • GDBs are panel discussions with a moderator. Typically the panel has 3–5 members in addition to the moderator. A GDB lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  • US and GDB are meant to be current and are therefore not automatically rolled over to the next year.
  • The EGU strongly encourages diversity in career stage, gender, and country of work or origin for US and GDB speakers and conveners.
  • The EGU recommends a maximum of three (co-)convenerships at its General Assembly. One additional (co-)convenership for US and GDB is allowed (i.e. a maximum of four).
  • Proposals of US and GBD need to include the following extra information in the proposal form (this information is confidential to the programme committee):
    • a justification of the union-wide character of the proposed session;
    • a list of preliminary speakers;
    • an indication of whether the proposal should be included in another programme group as a regular session if the proposal is turned down for US or GBD.
    • whether the proposers have a contact person in the programme committee or the EGU office.
  • Speakers in Union Symposia (US) are solicited. They need to submit an abstract using a password provided by the US convener by the abstract deadline of the General Assembly.
  • As a guideline, US and GDB speakers, conveners, and moderators do not receive discounted abstract processing charges, registration fees, or travel reimbursement.
  • Limited financial support is, however, available in special cases. The EGU will consider support requests for speakers (up to 2) who bring something extra to our participants, who are not space or geoscientists, who would otherwise not attend the EGU's General Assembly, and who do not have funds to cover their expenses.
  • Financial support requests are subject to approval by the treasurer, executive secretary, and programme committee chair and form part of the evaluation of US and GDB proposals. We consider requests for day-pass registration and support for accommodation and/or travel. As a guideline, travel support should not exceed €350 for travel within Europe and €1,000 from outside Europe, respectively. Accommodation should not exceed €120 per night, and up to 2 nights can be granted if justifiable.