Meet the new EYL40 Class of 2024!

This year’s EYL40 Class of 2024 includes an Olympic swimmer, a glaciologist, politicians from all levels of government and members of national parliaments, a winemaker, green tech entrepreneurs and social activists, prize-winning journalists, Unicorn and start-up founders and CEOs, a pioneering playwright of Roma feminist theatre and many more!



Bold leadership, ground-breaking ideas, unparalleled passion …

We’ve learned time and again that the challenges of the 21st century and of our ever complex world cannot be addressed using the rulebooks of the past. The world is screaming for a new type of leadership and a Renewed Social Contract in which the private sector, local and multilateral institutions, and citizens can collaborate and drive change.

Today’s leaders may look back in time for inspiration, but they must lead with innovation.

The European Young Leaders represent an alternative infrastructure of leadership – a new generation of leaders able to inspire action and generate change. Together, their passion, diversity of backgrounds and opinions, and innovative thinking create the right formula for generating fresh ideas to build a more forward-thinking Europe.

Our European leaders are scientists, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs and astronomers. They are citizens and their thinking is not bound by local and multilateral institutions, traditional political frameworks or bureaucracy. They provide alternative perspectives to EU decision-makers and challenge the status quo.

They help take Europe out of Brussels. In their own countries, cities and communities, the European Young Leaders also play an essential role in reconnecting people with and rebuilding trust in politics by engaging a wider community around key EU policy issues that need a whole-of-economy, whole-of-society approach to progress more quickly. They are facilitating citizens’ participation in the creation of a more equal, innovative and inclusive Europe and helping build a European identity.

The programme in the next years will take a new localism lens, bringing together these thinkers and leaders to act on some of the key issues affecting Europe’s future: supporting the green and digital transformation, strengthening our democracy, improving relations with our neighbours, increasing power sharing and building a more diverse Europe.

Succeeding in these policies and getting more citizens engaged in European elections will be our litmus test.

Tune in to the EYL40s on Friends of Europe’s podcasts

Policy Voices | Are we alone in the universe?

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Policy Voices | Are we alone in the universe?

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Policy Voices | Like Goebbels: Polish propaganda and the demise of democracy

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Policy Voices | Like Goebbels: Polish propaganda and the demise of democracy

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Policy Voices | The Netherlands chose the far-right. What happens next?

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Policy Voices | The Netherlands chose the far-right. What happens next?

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Policy Voices Podcast | Keeping the human in the loop: How to make a success story of AI in health

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Policy Voices Podcast | Keeping the human in the loop: How to make a success story of AI in health

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Continue to Meet the EYL

Meet the EYL40

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Adis Ahmetović

Member of the Bundestag and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Adis Ahmetović is a German politician with roots in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who represents Hanover in the German Bundestag. An advocate of transparency, accountability and citizen engagement, Ahmetović’s political work primarily focuses on foreign policy issues, as well as climate and energy policy. In the German Bundestag, he is a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and a Deputy Member of the Defence Committee. A strong supporter of the accession of the Western Balkan states to the European Union, Ahmetović is the rapporteur for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary group for the Western Balkans, as well as for civil crisis prevention, conflict management and networked action, and co-rapporteur for South Asia. Furthermore, he has been appointed by his parliamentary group as spokesperson for the subcommittee on international climate and energy policy. Involved in local organisations, he is the Co-Chair of the Hanover SPD City Association and Vice-President of the German Red Cross in Hanover. Before entering the Bundestag, Ahmetović served in the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony as an advisor on government planning and policy issues.

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Hervé Berville

French State Secretary for the Sea and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Hervé Berville is a French economist and politician, who serves as the country’s State Secretary for the Sea, in which role he is responsible for the development and implementation of the government’s policy related to the sea, particularly the maritime economy. He has been elected twice to the French parliament, Assemblée nationale. Having authored a report on the modernisation of French foreign aid policy to support equal partnerships with Africa, Asia and Latin America, Berville was also the rapporteur of a programming bill on solidarity-based development and the fight against global inequalities. Both activities successfully led to the allocation of development funding. Berville began his political career as the spokesperson for La République en Marche parliamentary group, prior to which he worked as an economist for the French Development Agency in Mozambique and as a programme manager for the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies in Kenya.

