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.


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

Beata Bublewicz
Beata Bublewicz

Vice-Director at the Marshal Office of Warmia-Mazury Voivodeship, Poland, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Beata Bublewicz

Beata has been a Member of the Polish Parliament since 2005 (for the party PO – Civic Platform). As a member of the International Affairs Committee she focuses on Polish-Argentinian, Polish-Indian and Polish-Israeli relations. Before devoting herself to politics, she worked as an entrepreneur for eight years during which she held the post of Manager at General Motors Poland and Opel Polska. Beata graduated from Warsaw University (in Applied Social Sciences) and Warmia-and-Mazury University (in Humanities). Outside of her political career, she founded the Marian Bublewicz Foundation which advocates improving access to education.

Krzysztof Candrowicz
Krzysztof Candrowicz

Director, Foundation of Visual Education, 2012 European Young Leader

Show more information on Krzysztof Candrowicz

Since 2014, Krzysztof has been the Director of the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg. He has also previously worked as the  Founder and Director of the Lodz Art Centre and the Foundation of Visual Education in the city of Lodz. The Foundation is responsible for the International Festival of Photography, held annually since 2001, which is one of the largest photographic events in Europe. As Director and Chief Curator of this event, Krysztof has established an association of 30 European festivals of photography, called ‘Photo Festival Union’. He is the creator of the Lodz-European Capital of Culture campaign. In 2008 he was named Lodz Citizen of the Year.

Lukasz Dziekonski
Lukasz Dziekonski

CEO, Montis Capital Fund, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Lukasz Dziekonski

Lukasz is the CEO of Montis Capital Fund. There, Lukasz oversees the formulation of financial and operational strategies. Previously, he was head of the Marguerite Fund office for the Central and Eastern Europe and member of the management board for the Marguerite Fund 2020 for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in Luxembourg. He is also on the supervisory board of Pomeranka Development, InvestGas and Energa Operator in Poland, and of PZU Ukraine Insurance Company and Kredobank, also in Ukraine. Lukasz began his career as an adviser in the European Parliament, focusing on energy policy and security as well as EU relations with Russia and Ukraine.

Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak

Associate, Ferdinand Lassalle Centre For Social Thought, 2018 European Young Leader

Show more information on Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bak

Agnieszka is among Poland’s most recognised social activists and a strong advocate of women’s rights. In 2015, she was instrumental in leading demonstrations that became known as ‘Black Monday’, in which Polish women protested against anti-abortion laws. Days after Black Monday, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly against the proposal and the Minister of Science and Higher Education Jaroslaw Gowin said the protests “caused us to think and taught us humility.” Agnieszka is a board member of the leftist Razem party and, in 2016, was listed as one of top 100 most influential Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy Journal.

Anna Król
Anna Król

Founder & President of the Board, Go Culture, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Anna Król

Anna is Founder and President of the Board of Go Culture, the first professional Polish agency dealing with the implementation and communication of cultural projects. As such she is responsible for promotional campaigns and projects and has planned and dealt with the communication aspects of not only publishing houses, festivals, concerts, social and educational events, but also of well-known international consumer brands. Four of the projects she carried out were awarded the Golden Clip prize in a contest organised by the Public Relations Companies Association for the best public relations campaigns. She is also a lecturer at the Polish Open University and an expert in the field of professional theater.

Marta Krupinska
Marta Krupinska

Head of Google for Startups UK, Co-Founder of real time pay FinTech start-up FreeUP, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Marta Krupinska

Marta is a London-based fintech entrepreneur who co-founded the real time pay start-up FreeUp. She is also an entrepreneur-in-residence at the global GovTech firm PUBLIC.io. Having experienced first-hand the challenges that arise when attempts are made to send money home, she helped co-found the global money transfer platform Azimo, raising over $70mn in funding and gained over 1mn customers. Marta is a frequent public speaker and advocate for responsible leadership and inclusion.

Jacek Legiewicz
Jacek Legiewicz

Head of Public Affairs at Samsung Electronics, 2012 European Young Leader

Show more information on Jacek Legiewicz

In addition to his role as Public Affairs Director for Samsung, Jacek is a Member of the Supervisory Board for ElekroEko, which Poland’s largest organisation for the recovery and management of electronic waste and recycling. Jacek spent seven years at CEC Government Relations, the leading independent public affairs agency in Central Europe. In parallel to his corporate career, he has been active in the IT industry as Vice President of the Polish IT and Telecom Chamber and a Member of the Executive Board of Digital Europe. Jacek has also been active in local and national politics: he was a Parliamentary candidate in 1997 and former Advisor to the Minister of Youth and Family Affairs.

Blazej Moder
Blazej Moder

Director, EC1 Lodz, 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Blazej Moder

Blazej is a Managing Director at the New Center of Lodz Authority which is one of the biggest urban, social, investment programs which is currently realised in Central Europe. He is in charge of transforming the city of Lodz – the 3rd largest Polish city – into a modern and knowledge-based metropolis focusing on the rebuilding of the old railway station and revitalising the urban area around the station (100 ha) to create a new multifunctional city centre. Blazej is also Advisor to the Board for International Affairs of the Civil Development Forum. He is an International and Political Studies graduate from the University of Lodz and a PhD student in Economics at the Warsaw School of Economics.

