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

Photo of Eleni Antoniadou
Eleni Antoniadou

Co-Founder of Transplants without Donors, 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Eleni Antoniadou

Eleni has been working on artificial organ technology and regenerative medicine in hospitals across the world. After graduating in biomedicine, she participated in the first successful artificial trachea transplant operation on a late-stage cancer patient. She is also the co-founder of the London-based start-up Transplants without Donors, which aims to develop tissue-engineered organs that are transplanted into sick patients. Eleni also trained NASA astronauts in biomedical experimentation for the International Space Station (ISS). 

Photo of Dionysia Theodora Avgerinopoulou
Dionysia Theodora Avgerinopoulou

Vice Chair, Steering Committee at Global Water Partnership Organization, 2012 European Young Leader

Show more information on Dionysia Theodora Avgerinopoulou

Dionysia-Theodora is a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and Deputy Head of the Environmental Policy Sector in the New Democracy Party. She is a leader in environmental and humanitarian activities internationally and has been the recipient of several international awards, including the ‘Global Citizenship Award for Leadership in Assisting Humanity’ by Orphans International Worldwide, and the ‘Green Star’ Award by UNEP/OCHA/Green Cross International for her voluntary assistance in areas affected by natural disasters. She is Co-founder and President of the European Institute of Law, Science & Technology and an attorney who specialises in International and Environmental Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Danae Bezantakou
Danae Bezantakou

Managing Director, 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.

Thomas Douzis
Thomas Douzis

Founder and CEO of ERGON Foods, 2019 European Young Leader

Show more information on Thomas Douzis

Thomas is the Founder of ERGON, an affordable, high-quality Greek restaurant chain-come-grocery store outlet that now has locations in 13 cities worldwide. Thanks to a network of over 150 independent, local, artisanal producers who create 600 products under the unified ERGON brand, the company is able to offer the widest available range of the best that Greece produce has to offer.  A role model and an inspiring entrepreneur, Thomas has set an encouraging example for Greek youths on how to thrive in the face of devastating recession.

Dionysis Grammenos
Dionysis Grammenos

Conductor, Greek Youth Symphony Orchestra, 2018 European Young Leader

Show more information on Dionysis Grammenos

As one of the most charismatic conductors of his generation, Dionysis made his debut at the age of twenty-one with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra. Since then, he has been awarded with several honours and was the first Greek to receive a Conducting Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival. By the age of twenty, Dionysis had won European Young Musician of the Year Prize and had been featured on a Greek postage stamp. This young virtuoso has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Cité de la Musique in Paris and the Barbican Centre in London and has worked with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, among others.

Kalliopi Kalaitzi
Kalliopi Kalaitzi

Physician Charité University Medicine, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

Show more information on Kalliopi Kalaitzi

Popi” currently lives in Germany where she works as a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation. She aspires to become an expert in the field of anti-aging and age management medicine. Since the start of her university studies, Popi has worked and volunteered in a variety of NGOs to do with youth health and drug abuse. She later organised a special youth department in her local council when she served as the then youngest prefecture councillor ever to have been elected in Greece. She also held a variety of executive positions at the drug prevention centre, Serios, the Greek National Youth Council and the Cultural Union of Thessaloniki. Popi later spent four years as the Regional Commissioner of Lagkadas and is to this day the youngest person to have ever held the position.

Konstantinos Karagkounis
Konstantinos Karagkounis

Member of the Hellenic Parliament, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Konstantinos Karagkounis

Konstantinos is a Member of the Hellenic Parliament since June 2009, serving as Deputy Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights for the Hellenic Parliament. He is also an attorney by profession practicing in Athens. He received a first degree in Law from the National and Kapodestrian University of Athens and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from the University of London (UEL) from which he graduated with honours. Afterwards he continued his studies at the University of Edinburgh specialising in intellectual property. In 2011 Konstantinos attended the “Leadership for the 21st Century” programme at Harvard.

Matina Stevis-Gridneff
Matina Stevis-Gridneff

Africa Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal, 2017 European Young Leader

Show more information on Matina Stevis-Gridneff

Based in Nairobi, Matina covers economics and investment across Africa for the Wall Street Journal. She was previously based in Belgium, where she covered the eurozone crisis from the WSJ Brussels bureau. Before joining the WSJ, she wrote for the Economist, where she won the 2010 Marjorie Deane financial journalism award. Matina is particularly interested in migration-related issues in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. In 2015, she was one of the few foreign journalists reporting from Eritrea as part of an exclusive investigation into Eritrean refugees. She has written for other top media outlets such as Eleftherotypia and the Guardian and has appeared as a political commentator on European and Greek affairs on Al Jazeera English and the BBC.

Photo of Dimitris Tsigos
Dimitris Tsigos

Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Dimitris Tsigos

Dimitris is Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, a seed fund, incubator and business angel network for the ICT sector. The Group was the first Greek Seed Fund member of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and has helped launch more than ten successful IT start-ups. He is President of the Hellenic Start-up Association, a collective effort of Greek start-up entrepreneurs promoting high-growth and innovative entrepreneurship in Greece. He is also President of YES – the European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs, which is the leading organisation of youth entrepreneurship in Europe. He holds an MBA from the Athens University of Economics and Business and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Crete.

unknown
Dimitris Tsingos

Founder & Head of Entrepreneurship, StartTech Ventures, 2013 European Young Leader

Show more information on Dimitris Tsingos

Dimitris is Founder and CEO of StartTech Ventures, a seed fund, incubator and business angel network for the ICT sector. The Group was the first Greek Seed Fund member of the European Business Angels Network (EBAN) and has helped launch more than ten successful IT start-ups. He is President of the Hellenic Start-up Association, a collective effort of Greek start-up entrepreneurs promoting high-growth and innovative entrepreneurship in Greece. He is also President of YES – the European Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs, which is the leading organisation of youth entrepreneurship in Europe. He holds an MBA from the Athens University of Economics and Business and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Crete.

Maria Vlachou
Maria Vlachou

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

Show more information on Maria Vlachou

Maria is 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. Fereikos-Helix is among the National Champions of the 2013 European Business Awards and was the first company in Greece to participate in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme. In 2011, Maria 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 is on the advisory board of Hellenic Start-Up Association and mentor at several start-up initiatives such as Startup live Athens. Maria is an English Philology graduate from the University of Athens.

Continue to Events

Events

Continue to Insights

Insights

Continue to Selection process

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

Author

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