About

Bold leadership, ground-breaking ideas, unparalleled passion …

For almost a decade the European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme has brought together the brightest minds and outside the box leaders to put their innovative thinking to work at building a more forward-thinking Europe that is a global champion for a better world. The European Young Leaders represent a new generation of leaders, able to tackle the increasing disconnects between citizens and political elites, to rebuild the trust that is vital to democracies.

These promising and established leaders come from a variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, arts, science and the media.

The 2020-2021 Class of European Young Leaders:


Tune in to the EYLs on Friends of Europe’s Leading Views podcast

Joss Garman on the climate crisis: how bad is it (bad!) and can we get out of it (yes!)?

Leading view

Joss Garman on the climate crisis: how bad is it (bad!) and can we get out of it (yes!)?

Joss Garman

Start playback
Negar Mortazavi on Europe's role in the US-Iran dispute, the Trump factor and the role of media

Leading view

Negar Mortazavi on Europe's role in the US-Iran dispute, the Trump factor and the role of media

Negar Mortazavi

Start playback
Una Mullally on abortion rights, marriage equality and galvanising a generation for change

Leading view

Una Mullally on abortion rights, marriage equality and galvanising a generation for change

Una Mullally

Start playback
Continue to Meet the EYL

Meet the EYL40

Photo of Jamila Aanzi
Jamila Aanzi

Independent Adviser, former women’s representative to the United Nations and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Jamila Aanzi

Jamila is a leading innovator in the fields of youth involvement and social outreach in the Netherlands. She currently works as an independent strategic consultant and sits on the supervisory board of Stichting JES Rijnland, an organisation which promotes the rights of children and young people in education and society. Jamila previously worked as a senior international political trainer for the the Max van der Stoel Foundation, where she worked with political parties and politicians in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and North Africa on a range of topics, including diversity, the inclusion of young people and women, EU enlargement and democracy. She is the former Dutch women’s representative to the United Nations and a former member of the European Elections Programme Committee of the Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands (PVDA). Jamila is also an alumna of Israel’s future European leaders programme and the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

Danae Bezantakou
Danae Bezantakou

CEO of Navigator Shipping LTD , 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Danae Bezantakou

Danae is the Managing director of Navigator Shipping Consultants LTD. One of her important achievements is the organisation of the Navigator Conference since 2001 which is considered to be one of the biggest shipping events gathering the decision makers of the shipping community and speakers from all over the world on an annual basis. Through her participation in lectures and seminars, Danae has travelled the world to promote and strengthen women’s entrepreneurship. Her latest venture includes the foundation of Greek Food Obsessions, a gourmet culinary company providing the Greek and international food market with high quality Greek gourmet products from all over Greece. Danae holds a Bachelor of Science in International Hospitality and Tourism Management from the University of Surrey.

Adriano Farano
Adriano Farano

Co-founder & CEO at Watchup, 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Adriano Farano

Adriano is the CEO and Co-founder of Watchup, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that brings the power of video journalism to the post-PC era with an Apple app that lets you build your daily newscast out of the world’s most trusted news channels. He is a former EiR at StartX, the Stanford student start-up accelerator. Previously, he co-founded and ran from 2001 to 2009 Cafebabel.com, a pan-European online media outlet entirely translated in 6 languages that has thousands of contributors. In 2007, he was selected as a young leader in the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Adriano is a Political Science and International Relations graduate from LUISS University in Rome.

Christel Heydemann
Christel Heydemann

Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Transformation, Alcatel-Lucent and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Christel Heydemann

Christel is Executive Vice-President of Human Resources and Transformation at Alcatel-Lucent and Member of the Executive Management Committee. Christel began her career at The Boston Consulting Group in Paris and joined Alcatel in 1999 on the Project Finance team of the Chief Financial Officer and has made her way up the ladder progressively and successfully ever since. She is also President of Fondation Azaria, created in 1940 to support employees facing personal difficulties. Christel was selected in 2012 as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and as a Rising Talent by the Women’s forum. Christel is a graduate of the French Ecole Polytechnique and Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Guillaume Liegey
Guillaume Liegey

CEO of eXplain and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Guillaume Liegey

Guillaume is an expert in electoral strategy. He began his career in Beijing before joining the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. for 4 years in France and in the United States. In 2012, he joined the French presidential campaign team of François Hollande, in which he oversaw the field campaign strategy to reach out to 5 million households, led the rollout of the campaign in 30 departments and coordinated the communication strategy. He then co-founded a political strategy firm Liegey Muller Pons to help other European political parties improve the way they run their election campaigns and engage with citizens before and after the polls. Guillaume is the co-author of Porte-à-porte, Reconquérir la démocratie sur le terrain (2013). He is also a lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, where he teaches a course on electoral campaigns. Guillaume is a graduate of HEC and Harvard, holding a Master in Public Administration and a MSc in Management.

