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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.


Listen here to the leading views of our EYLs on a variety of topics

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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Philanthropy & the business case for human rights with Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Antonio Zappulla

Leading view

Philanthropy & the business case for human rights with Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Antonio Zappulla

Antonio Zappulla

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Author Francesca Cavallo on Rebel Girls, bro-culture and crowd-funding

Leading view

Author Francesca Cavallo on Rebel Girls, bro-culture and crowd-funding

Francesca Cavallo

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Continue to Meet the EYL

Meet the EYL40

Ana Antunes
Ana Antunes

Head of Scientific Events & Communication at MabDesign, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Ana is a microbiologist and formerly a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. After completing her PhD in Microbiology in 2010 at the University of Lisbon, she moved to Siena, Italy, where she was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship and worked for Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics. Having also lectured in vaccinology and pharmaceutical clinical development, Ana has published in peer-reviewed journals and spoken at numerous international conferences. Over the course of her academic career, she has received various grants and fellowships, including from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Ana is also co-founder and President of AGRAFr – The Association des Diplômés Portugais en France, which brings together Portuguese expats and French nationals.

Photo of Jane Burston
Jane Burston

Head of Climate and Environment at the UK National Physical Laboratory, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Jane has dedicated most her life to climate and environmental issues, serving first as a strategic consultant on low carbon policy to the Mayor of London and is now running a world-class climate science and low carbon technology centre at the UK’s National Measurement Institute. In 2008, she founded Carbon Retirement, an award-winning social enterprise working with the EU ETS. Her dedication to sustainability and entrepreneurial drive was rewarded with being named as one of the ‘Top 30 UK entrepreneurs under 30’ by Real Business in 2010, a ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Square Mile in 2011 and one of the ‘Top 10 Outstanding Young Persons of the UK’ by the Chamber of Commerce International in 2015, among others.

Martin Buxant
Martin Buxant

Editor-in-Chief at LN24, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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With two master’s degrees in Communication and European Integration (Economics), Martin first entered the world of journalism in 2002 initially as a European correspondent and later a political journalist. He has been a reporter for La Libre Belgique and De Morgen, as well as an editor for the television programme “Politiquement Correct” on RTL-TVI during the most recent legislative and regional elections in Belgium. He is currently a Senior Writer at the daily business newspaper L’Echo where he serves as both a political journalist and an editor. Martin appears daily on the Bel-RTL television channel where he conducts a political interview every morning. He is an accomplished author having most recently published a biography of the current Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Didier Reynders.

Victor Capitanu
Victor Capitanu

Managing Director at One United Properties, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Victor is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the founder of Capital Partners, the leading independent investment banking company in Romania, which he continues to co-own with three other bankers. Victor is also the Managing Director of One United Properties, a property developer that focuses on exclusive residential compounds in Bucharest. Since May 2014, he has been a Board Director at SIF Oltenia SA, an investment company listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange with a net asset value of €350 million. Victor has been the recipient of various awards including Acquisition International’s M&A Award in 2013, Ziarul Financiar’s Excellence Award in 2011 and Business Review’s 2009 Financial Adviser of the Year Award.

Karima Delli
Karima Delli

French politician and Member of the European Parliament, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Karima Delli from the French party, Europe Écologie–Les Verts, is one of the youngest Members of the European Parliament. She is the ninth of thirteen children, and has written about her modest upbringing and its effect on her ecological commitments in her book, ‘La politique ne me fait pas perdre le nord’ (Politics have not made me lose sight of the North). First elected in 2009, Delli has remained a committed activist during her tenure though work at Jeudi Noire (Black Thursday), a group dedicated to helping young people find housing, and Sauvons les Riches (Save the Rich), which demands the introduction of a maximum European income. She is a member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, and a substitute

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.

Lukasz Dziekonski
Lukasz Dziekonski

CEO, Montis Capital Fund, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Lukasz is the CEO of Montis Capital Fund. There, Lukasz oversees the formulation of financial and operational strategies. Previously, he was head of the Marguerite Fund office for the Central and Eastern Europe and member of the management board for the Marguerite Fund 2020 for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure in Luxembourg. He is also on the supervisory board of Pomeranka Development, InvestGas and Energa Operator in Poland, and of PZU Ukraine Insurance Company and Kredobank, also in Ukraine. Lukasz began his career as an adviser in the European Parliament, focusing on energy policy and security as well as EU relations with Russia and Ukraine.

