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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

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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

astolfi
Charles-Pierre Astolfi

Secretary-General of the French Digital Council and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Charles-Pierre is a French engineer and cybersecurity specialist leading the organisation that advises the French government on digital matters. Previously, seeking to combine his technical skills with public service, Charles-Pierre worked at the French National Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI), where he was tasked with finding offensive viruses, tracing their source, and identifying contaminated computers to neutralise the threat. Charles-Pierre’s diverse career has also included him supervising the deployment of an electric vehicle (EV) fleet in the United States and co-authoring a book on 3-D printing.

Velibor Boskovic
Velibor Bošković

Managing Director of Science and Technology Park Montenegro, President of the Center for development and entrepreneurial society and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Velibor is a Montenegrin economist, recently appointed as Managing Director of his country’s first Science and Technology Park – one of Montenegro’s most significant scientific research and innovation projects. Velibor comes with extensive experience in both the private and the public sectors. Before taking up his current post, he directed Montenegro’s first business incubator and served as a director at the entrepreneurship and innovation centre ‘Technopolis’. He has also worked as the General Director of Montenegro’s biggest football club ‘Budućnost’. Velibor has worked on developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and enhancing SMEs in Montenegro, and is currently President of the ‘Center for development and entrepreneurial society’.

Alexandre Perez Casares
Alexandre Pérez Casares

Co-Founder of Fever, President of The Altius Society and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Alexandre is a Spanish engineer and entrepreneur. He is President and Co-Founder of The Altius Society, a renowned international non-profit which combines the knowledge of Nobel laureates, leading researchers and policymakers to better understand the impact of technology on future societies. He also co-founded Fever, a tech start-up which is disrupting the ‘experience economy’ as it allows its users to browse and book nearby events from a curated collection of places and pop-ups in over a dozen cities around the world. Alexandre has been recognised for his work by the Spanish Ministry of Education with the prestigious National Prize, awarded to Spain’s top three engineers.

Armin Cerkez
Armin Cerkez

Founder and CEO of Youth Power and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Armin founded Youth Power, an influential Bosnian NGO which pushes for non-violence, human rights and tolerance in the country. The inspirational work he did on Program Y led to the inclusion of gender-based violence prevention in school curricula. Coming from a region that has historically suffered from religious violence, Armin has championed the need for more inter-faith dialogue. He has also brought his message directly to citizens, providing lessons to prevent alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and violence in schools.

Moha Gerehou
Moha Gerehou

Spanish journalist, anti-racist activist and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Moha is a Spanish journalist and activist. He writes for eldiario.es, a leading online newspaper in Spain, where he contributes op-eds as well as creates video content explaining and analysing issues related to race and discrimination. Moha served as president of SOS Racismo Madrid, a prominent organisation that seeks to combat racism and xenophobia. In addition, Moha is active on the speaker circuit and is a lecturer at the University of Syracuse and the University of Stanford’s campuses in Madrid. Moha is known for utilising both print and multimedia content to advance his message: he is the creator of the audiovisual monologue ‘How would be my life if I were a black character in a movie’ and one of the writers of the book ‘Lost in media: migrant perspectives and the Public Sphere.’

Balint Misetics
Bàlint Misetics

Civil activist, Founder of ‘The City Is For All’ and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Bálint is a Hungarian social policy specialist whose work integrates research, advocacy and fieldwork. As of 2020, he is the senior advisor on social and housing policy for the Mayor of Budapest. Involved in civil activism since his teens, Bálint co-founded The City Is For All, a community organisation dedicated to empowering homeless people and advancing housing justice. A fervent believer in the need to address the root cause of housing and economic inequality rather than the symptom of homelessness itself, Bálint has succeeded in significantly impacting the discourse and politics surrounding homelessness and housing poverty in Hungary. He also set up and coordinates an emergency service combining social work and non-violent resistance to prevent the eviction of impoverished families.

Anne Reichert
Anne Kjær Bathel

CEO of ReDI School of Digital Integration and 2020 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Anne is CEO of the ReDI School of Digital Integration, a vocational training programme in Germany that teaches programming and tech skills to asylum seekers. Previously, while working as a corporate social responsibility consultant, Anne developed and implemented Samsung Electronics’ award-winning corporate social responsibility strategy for Scandinavia. She then spent two years in Japan, researching open social innovation and received the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship. In 2012, Anne set up the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, which focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social change toward global peace.

Dobrica Veselinovic
Dobrica Veselinovic

Founder of ‘Ministry of Space’ and the Institute for Urban Policy and European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Dobrica, from Serbia, has been active in the civil sector in Belgrade for the past decade, working for various NGOs and jumpstarting projects related to urban development and education. He has made it his particular mission to advocate for public spaces and to mobilise citizens to participate in the politics of city life. Dobrica is the founder of the collective ‘Ministry of Space’ and ‘Institute for Urban Policy,’ as well as the new political network ‘Civic Front’ – a network of grassroots initiatives and organisations from more than 20 cities in Serbia. He is also the leader of the citizen movement ‘Don’t Let Belgrade D(r)own,’ an initiative that formed in immediate opposition to the Belgrade Waterfront redevelopment project, but one whose broader aims include encouraging sustainable development and giving voice to citizens about the fate of their urban environments.

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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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