Daniela Ott
Daniela Ott

Founder of Agape Strategy Consulting and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Daniela Ott

Passionate about consumers’ needs and desires, Daniela is an expert in brand management, strategy and finances, as well as merchandising and product knowledge. She is the Founder of Agape Strategy Consulting, which supports luxury and fashion brands with their brand, product and go-to-market strategy. Daniela also teaches a class on Luxury Brand Management at ESSEC Business School in Paris. Daniela has a wealth of experience in the industry as the former CEO of Eden Being at the Oetker Collection, CEO of Tomas Maier and COO of the Kering Luxury Division at Kering, director of strategy at Gucci Group and director of strategy and marketing at Balenciaga. In addition to being recognised as one of Women’s Forum Rising Talents, Daniela has been a recipient of the LSE Research Award and the Economic & Social Research Council Award.

Nina Rawal
Nina Rawal

Founder of Emerging Health Ventures and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Nina Rawal

Nina is the founder of a venture capital fund focused on affordable medicine and medical products. Prior to her current role, Nina was the head of life science at the Swedish Industriaal Development Fund, a €500mn venture capital fund, where she was responsible for international business development in early life science companies. She has also previously served as the head of strategy and ventures at Baxter Group, formerly Gambro, a leading global medical technology company. Nina sits on the boards of MedCap AB and Stockholms Sjukhem, a non-profit hospital. In recognition of her work, Nina was selected among the Women’s Forum Rising Talents in 2012.

Maria Vlachou
The late Maria Vlachou

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Fereikos and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on The late Maria Vlachou

Maria was the CEO of Fereikos-Helix, a company that oversees the development of organic snail farming globally and CEO of Maria Vlachou LTD, specialising in the branding, packaging and export of Greek high-quality agricultural products. In 2011, Maria she was awarded the Greek Entrepreneur of the Year prize and in 2013, she was included in the Fortune list of “40 under 40” in Greece. In addition, she was on the advisory board of Hellenic Start-Up Association and mentor at several start-up initiatives such as Startup live Athens.

Maria left us too soon on 24 July 2019.

Max von Bismarck
Max von Bismarck

Chief Business Officer & Managing Director, Deposit Solutions and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Max von Bismarck

Max is a European serial entrepreneur and Chief Business Officer of Deposit Solutions. Previously Max was Partner and CEO Europe for SkyBridge Capital, the global alternative investment firm, and Director and Head of Investors at the World Economic Forum in Geneva and New York. Furthermore, he was a Co-Founder & Managing Director at Public One Strategy Consulting, and part of the initial team of the technology company Mondus Limited that originated out of Oxford University. He serves as Senior Advisor Europe to the Berggruen Institute and is a former Senior Advisor on Global Business at the Asia-Pacific Research Center of Stanford University.

Julia Zimmermann
Julia Zimmermann

Chief Scientific Officer, Terraplasma and 2014 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Julia Zimmermann

Julia is principal investigator in the research area “plasma medicine”, a rapidly growing, interdisciplinary field of research requiring synergistic contributions from physicists, engineers, chemists, micro- and cell-biologists and physicians. To carry out this fundamental but also translational research she created a “plasma medicine network” including partners from more than 20 institutions in Germany, England, the USA and Russia. Julia is also Co-founder of the company terraplasma GmbH – a technology company, founded in May 2011 as a spin-off from the Max Planck Society. The mission of terraplasma GmbH is to develop and bring to market different cold atmospheric plasma devices. Julia holds a PhD in Biophysics from the Technical University in Munich.

Continue to Events

Events

Continue to Selection process

Selection process

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE APPLICATION DEADLINE WAS MARCH 15. THE APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW CLOSED

The European Young Leaders programme 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 the most promising European leadership from all over the continent and with a wide variety of backgrounds including: politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.

The programme acts as a forum for those who have already established themselves at the forefront of their professions to meet, discuss and collaborate with their counterparts from other fields of expertise. Previous candidates include: government ministers, CEOs, Michelin-starred chefs, international film directors, and high profile journalists.

Since the launch of the programme, we have gradually taken steps to ensure the diversity and exceptional quality of its selection process. We have made sure that its comprehensive and competitive nature ensures the identification and selection of remarkable individuals.

We aim to select 40 European Young Leaders of diverse backgrounds in order to enable a broad exchange of ideas, creating the basis for a new generation of engaged European leaders.

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1982);
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state, the UK or of one of the 6 Balkan states currently on the path towards EU integration (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia);
  • Candidates should have established themselves at the highest levels of their chosen profession, or be on track to do so;
  • Candidates must be committed to serve society at large through noteworthy contributions and have demonstrated a record of significant achievements and outstanding professional experience;
  • Candidates are also evaluated based on their ability to contribute to the enrichment of the programme as a whole;
  • Candidates are required to be fluent in English as it is the working language of the programme.
  • Candidates must commit to participating in at least one seminar during the programme year.

To be considered for the 2022 selection process, all applications and nominations must be sent to: eyl40@friendsofeurope.org

Application deadline: Monday, 15 March 2021

To read in detail about the selection process, please click here

Continue to Partners

Videos

view more
Track title

Category

00:0000:00
Stop playback
Video title

Category

Close

We use cookies to improve your online experience.
For more information, visit our privacy policy

Africa initiative logo

Dismiss