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Annita Demetriou

President of the Cypriot House of Representatives and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Annita Demetriou is the first woman and youngest person to serve as the President of the House of Representatives of Cyprus. A strong female figure on an island long-dominated by male politicians, Demetriou is among the eight women who currently serve in the country’s 56-seat parliamentary body. The Cypriot politician has championed women’s rights and gender equality, most notably having delivered legislation that criminalises sexism and discrimination against women. Demetriou firmly believes that equal participation in decision-making is essential for a functioning democracy. She is the Vice President of the liberal-conservative Democratic Rally (DISY) party. She is also a Women Political Leaders’ Ambassador on behalf of the Cypriot House of Representatives. Throughout her two terms as a Member of the House of Representatives, Demetriou has served as the deputy chair of parliamentary committees on equal opportunities between men and women, as well as education and culture. She has also acted as the spokesperson of the Cypriot president during his election campaign.

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Anna Júlia Donáth

Member of the European Parliament and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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A Hungarian politician, Anna Júlia Donáth is a Member of the European Parliament for the Renew Europe group. Passionate about fundamental human rights, her work largely focuses on labour rights, the rule of law, non-discrimination and civic space. As an MEP, she sits on the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committees and belongs to the Democracy, Rule of Law & Fundamental Rights Monitoring Group. She also contributes to the parliamentary investigation on the use of Pegasus and other surveillance spyware and has been assigned to the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE). Notably, she has been lauded for her use of social media to connect with citizens. She is a leading figure of the Hungarian Momentum Movement political party and led protests against an unjust labour law, nicknamed the ‘slave law’.

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Emine Dzhaparova

Ukrainian First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Emine Dzhaparova serves as the First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. She is responsible for policy planning, cooperation with international organisations, public diplomacy and the Ukrainian Institute’s activities, representing Ukrainian culture to the world. She joined the MFA as the First Deputy Minister with the idea to establish the Crimea Platform aimed at the de-occupation of the Crimean peninsula. Today, this unique diplomatic tool unites over 60 countries and international organisations. Dzhaparova is also a Chairperson of the National Commission of Ukraine for UNESCO and coordinates cooperation with the organisation. Prior to this, she was a journalist in Crimea and witnessed the 2014 occupation of the peninsula by Russian invaders. As a Crimean Tatar, she has dedicated her life to the liberation of her homeland and her compatriots. After being forced to leave the peninsula, Dzhaparova served as the first deputy minister of information policy of Ukraine and considerably contributed to strengthening Ukraine’s strategic communications both domestically and abroad. Dzhaparova was awarded the Mark Palmer Prize for her support of the Ukrainian people, especially Crimean Tatars, and her leadership in the fight against Russian aggression.

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Gustaf Göthberg

Member of the Riksdag and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Gustaf Göthberg is a Swedish politician and represents Gothenburg in the national parliament, where he belongs to the Moderate Party and sits on the Committee of Defence. Passionate about foreign and security policy, he supports stronger EU policies towards Russia and China, as well as defence cooperation and migration policy. Göthberg serves on the Swedish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where he also sits on the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. He is committed to reducing poverty through trade, specifically free trade agreements, and increasing human rights protection for persecuted groups. Prior to being elected to the Riksdag, Göthberg worked on development in Belarus, Russia and eastern Europe at the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation. He has served in several departments within the City of Gothenburg’s administration, as well as the Stockholm County Council. He began his career in politics as a political advisor to the Moderate Party. Additionally, Göthberg maintains a long-standing background at the Moderate Youth Association, where he held roles as the international secretary and foreign policy spokesperson.

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Darren Jones

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury of the United Kingdom and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Darren Jones is a British Labour politician, who currently serves as the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury of the United Kingdom. He is also the Chair of the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, in which role he holds the government to account on workers’ rights, business and industrial policy, research and development, and climate change targets. He also sits on the Liaison Committee, the only committee to question the prime minister, and the National Security Strategy Joint Committee. Representing Bristol North West, he earned his seat by overturning a Conservative majority and has gained strong voter support in subsequent elections. A climate advocate, Jones introduced the first citizens’ assembly on net-zero emissions to the Parliament of the United Kingdom and scrutinised the government’s deliver of net-zero targets at COP26 in Glasgow. A lawyer who specialised in technology law, he is a leading voice on technology policy and founded the Interparliamentary Forum on Emerging Technologies.

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Misbah Khan

Member of the Bundestag and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Misbah Khan is a Member of the German national parliament and a representative of the Alliance 90/The Greens party. As a Member of the Committee on Digital Affairs and the Committee on Internal Affairs and Community and also as a Substitute Member of the Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid Committee, she focuses on topics related to migration, digital administration and bureaucracy reduction. The preservation of human rights in the real world, as well as in the digital space, is essential to Khan. She is resolutely committed to countering right-wing extremism and champions diversity and equal opportunities. Before she was elected to the Bundestag, Khan worked for the Rhineland-Palatinate State Agency for Civic Education and at the Rhineland-Palatinate Democracy Centre.

