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Meet the next generation of young leaders destined to shape Europe’s future in our new EYL40 Class of 2022.

From champions of the arts and tech entrepreneurs, to leading activists and Olympic athletes, meet the new young leaders as they are revealed each day over the next two weeks. Follow on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.


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, a citizens can collaborate and be the drivers of 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. Their passion, their diversity of backgrounds and opinions, and their innovative thinking together create the right formula for generating fresh ideas to build a more forward-thinking Europe.

Our European leaders provide alternative perspectives from outside the institutional and political frameworks to EU decisionmakers writing the rule book.

The European Young Leaders also play the essential role of helping to reconnect people with and rebuild trust in politics by engaging a wider community around key EU policy issues that need a whole economy whole society approach to progress fast. They are scientists, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, astronomers. They are citizens and their thinking is not bound by multilateral or frameworks, or burocracy.

They help take Europe out of Brussels, in their own countries and cities. They are facilitating citizens’ participation in the creation of a more equal, innovative and inclusive Europe and help 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: the green and digital transformation, strengthening of our democracy, relations with our neighbours, increasing power sharing, and building a more gender and diverse Europe.

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


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

Leading view

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

Stevan Dojčinović
Stevan Dojčinović

Investigative reporter, Editor-in-Chief of Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

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Stevan is a Serbian reporter, specialising in the investigation of organised crime, corruption, privatisation deals and money laundering. He is the Editor-in-Chief of KRIK and the Regional Editor of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) for the Balkans, prior to which he was the founding editor-in-chief of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia. The author of “Šarić”, a book which dissects the role of the Balkan mafia in international cocaine smuggling, Steven also teaches journalists how to collect and analyse business data and property records. He has received national and international recognition for his journalistic work, most notably as the recipient of the Knight International Journalism Award, the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism and the Serbian National Award for Investigative Reporting. He was also a member of the award-winning OCCRP investigative team that uncovered links of the former Serbian government to organised crime.

Melisa Erkurt
Melisa Erkurt

Journalist, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Die Chefredaktion and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Melisa Erkurt

An Austrian journalist and author, Melisa founded @die_chefredaktion, an Instagram-based medium that produces diverse journalism by and for young people. Recognising that traditional media is too far removed from teenagers and young people, the account offers younger generations a new type of interactive journalism and has enjoyed tremendous success. As Editor-in-Chief, she leads a young editorial team in the production and publication of journalistic contributions and video reports on social and political topics. Melisa also hosts the Ö1 Sprechstunde podcast and writes two weekly columns for Falter and taz magazines on education policy and equal opportunities. Her report, “Generation haram – why schools have to learn to give everyone a voice”, on discrimination and restrictive culture in Austrian schools for Biber magazine is based on two years of research and first-hand experience as a former teacher. Generating significant public interest, the report went on to win Story of the Year at the Austrian Journalism Days.

Marie Mawad
Marie Mawad

Journalist, Dean of the Sciences Po Journalism School and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Marie Mawad

Marie is a Paris-based journalist and the Dean of the Sciences Po Journalism School. She has spent the past 15 years in international newsrooms, including Bloomberg and Reuters, digging into how technology has changed the economy, politics and culture across Europe. She has written extensively about innovation policies in the EU, in the face of US and Chinese tech giants. Passionate about the crucial role that information plays for society, citizens and businesses, she is responsible for Sciences Po’s strategy in training future journalists who will go the extra mile to understand the world and decode it. Marie is also a Senior Reporter and Editorial and Business Strategist at Sifted, a new digital media venture backed by The Financial Times and focused on European start-ups.

Johny Pitts
Johny Pitts

Multi-disciplinary artist and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Johny Pitts

Johny is a writer, photographer and broadcaster, known for his work in exploring African-European identities. He is the curator of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) award-winning Afropean.com, and the author of “Afropean: Notes From Black Europe”. He currently co-hosts the ‘Open Book’ literature programme for BBC Radio 4 and is the creator of a forthcoming Afropean podcast funded by the National Geographical Society. Johny has contributed words and images for The Guardian, The New Statesman, The New York Times and CondéNast Traveller, and in recognition of his work, has received the Jhalak Prize, the Bread & Roses Award for Radical Publishing, the Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding and the European Essay Prize. He is the recipient of the inaugural Ampersand/Photoworks Fellowship and will be exhibiting a new body of photographic work called ‘Home is Not a Place’ in a touring exhibition beginning in 2022.

Fatma Taspinar
Fatma Taspinar

Journalist and News Anchor at VRT and 2022 European Young Leader (EYL40)

Show more information on Fatma Taspinar

Fatma is a Belgian journalist and news anchor, specialising in justice and criminal law. She has worked at VRT for over a decade and currently hosts the “Het Journaal” evening news programme on the Flemish broadcaster’s main channel, One. In the documentary series, “De Cel Vermiste Personen” (“The Missing Persons Cell”), Fatma dives into the work of the federal police unit that investigates disappearances. Her television programme, “Mij overkomt het niet” (“It does not happen to me”), explores guilt and grief through a series of interviews with people that have unintentionally caused a deadly accident. Fatma also speaks with the families, judges, prosecutors and social workers involved in the tragic events. Throughout its first season, the programme attracted almost 900,000 viewers each week. A former newsreader at Studio Brussel and Radio 1, Fatma began her professional career as an editor at Reyers Laat, a late-night talk show on Canvas, a VRT channel.

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Insights

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Selection process

APPLICATIONS FOR THE EYL CLASS OF 2023 ARE NOW CLOSED.
NOMINATIONS FOR UKRAINIAN NATIONALS* ARE OPEN UNTIL 24 JUNE 2022

The European Young Leaders 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.

 

SELECTION CRITERIA

  • Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1983).
  • Candidates must be a national of an EU member state, the UK or of 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.

Please click HERE for the detailed Selection Guidelines 2023.

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

*The current crisis has prompted us to open up the programme to Ukraine as a pilot initiative. In future years we hope to find a way of including more people who are not EU nationals/citizens but are contributing positively to current Europe (e.g., candidates from our neighbourhood countries and refugees).
**References to Kosovo here 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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