European Young Leaders

Introduction

What do a microbiologist, an entrepreneur, a journalist and a Member of Parliament have in common?

They are all European Young Leaders who are engaged in making Europe a global champion for a better world.

The European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme, organised by Friends of Europe, 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 programme is supported by renowned and solid foundations such as the Fondazione Cariplo and the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

The European Young Leaders represent promising European leadership from all over the continent, with a wide variety of backgrounds including politics, business, civil society, academia, arts, science and the media.

Every year, they meet for two three-day seminars in symbolic European cities, joined by decision-makers, stakeholders and key European actors to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete proposals and recommendations to tackle the challenges facing Europe and its citizens.

The European Young Leaders now represent a network of more than 180 alumni.

The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.

Meet the European Young Leaders
Spain
Ignacio Escolar
Founder & Director El Diario

Ignacio is a journalist, political analyst and Founder and Director of www.eldiario.es, an online media political analysis site. Previously Ignacio founded and managed the well-known newspaper Publico. He also manages www.escolar.net, the most popular and widely read political blog in Spain, which was named best political and journalist blog of the year in 2008 and 2009. Ignacio is also the founder of Bitban, a technology and design consulting company for Internet media communication, working with clients all over the world. In 2009 he was awarded the José Manuel Porquet Journalism Prize, the Mujeres Progresistas Prize for declining to publish prostitution ads in Publico and the Nicolas Salmeron for Human Rights Prize.

Italy
Adriano Farano
Head of Content, Plex Inc. Co-Founder of Watchup

Prior to joining Plex Inc., Adriano was the former CEO and Co-founder of Watchup, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that brings the power of video journalism to the post-PC era with an Apple app that lets you build your daily newscast out of the world's most trusted news channels. He is a former EiR at StartX, the Stanford student start-up accelerator. Previously, he co-founded Cafebabel.com, a pan-European online media outlet entirely translated in 6 languages that has thousands of contributors which he ran from 2001 to 2009. In 2007, he was selected as a young leader in the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. Adriano is a Political Science and International Relations graduate from LUISS University in Rome.

Malta
Aaron Farrugia
Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds and Social Dialogue

Aaron currently serves as Parliamentary Secretary for EU funds and Social Dialogue. Previously, he ran the Malta Freeport, which was established in 1988 as the first transhipment hub in the Mediterranean. The company has experienced remarkable growth and currently ranks twelfth among the top European ports. Aaron served as president of the Labour Youth Forum and was elected deputy mayor of Ta’ Xbiex in 2005. During the international financial crisis, he was appointed to a team of economic experts set up by the Young European Socialists and was elected as Education Secretary in the Maltese Labour Party’s Central Administration. Aaron also chaired the progressive think tank IDEAT, the party’s political foundation. In 2014, he founded the Anton Buttigieg Foundation, which seeks to promote social awareness in Malta, focusing on education as the primary tool for economic and social development.

Spain
Jorge Juan Fernandez Garcia
Director of eHealth and Health 2.0 at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu & European Young Leader

Jorge is Director of E-Health and Health 2.0 and Innovation Manager at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona. He has over 15 years of experience in biomedicine and healthcare, with a strong focus on technology, working on projects throughout Europe with healthcare providers, life sciences, pharmaceuticals and biotech companies, as well as medical devices and digital health ventures. He regularly acts as advisor and mentor to various healthcare start-ups and entrepreneurial acceleration programs, where he helps create a stronger ecosystem in the biomedical and healthcare industries. Jorge is also Director of Academics at Moebio – the Biomedical Center for Healthcare Entrepreneurship –, where he teaches Entrepreneurship and Innovation and is in charge of designing the curriculum. Jorge is a graduate in European Political Economy from the London School of Economics.

Ireland
Mary Fitzgerald
Libya Analyst, Award-Winning Journalist and European Young Leader

Mary is an analyst and journalist specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya. She has worked on Libya since 2011 and lived there throughout 2014. She has conducted research on Libya for the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), the European University Institute (EUI) and IEMED among others, and is a contributing author to an edited volume on the Libyan revolution published by Oxford University Press. Mary has worked on a number of award-winning radio documentaries for the BBC, one of which won a Gold Sony Radio Academy Award.

France
Clémentine Forissier
Editor-in-Chief, Contexte

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.

United Kingdom
Myriam François
International News Correspondent, TRT World

Myriam is an academic, broadcaster and writer specialising in issues related to Islam and the Middle East. She is a regular contributor to the Middle East Eye, the New Statesman and the Telegraph. In 2014, she broke a headline story on an exclusive 36-page document written by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Al-Qaeda militant behind the 9/11 attacks. Since then, she presented two BBC documentaries, ‘The Muslim Pound’ (2016) and ‘A Deadly Warning: Srebrenica Revisited’ (2015) nominated for the Sandford St Martin religious programming award. Myriam is also a Research Associate at the Centre of Islamic Studies at SOAS University, where she focuses on British-Muslim integration issues. She recently completed her doctorate at Oxford University on the subject of Islamic political movements in Morocco.

Germany
Markus Freiburg
Founder & Managing Director of FASE

Markus is the founder of the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE), a leading financial intermediary that helps social enterprises scale their social impact by helping them raise hybrid growth capital. FASE has built an open pipeline of investment-ready social enterprises and closed sixteen transactions leveraging around €6m in impact investments. Markus is also a member of the Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES), a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business that examines the progress of measures foreseen by the European Commission. He has experience of working with many social enterprises in finding appropriate financing solutions and scaling-up the impact of proven business models. Markus worked for seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, where one of his roles was providing pro-bono consulting for social entrepreneurs.

Italy
Alessandro Fusacchia
Strategic Advisor H-Farm

Alessandro is a former Advisor to the Italian Economic Development Minister on European Affairs, Innovation and Youth, and former Head of Office at the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport. Previously he was an official at the Council of the European Union dealing with global economic governance (G20/IMF). He has worked for the Italian Prime Minister’s office in Rome as part of the G8 team, as well as for the Italian Ministry of International Trade. He teaches at the LUISS Guido Carlo School of Government in Rome and at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. He was until recently President of RENA, the Italian association of young professionals promoting innovation, merit, youth empowerment and a new generation of local public policies. He is also the author of two novels.

Spain
Sara Garcia Ruiz
Engineer, S.A. de Electronica Submarina (SAES)

Sara is an engineer at S.A. de Electronica Submarina (SAES), a company specialised in submarine electronics and acoustics. Prior to this, she was a Member of the Murcian regional Parliament where she served as First Secretary of the Defense Committee as well as a Member of the Science and Innovation and Equality Committees. She has been a Member of the Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party since she was 16. She studied communications engineering and has worked in the defence policy sector. She stands for male-female parity in Spain’s politics and for the presence of members of parliament of all ages.

Seminars
No results at the moment.
Publications
Selection process

The selection process for the Class of 2018 is closed and we are now in the process of announcing those who have been selected. 
To find out more about the first 20 candidates to be announced as part of the Class of 2018, please click here.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for all updates regarding the programme and news from our Young Leaders!

The next selection process for candidates will open in early 2018.