What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common?
They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.
The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme, organised by Friends of Europe, is a unique, inventive and multi-stakeholder programme that aims to promote a European identity by engaging the continent’s most promising talents in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future.
The European Young Leaders represent promising European leadership from all over the continent, with a wide variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.
Every year, they meet for two three-day seminars in symbolic European cities, joined by decision-makers, stakeholders and key European actors to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete proposals and recommendations to tackle the challenges facing Europe and its citizens.
The European Young Leaders now represent a network of more than 180 alumni.
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
Kaja Kallas started her career as a lawyer in Estonia. In 2011, she was elected Member of the Estonian Parliament and Chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs. In 2014, she was elected to the European Parliament, where she sits on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. A member of the ALDE Group, Kaja is also part of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda, an informal network of MEPs interested in digital technologies and how they can benefit society. She is a proponent of innovation and frequently emphasises that regulations should not hinder the technological revolution. Kallas has been the author of five reports in the European Parliament, including of an own-initiative report on the Digital Single Market.
Mary Fitzgerald is a journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She began her career reporting on post-conflict Northern Ireland, and since then she has worked across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Fitzgerald has conducted researches on Libya for well-known think-tanks and institutes, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. She has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.