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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 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

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

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

Negar Mortazavi

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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

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Continue to Meet the EYL

Meet the EYL40

Photo of Alberto Alemanno
Alberto Alemanno

Founder and Chairman of the Good Lobby, Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law at HEC Paris, Global Clinical Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and European Young Leader Alumnus

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Alberto is an academic, author and activist. He’s currently Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris and Global Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. Committed to bridging the gap between academic research and policy action, Alberto pioneered innovative forms of civic engagement and campaigning in the EU transnational space via his civic start up The Good Lobby. His last book, ‘Lobbying for Change: Find Your Voice to Create a Better Society’ provides a timely analysis and guide to levelling the democratic playing field by empowering ordinary citizens to speak up and inform policy decisions at local, national and international level. A Harvard graduate, he’s a regular contributor to Le Monde, Bloomberg, Politico Europe, Forbes, and Il Sole 24 Ore, and his scholarly and public interest work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, the Financial Times as well Science and Nature.

Silvia Console Battilana
Silvia Console Battilana

Co-Founder & CEO of Auctionomics, 2017 European Young Leader

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Silvia is a young economist and entrepreneur specialising in game theory and interest groups. She has extensive experience as a strategist in auction design. In 2008, she co-founded Auctionomics, a high-stakes auction consulting and software firm with clients ranging from governments to Fortune 500 companies. Silvia has acted as project manager on several high-stakes auctions in Australia, Canada, and the United States, in many European countries, and in Africa and Latin America. She is also the co-founder of xSwan, an interactive version of eBay that allows charities to raise more money via online auctions. Silvia frequently speaks at major universities both in the United States (including Berkeley and Harvard) and around the world.

Selene Biffi
Selene Biffi

Founder & Executive Director at Plain Ink, 2013 European Young Leader

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Selene is the founder of several social ventures, including Plain Ink – free, educational comics created for children and communities in developing countries – and Youth Action for Change (YAC), high-quality, free, online courses for young change-makers in 130 countries. She has been a consultant, trainer and speaker for many organisations including the UN, Amnesty International, the World Bank, Oxfam, OSCE, the Council of Europe, Columbia University and Microsoft. She is now part of the Italian Economic Development Minister’s Taskforce on Innovative Startups. Selene is a member of RENA, an Italian association of young professionals promoting innovation, merit, youth empowerment and a new generation of local public policies. She holds a NOHA Master’s in International Humanitarian Action from UCD (Ireland) and diplomas from Harvard University and INSEAD Business School.

Annalisa Camilli
Annalisa Camilli

Investigative journalist specialising in immigration, 2019 European Young Leader

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Annalisa is an Italian journalist credited for drawing attention to a wide variety of social issues. Currently working for the news magazine Internazionale, her articles have extensively covered immigration in Italy and Greece as well as human rights and gender inequality across Europe. Having previous experience at Associated press, her stories regularly underline the hardships endured by migrants while crossing the Mediterranean as well as their treatment once in Europe. She is the winner of the 2017 Anne Lindt journalism award for her investigation “The boat without a name” for which she has spent six months investigating the deadliest shipwreck, searching the 28 survivors who are now living all over Europe. She is also a regular contributor to international news outlets such as the Washington Tribune and Politico.

Photo of Edoardo Camilli
Edoardo Camilli

Co-Founder & CEO at Hozint - Horizon Intelligence, 2017 European Young Leader

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A young entrepreneur and security expert, Edoardo started working as a political and security risk consultant after graduating from the University of Bologna. In 2010, he established the International Security Observer, a web-based think tank seeking to foster the next generation of security experts. At the time, he was also working as a research analyst at the Italian Institute of Strategic Studies Niccolò Machiavelli, where his activities focused on insurgency, intelligence, national security policies and organised crime. Edoardo is the co-founder of Hozint (Horizon Intelligence), a consulting firm providing location-based media and social media monitoring services on political, safety and security risks. He is frequently interviewed on security issues by media in Italy and across Europe.

Francesca Cavallo
Francesca Cavallo

Author & Entrepreneur, Founder of Timbuktu Labs, 2019 European Young Leader

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Francesca is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and founder of Timbuktu Labs. She is the co-creator of “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”, a collection of 100 tales of extraordinary women that has become a publishing sensation. As the most successful new title in the history of crowdfunding, it has sold more than 3.5mn copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. Francesca’s career began in theatre, where she worked as both a manager for a theatre company and as a playwright. In 2012, she moved to California to co-found a children’s media start-up called Timbuktu Labs, Inc. Since then, she has authored nine picture books that have been translated in more than 47 languages.

Stefania Duico
Stefania Duico

Head of Partner Marketing Italy & Greece, Netflix, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Currently leading Netflix’s patner marketing efforts in Southern Europe, Stefania rich carrier has considerable changed since starting out as a PR specialist in 2000. After joining Microsoft in 2002 as a Marketing Communications Specialist and later becoming a Senior Account Executive at Planners International Group, before returning to Microsoft to head the sales division of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment products in Italy. Throughout her time at Microsoft, Stefania won 7 different awards for diligence as well as for the many impressive marketing campaigns that she has run.

