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 and initiatives.
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.
Meet the Class of 2019
The programme was initially conceived with EuropaNova, a Paris-based think-tank.
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.
Francesca is an author, entrepreneur and founder of Timbuktu Labs. She is the co-creator of ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls’, a collection of 100 tales of extraordinary women that has become a publishing sensation. As the most successful new title in the history of crowdfunding, it has sold more than 3.5mn copies and has been translated into dozens of languages. Francesca’s career began in theatre, where she worked as both a manager for a theatre company and as a playwright. In 2012, she moved to California to co-found a children's media start-up called Timbuktu Labs, Inc. Since then, she has authored nine picture books that have been translated in more than 47 languages.
Jasmina works across a range of media including photography, performance, installation and video. Most often characterised as a visual artist, her artwork is focused on the positioning and analysing of space vis-à-vis other societal categories. She is the author of numerous exhibitions which have been shown all over Europe, as well as the recipient of prestigious Slovenian, European and international awards, including the Bevilacqua la Masa (Venice 2002 and 2005), the Slovenian Trend Award for Outstanding Achievements in Visual Art (2011), and the Catlin Commission Award (London, 2011). She represented Slovenia at the 55th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.
Radoslaw is a neuroscientist, leading the research group “Neural Dynamics of Visual Cognition” at the Free University Berlin. His main interest is human visual cognition – that is, the way the brain represents visual objects. Radoslaw has received numerous awards and grants from private and public funders for his ground-breaking research including from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, most recently, from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. In addition to teaching and lecturing at various universities worldwide, he is also a regular on the conference trail in the US and Europe.
Ciara is a chartered physiotherapist and experienced researcher passionately dedicated to improving the management and treatment of people with neurological conditions. At the age of 22, she launched Beats Medical, a medical application available on smartphones, which aims to help people with Parkinson’s disease take control of their condition through technology. Ciara received the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists Anne O’Brien Prize for Clinical Excellence and the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award.
Viktorija serves as a Member of the Lithuanian Parliament for Liberalai. Given the fact that she started her career as a professional chess player, her entry into politics came about relatively recently. She was the European Women's Champion in 2011 and is a two-time Lithuanian Champion. Her decision to undergo a career change followed her realisation that she wanted to contribute to society on a more political level. She succeeded in being elected to the parliament in 2015 and became Chair of the liberal fraction in 2018. In the parliament, Viktorija is a Member of the Committee on Human Rights and the Committee on European Affairs.
John is an entrepreneur and Co-Founder and President of Stripe, a software company that is expanding Internet commerce by making it easier to process transactions from anywhere in the world. Founded in 2010 alongside his brother, Stripe has rapidly expanded and continues to grow, its current team having over 900 employees. Before Stripe, he co-founded Auctomatic, which was sold in 2008, paving the way to his success as one of the world’s most successful teenage entrepreneurs. John has been passionate about coding since childhood and has a proven track-record of applying his knowledge and skills to develop ways to improve online business processes.
Silvia is a young economist and entrepreneur specialising in game theory and interest groups. She has extensive experience as a strategist in auction design. In 2008, she co-founded Auctionomics, a high-stakes auction consulting and software firm with clients ranging from governments to Fortune 500 companies. Silvia has acted as project manager on several high-stakes auctions in Australia, Canada, and the United States, in many European countries, and in Africa and Latin America. She is also the co-founder of xSwan, an interactive version of eBay that allows charities to raise more money via online auctions. Silvia frequently speaks at major universities both in the United States (including Berkeley and Harvard) and around the world.
Manuel headed until very recently the directorate in charge of implementing infrastructure projects and stimulating foreign investment and public-private partnerships in Romania. Before joining the government, he worked as an executive director at J.P. Morgan, a multinational banking and financial services holding company, where he was responsible for the relationship with various public sector clients in Europe, including central banks, debt management offices, development banks and government agencies. Manuel also worked as an independent consultant on business and development projects in Australia, South Africa, Tanzania and Peru, as well as at the Brattle Group, where he was a research analyst with a focus on risk management and strategies in the energy sector.
Xavier is an engineer in computer science who is passionate about the digital renaissance. In 1999, while still at secondary school, he founded Tribal, a site that gathered student content from around Belgium for publication in a magazine that was distributed to 30,000 students nationwide. Ten years later, he co-founded Storify, a social media curation platform that enables users to create stories or timelines using content from social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Storify is now used by top brands, organisations and publishers around the world, including CNN, the New York Times, the United Nations and the White House. More recently, he co-founded OpenCollective, a company that enables groups to collect and spend money transparently without having to create a new bank account.
EUROPEAN YOUNG LEADERS (EYL40) PROGRAMME
Join the 2020 class of European Young Leaders
Under the patronage of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, 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 the most promising European leadership from all over the continent and with a wide variety of 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.
For examples of current and previous European Young Leaders, please refer to Annex I.
OVERVIEW OF THE 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.
1. NOMINATION GUIDELINES
Individuals can be nominated to the European Young Leaders programme by several means.
- Institutional partners
A wide network of European organisations is called upon to recommend high-potential individuals to Friends of Europe.
- Pre-selection by Friends of Europe’s Board of Trustees and other outstanding personalities
Our Board of Trustees and a limited selection of outstanding personalities from different sectors (business, politics, media, science and the arts) are asked to nominate young leaders that could be considered in the selection process.
For a list of Friends of Europe’s Board of Trustees, please click here.
Every year, the alumni network of the European Young Leaders programme is called upon to send in recommendations to Friends of Europe. Given their experience of the programme, we consider the alumni extremely knowledgeable about who is the best fit for such a leadership programme.
2. APPLICATION GUIDELINES
Candidates should send a biography (including their date of birth and full contact details), a recent high-resolution photo and a cover letter outlining the relevant achievements and experiences that make them a viable candidate, also highlighting the means by which they hope to contribute to the European Young Leaders network and the development of the programme.
- Candidates must be between 30 and 40 years of age (born on or after 1 January 1979);
- 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.
To be considered for the 2020 selection process, all applications and nominations must be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: Monday, 3 June 2019
Spring 2020 3-day seminar in a European city Autumn 2020 3-day seminar in a European city Ongoing European Young Leaders are involved in (virtual) working groups throughout the year, allowing their input from afar into the topics and projects of their choice based on their availability and interest. October 2020 Exclusive invitation to the President’s Gala Dinner and Friends of Europe’s annual State of Europe ‘high-level’ roundtable, which are attended by several Heads of State and Government, and a few hundred other personalities from across Europe and beyond. October 2020 Participation in the European Young Leaders alumni meeting in Brussels, open to all current and previous European Young Leaders.
With the support of