Among its many challenges, the lack of a collective vision remains one of the main obstacles to an effective and sustainable Europe. The "40 UNDER 40" - European Young Leaders programme, launched in 2011 and led by the think-tanks EuropaNova and Friends of Europe, aims to promote a European identity by engaging 40 of the European Union’s brightest minds in initiatives that will shape Europe’s future.
To bring together 40 of the continent’s best and brightest young minds who will contribute to European leadership through their capacity to inspire people. The aim is to develop a dynamic community of European leaders, sharing knowledge and good practice in order to foster cooperation between all Europeans. The "40 UNDER 40" will create a valuable and effective network of young European leaders. The aim is to become a flagship European programme shaping the future of our continent and creating a coherent European identity.
Every year, 40 talented participants, aged between 30 and 40, representing a wide array of backgrounds and achievements, are selected
Seminars composed of interactive discussions, informal chats, “out of the box” sessions and workshops with high-level decision-makers and experts, including EU and national policymakers, civil society representatives, corporate executives and journalists
Seminars focus on the current affairs that affect the European countries and their citizens and aim to provide original and effective recomendations to shape the future of Europe
Two 3-day seminars per year, taking place in symbolic European capitals
40under40 has a selection committee composed of 13 distinguished European decision-makers
The working language of 40under40 is English
About the founders
A laboratory for concrete political ideas
Energising the European democratic debate
Promoting a new generation of leaders
Policy areas covered
I believe that this initiative to create a new network that will train and promote new leaders, European Young Leaders, is utterly important. We need key figures to take up the European idea and translate it according to the needs of today's world. That is to say, we cannot go on living on what history has accomplished and i fully support this programme and I mean to be part of it because it is fundamental to delevop and strengthen this network of European Young Leaders.
Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Co-president of the European Greens–European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament
Every year, the programme founders draw up a shortlist of potential candidates with the support of their partners, European-wide networks and the "40 UNDER 40" alumni network. At this stage, the shortlisted candidates are invited to submit a CV and cover letter outlining their motivation to contribute to the programme and highlighting their achievements and relevant experiences that could make them a viable European Young Leader.
The "40 UNDER 40" - European Young Leaders are then selected by a selection committee composed of 13 distinguished European decision-makers. The selection committee evaluates candidates based on their potential to contribute to European leadership through their capacity to inspire people. The aim is to develop a dynamic community of European leaders, sharing knowledge and good practice in order to foster cooperation between all Europeans. Equally important, is a candidate’s enthusiasm to participate in the programme and his/her interest in becoming an active member of the "40 UNDER 40" alumni community.
We aim to select European Young Leaders with diverse backgrounds in order to enable a cross-fertilization of ideas, in a neutral and practical exchange space, thus creating the basis of a new generation of engaged European leaders.
We are committed to providing equal opportunities to everyone. All qualified candidates will receive consideration. The selection will be made without regard to, and there will be no discrimination because of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership in an employee organization, or on the basis of personal favoritism or other non-merit factors.
must be between 30 and 40 years of age
must be originally from a member country of the European Union
are evaluated based on their potential to attain the highest levels of their chosen profession
are evaluated based on their ability to contribute to the enrichment of the programme as a whole
must have a record of extraordinary achievements and professional experiences
must be committed to serve society at large through noteworthy contributions
are required to be fluent in English as the working language of the programme is English
Every year, the programme founders draw up a shortlist of potential candidates with the support of their partners
Director of External Relations, Nouvel Observateur
Director, European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR) Paris
Maria Joao Rodrigues
EU Advisor and former Portuguese Minister of Labour
Dean, ESCP Europe (European School of Management)
Séléction Committee President, Founder of ARTE, the Franco-German TV Channel, and President of Théâtre du Châtelet