Adriano Farano
Adriano Farano

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

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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.

Elena Fenili
Elena Fenili

Head of Credit & Integrated risks initiatives, UniCredit, 2012 European Young Leader

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Elena is Head of Political Studies at UniCredit Group. She previously worked at the Italian Representation to the United Nations in New York, where she participated in negotiations on humanitarian issues and African conflicts during the 58th session of the General Assembly. In 2002, she worked at the General Management Office for Economic and Financial Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. She is Treasurer of the RENA project (National Excellence Network) and an active volunteer in the Italian Children’s Hospital Association (ABIO). Author of various publications on subjects such as European economic growth, in 2010 she was included in the ‘Youth Talent’ list produced by the Italian Ministry of Youth.

Nicola Formichella
Nicola Formichella

Former Member of the Italian Parliament, 2013 European Young Leader

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Nicola is CEO of the Buongoverno Foundation and of “Italianiinmente”, a business accelerator and incubator for Italian start-ups. He was also the former Local Authorities and Parliamentarian Affairs Councillor for the Governor of Campania and the Deputy Head of Training for the national People of Freedom party (PDL). He was a Member of the Italian Parliament’s EU Policy Committee and Head of the PDL party. Nicola started his career in the media sector as a TV station journalist for which he became Director in 1999. After working as a Parliamentary assistant, Nicola decided to run for the 2008 state legislative elections in the Campania region and was elected Deputy. Nicola holds a degree in Political Science from the Luiss Guido Carli University of Rome and a Master’s in Legislative Studies from the Istituto per la Documentazione e gli Studi Legislativi (ISLE) in Rome.

Alessandro Fusacchia
Alessandro Fusacchia

Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, 2013 European Young Leader

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Alessandro is currently strategic advisory for H-Farm, an Italian Member of Parliament as well as secretary of Movimenta – a new Italian political organisation. Serving in the Chamber of Deputies as a member of the permanent commission on Culture, Science and Education Alessandro has previously acted as Head of Cabinet at the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. He was Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Special Advisor to the Minister of Economic Development for European Affairs, Youth and Innovation. Alessandro also worked as an official at the Council of the European Union dealing with global economic governance and under the Italian Prime Minister’s office in Rome as part of the G8 team.

Paolo Giordano
Paolo Giordano

Bestselling author, theoretical physicist and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Paolo is an award-winning Italian writer and theoretical physicist. His first novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, is a critically acclaimed worldwide bestseller, selling over a million copies and being translated into thirty languages. It also received an equally successful cinematic adaptation. Paolo also wrote the critically acclaimed The Human Body and Like Family. He has been widely recognised for his work and was the youngest winner ever of Italy’s most prestigious literary award, the Strega Prize, as well as the Premio Campiello, a highly competitive annual prize.

Riccardo Lattanzi
Riccardo Lattanzi

Assistant Professor (Radiology) at New York University, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Riccardo is a biomedical scientist who develops technology to improve the diagnostic power of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Riccardo achieved his PhD in Medical and Electrical Engineering from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2008. An Assistant Professor of Radiology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, he is also a course director and research supervisor at New York University, and has written numerous conference papers, book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles. Riccardo holds the patents for the apparatus, method and computer-accessible medium for a high resolution magnetic resonance imager, and dipole array arrangement. For his scientific research, he has won the prestigious I.I. Rabi Young Investigator Award of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine and an NSF CAREER Award.

Beatrice Leanza
Beatrice Leanza

Cultural strategist and Co-Founder of B/Side Design, 2018 European Young Leader

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Based in Beijing since 2002, Beatrice is a cultural strategist and writer with a background in Asian studies and fifteen-year experience in developing programmes of urban and social impact. She served as creative director of Beijing Design Week (2012 – 2016), China’s largest and internationally best reputed design and architecture event, and was creative director of the urban regeneration plan for Baitasi historic district in Beijing (2015-2016), shaping stakeholders’ relations across the governmental, private and public sectors. In 2017 she co-founded B/Side Design an inclusive organisation currently establishing The Global School, the first independent institute for design and multidisciplinary research in the PRC. She is an advisory board member of Design Trust (Hong Kong) and an advocate of practical creativity for educational empowerment in sustainable futures.

Riccardo Maraga
Riccardo Maraga

Lawyer, Head of Industrial relations of Federturismo Confindustria, Ughi e Nunziante, 2012 European Young Leader

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A highly regarded Italian lawyer, Riccardo currently shares his time between Federturismo Confindustria and Ughi e Nunziante, where he’s an expert on employment law as well as privacy and data protection. Riccardo was previously Mayor of the city of Amelia in the Umbria region. At the time one of the youngest politicians in Italy, He was a member of the Democratic Party focussing on sustainable development and global governance. As an elected official, he took pride being in direct contact with citizens. He has published several articles on European social and labour regulations in labour law magazines and reviews.

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Events

Continue to Selection process

Selection process

Due to Covid-19, no European Young Leaders class will be selected for 2021. Application for the class of 2022 will open in the spring of 2021.

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 to EU integration (Serbia, Kosovo*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, North 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.

*references to Kosovo in this document are used without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UN Security Council resolution 1244/99 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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