40 under 40 EU 2014


The “40 UNDER 40 ” – European Young Leaders Programme took place in Brussels from 30 January to 1 February 2014.

The Young Leaders gathered in the European institutions’ capital to discuss crucial topics ranging from the upcoming European leadership change to the Banking Union and the common energy policy, with a focus on shale gas. Reflecting upon the effective leadership that Europe so desperately needs, Błażej Moder, Director of the New Center of Lodz Programme, noted that “we need to look for leaders in civil society who can balance out our politicians. We should look outside of politics to focus on empowered leaders who will defend good constitutions, rules, and institutions.”

Building up the EU narrative is the key to keeping public interest strong, indicated Tomáš Sedláček, Chief Macroeconomic Strategist at ČSOB, and author of bestseller Economy of Good and Evil: “There is much self-doubt in the EU, especially since the economic crisis,” he said. “The narrative is that the EU is more than the sum of its economies. The EU is a role model for the rest of the world in terms of fundamental values. Values that we do not even notice in the way that outsiders do.”

The Young Leaders and external participants agreed that Europe needs to step up its game and become more attractive in a globalised world. Nina Rawal, Investment Manager at Industrifonden (Swedish Industrial Development Fund), underlined that “the EU needs to get its house in order. We need to understand what we are offering so that it becomes clear for prospective member states what they can be a part of.”

The “40 UNDER 40” – European Young Leaders programme, co-organised by the thinktanks EuropaNova and Friends of Europe, promotes a European identity by engaging 40 of the European Union’s most promising individuals in initiatives that will shape our common future. The programme was launched in 2011, with the support of the European Commission (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency), and contributes to forging a new European leadership through the Young Leaders’ 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.