Image copyright: Nils Leon Brauer

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Hekuran Murati

Kosovar Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers, and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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An economist known for his expertise in finance and investments, Hekuran Murati currently serves as the Minister of Finance, Labour and Transfers in Kosovo. He has notably broadened the tax base and combatted informality, resulting in a 46% increase in tax revenues. Murati advocates for the effective and efficient execution of ideas rather than drawn-out bureaucratic processes. For instance, during his first six months in office, he led the design and successful implementation of an entirely digital universal allowance scheme for all children under the age of 16. As a former member of parliament, Murati served as the chairperson of the budget and finance committee and sat on committees related to the economy, employment, trade, industry, entrepreneurship, strategic investments and investigations regarding the privatisation process. Prior to entering politics, Murati led the public debt division at the Ministry of Finance and worked at the World Bank and the Central Bank of Kosovo.

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Giulia Pastorella

Member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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An Italian politician, Giulia Pastorella serves in the Italian parliament, where she sits on the Committee on Transports, Post and Telecommunications. She co-founded the liberal, pro-European Azione party, of which she is the Vice President. A champion of inclusive and sustainable economic growth, she aims to expand equal opportunities, especially for young people. Notably, she has authored a book on Italy’s approach to brain drain, entitled “Exit Only”, which also provides recommendations to make Italy more attractive to international talents. In her capacity as a Municipal Councillor of the City of Milan, Pastorella focuses on the digitisation of civic services, the uptake of sustainable mobility solutions and skills training for young people. Previously, she led European and global public affairs activities for multinational digital and technology companies, including Zoom and HP, focusing on cybersecurity and data policies.

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Olga Richterová

Deputy Speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies and 2023 European Young Leaders (EYL40)

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A Czech politician, who serves in the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Olga Richterová is the Deputy Speaker of the parliament’s lower house and former vice-chair of the Česká pirátská strana (Czech Pirate Party). Throughout her political career, she has been a vocal advocate for freedom of information and progressive social, health, housing and urban planning policies. Richterová sits on parliamentary committees concerning social health borders, consumer protection, freedom of speech and the media, foreign relations and military intelligence. Previously, she previously represented Prague’s tenth district as a member of the municipal council and founded a civic watchdog association, Zaostřeno na Desítku (Focused on District Nr. 10), to provide the district’s residents with objective information and increase citizen engagement. In addition to her political pursuits, she has published a collection of poems, “Napříč kůrou” (“Through the crust”).

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Liesje Schreinemacher

Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Liesje Schreinemacher

Liesje Schreinemacher is the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the Netherlands. She supports development cooperation to assist regions that face poverty, climate change, terrorism and migration challenges. Notably, Schreinemacher has fostered a new partnership with UNICEF to ease the food and nutrition crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. She currently represents the Netherlands at several regional development banks and international financial institutions, including the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee. While serving as a member of the European Parliament, she was the vice-president of the LGBTI Intergroup and supported the proposal for common charging ports as a shadow rapporteur. A lawyer who specialises in construction and contract law, she has also served as an advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Defence and worked as an assistant to two members of the Dutch parliament.

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Oana-Silvia Țoiu

Chair of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies Committee on Youth and Sports and 2023 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Oana-Silvia Țoiu

Oana-Silvia Țoiu is a Romanian social entrepreneur-turned-politician, who currently serves as a Member of the Romanian Chamber of Deputies and the Save Romania Union (USR) party. She advocates for a more inclusive and entrepreneurial workforce, while championing youth and women. Having successfully passed laws that offer financial support for single-parent doctors during school closures, improved flexible work schemes for employees and housing rights for victims of domestic violence, Țoiu most recently put forward a start-up and private investment package. She previously served as the state secretary in the Romanian Ministry of Labour and Family. Prior to entering politics, she embarked on various social entrepreneurial ventures, including as a former executive at Mesteshukar ButiQ, a network of Roma artisans and international designers. She also co-founded Social Innovation Solutions, an accelerator that invests in educational and future-oriented solutions by engaging and connecting entrepreneurs, NGOs, academia, youth and policymakers throughout Europe.

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Selection process


The European Young Leaders (EYL40) 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 a new generation of European leaders from all over the continent and various 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 to enable a broad exchange of ideas, creating the basis for a new generation of engaged European leaders.


  • Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1985).
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state, the UK, Ukraine, Moldova or 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 of the two EYL seminars during the programme year, usually scheduled for March and September.

Please click HERE for the Selection Guidelines 2025 that will give you an idea of the process and will provide you with a link to the nomination/application form.

Should you have any questions or need any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us at eyl40@friendsofeurope.org.

We look forward to receiving your applications and nominations.

* References to Kosovo here are used without prejudice to positions on status and are 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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