The first European leadership programme

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
  • Two 3-day seminars per year, taking place in symbolic European capitals
  • 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 reccomendations to shape the future of Europe.
  • A selection committee composed of 13 distinguished European decision-makers
  • The working language is English