Photo of Katarzyna Nawrot
Katarzyna Nawrot

Assistant Professor at the Poznan University of Economics and Business; Author of the book “The Rise of Megacities", 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Katarzyna Nawrot

In addition to her position at the Poznan University of Economics, Katarzyna is a member of the Committee for Future Studies at the Polish Academy of Social Sciences. Her research interests include development and international economics, with a focus on East Asian markets. Katarzyna’s work also explores challenges to global development. She led several research projects for the National Bureau of Research in Poland and finalised a recent project on the economic potential of developing countries in Africa. Her academic achievements have been recognised by numerous awards, including one for outstanding young scholars from Poland’s Minister of Science and Higher Education in 2012. Katarzyna has published numerous articles and books on issues relating to development, governance, integration and regional cooperation.

Michal Olszewski
Michał Olszewski

Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Michał Olszewski

Currently Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, Michał has spent the entirety of his professional life in public service. He was already working as a senior expert in the Office of the Committee for European Integration while studying International Relations at Warsaw University. Michał rapidly rose to become Head of the EU Funds Department for the City of Warsaw in 2007, and simultaneously became Chairman of the European Policy Commission in the Association of Polish Cities. Since 2013 responsible for metropolitan cooperation in Warsaw Functional Area and currently Chairman of Warsaw Metropole Association. Tirelessly devoted to improving the city of Warsaw, Michał sits on several municipal councils and associations including the Integrated Territorial Investments Committee and Labour Market Council, both of which he chairs.

Slawomir Sierakowski
Slawomir Sierakowski

Director, Institute of Advanced Study, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Slawomir Sierakowski

Slawomir is the founder and leader of ‘Krytyka Polityczna’ (the Political Critique), the widest Polish movement of left-wing intellectuals, artists and activists, with branches in Ukraine, Germany and Russia. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the daily ‘Dziennik Opinii’ (The Opinion Daily) and The Publishing House and Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw. He is President of the Stanislaw Brzozowski Association, running six cultural centres and 25 local centres in Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Germany. Slawomir has written numerous essays and op-eds, mainly devoted to Polish and European politics and culture.

Michał Szczerba
Michał Szczerba

Member of Parliament, Sejm, Poland, 2014 European Young Leader

Show more information on Michał Szczerba

Michal is currently a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Polish Parliament and sits on the Justice and Human Rights Committee. Before he started working for the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, in 2007, he was the Representative of the Parliament to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and sat on the State Treasury Committee. Previously, Michal worked as an expert on EU funding for restructuring and modernising agriculture and was on the Wola District Council of Warsaw. In 2011, Michal received the Order of Honour from the President of the Republic of Georgia, and has been part of numerous leadership training programmes. He holds an MSc in Sociology from the University of Warsaw.

Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz
Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz

President of the Management Board, Empik, 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Ewa Szmidt-Belcarz

Ewa runs the largest entertainment and media retailer in Poland. In this position, she combines her love of books and her managerial experience in consumer goods companies. She previously worked for eight years at McKinsey & Company, where she became the first woman in Poland to be promoted to the position of Global Partner and to lead the retail and consumer goods division. During her career, Ewa has overseen the UK’s largest chocolate brand, Cadbury, and developed the Schwarzkopf brand portfolio in international markets. She also worked as a Product Manager in the Polish branch of L’Oréal. She successfully helped companies to develop strategies, improve operational efficiency and optimise sales.

Cezary Tomczyk
Cezary Tomczyk

Member of Parliament, Poland, 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Cezary Tomczyk

Cezary began his political career on Sieradz’s city council in 2006. One year later, he was elected as a Member of the Polish Parliament at the age of 23. He sat in the Committee on National Defence and the Committee on EU Affairs in addition to chairing the Permanent Subcommittee on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2014-2020. In 2010, he was awarded the Medal of Merit for National Defence by the Polish Minister of National Defence in recognition of his services to the development and strengthening of the defence of his country. In 2015, he was appointed as a Secretary of State and spokesperson in the government of Ewa Kopacz. After the 2015 parliamentary elections, he was nominated as shadow Deputy Minister of National Defence for the Civic Platform.

Continue to Events

Events

Continue to Insights

Selection process

The EYL40 programme is a unique, multi-stakeholder programme which aims to promote a sense of European identity by bringing together forty of the brightest European leaders every year and engaging them in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future. 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. Additionally, in 2020, the programme will include 6 Young Leaders from the Western Balkan region. In doing so, we aim to promote structural dialogue across the continent that will foster better mutual understanding.

Since the launch of the programme in 2012, 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. Candidates can either apply or be nominated for the selection process of the programme.

Selection criteria:

  •  Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age;
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state or of one of the 6 Balkan states currently on the path towards EU integration (Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro);
  • Candidates should have established themselves 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.

The deadline for nominations and applications for the 2020 European Young Leaders class has passed. We are currently reviewing the candidates and aim to announce the 2020 class before the end of 2019. We will open the application and nomination period for the class of 2021 in the spring of 2020.

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