Damien English
Damien English

Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Damien is Ireland’s Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation for the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party. He was first elected in the 2002 general election at the age of 24, when he was appointed party deputy spokesperson for Arts, Sport and Tourism. In October 2004, he became Deputy Spokesperson for Justice and Community Affairs with special responsibility for Drugs, Alcohol and Crime Prevention. From 2002-2007, Damien was a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly. He has also served as Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson for Enterprise with special responsibility for Small Business and Labour Affairs from 2007 to 2010, and from 2010 to 2011 was party Deputy Spokesperson for Finance with special responsibility for Banking and Credit.

Clémentine Forissier
Clémentine Forissier

Associate and Co-Founder of Contexte, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Clémentine is a journalist who has gone from freelance reporting on the radio and in magazines to later becoming Chief Editor at EurActiv, France. She is now Chief Editor of Contexte, an online newspaper that focuses on French and European public policy which she co-founded in 2013. She is also Vice-President of Europresse, the association of French journalists who cover European affairs, and AJDE, an association for journalists who specifically report on energy issues. Educated in Paris and Brussels, Clémentine is a published author and was previously in charge of opening the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation.

Edvard Glücksman
Edvard Glücksman

Impact Partnership Development Manager on Tevi Innovation, Impact and Business at University of Exeter, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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“Edvard is an environmental sustainability professional working for the University of Exeter, currently serving as the business-facing manager on Tevi, an ERDF-funded programme supporting SMEs in Cornwall to grow whilst contributing to the circular economy and environmental growth. Edvard recently spent three years as a senior environmental consultant with Wardell Armstrong, specialising in the environmental and social impacts of development projects in emerging economies in line with the standards of international financial institutions. He has previously held a number of roles at the interface of science
and society, having worked at the European Geosciences Union and the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology. Edvard holds MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Oxford and undergraduate degrees from the University of St Andrews and McGill University.”

Jamy Goewie
Jamy Goewie

Community and Market Development Director at European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA), 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Jamy supports young entrepreneurs as a member of the European Leadership Platform’s advisory board. She was the Country Director of Ashoka, the worldwide network of social entrepreneurs until 2018 and is now Communication and Market Development Director as European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). She is also a board member of the Child at Venture Foundation, which she founded in 2005, and where she acted as Executive Director for over seven years. In 2010, she established an office in the Philippines, where she remains chairperson of the Youth at Venture Foundation. She is also a board member of the Children of Bulgaria Foundation, which supports Bulgarian orphanages through food and educational programmes. She has a Master’s degree in Geography and another in Pedagogical Studies as well as a Bachelor’s in Policy, Strategy and Management for Non-Profit.

Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez
Eberhart Wusterhaus Gomez

International Business Director, Clean Carbon Solutions, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Eberhart is an engineer specialising in energy generation for heating, power and vehicle fuel from both conventional and sustainable sources. He also has expert knowledge of the feasibility of the development and practical application of energy generation based on local conditions. Born in Mexico and educated in Germany, Eberhart has a vital understanding of industrialised and developing countries alike. He has been responsible for national renewable gas projects in Germany, and for the mechanical design and commissioning of gas processing plants in developing countries. He has a strong understanding of the global energy market, current obstacles and future perspectives, with experience of various multi-million euro investment contract negotiations around the world.

Oisin Hanrahan
Oisin Hanrahan

Co-Founder and CEO of Handy, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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Oisin became an entrepreneur at the age of 18, when he set up the Clearwater Group, a real estate development company in Budapest while a student at Trinity College, Dublin. Oisin founded Handybook in May 2012 with Umang Dua to address the difficulty of finding a reliable handyman that Oisin experienced in Budapest. Oisin also established MiCandidate, which became the leading source for online election information across Europe in 2009, and set up the Undergraduate Awards, which has become the world’s largest pan-discipline awards programme. Supported by Google, Microsoft and others, it is a global annual awards event hosted in Dublin with the award distributed each year by the President of Ireland.

Photo of Klen Jäärats
Klen Jäärats

Director for EU Affairs at the Office of the Prime Minister of Estonia, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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As Director of the EU Secretariat in the Estonian government, Klen coordinates and develops all EU policy and acts as the chief European affairs adviser to the Prime Minister. A career civil servant, Klen started out in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, rising quickly to the position of Head of the Refugees Department. In this capacity, he dealt with a variety of NGOs and international organisations including the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He later moved to Brussels where he spent six years working at the Estonian Permanent Representation to the EU during which time he dealt with many issues related to the preparation, ratification and implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon.

Kalliopi Kalaitzi
Kalliopi Kalaitzi

Physician Charité University Medicine, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

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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.

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Continue to Selection process

Selection process

Selection process

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.

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. 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 both applications and nominations for the class of 2020 has passed. We will open the application and nomination period for the class of 2021 in the spring of 2020.

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