The ‘40 under 40’ initiative, led by EuropaNova and Friends of Europe with the support of EU40 aimed to promote a European identity by having engaged forty of the European Union’s brightest minds in activities that will shape Europe’s future. The event was composed of four series of seminars, two of which took place in Paris on 8-10 December 2011 and in Brussels on 7-9 June 2012. Following ones took place in Berlin on 6-8 December 2012 and in Lisbon.
This high-level interactive 3-day seminar was part of an ambitious leadership programme for Europe. The European Young Leaders are aged between 30 and 40 and are meant to shape the future of our continent. Each of them is an opinion leader in his/her field of activity, which includes politics, sciences, business, media, non-governmental organisations, the arts and civil society. Speakers who have interacted with the Young Leaders in the past year include Herman Van Rompuy, Frédéric Mitterrand, GE’s CEO Ferdinando Beccalli-Falco and Vice President Isabelle Durant, MEP.
The aim of the programme was to develop a dynamic community of European leaders, sharing knowledge and good practice in order to foster cooperation between all Europeans. ‘40 under 40’ was aimed at creating a valuable network of young European leaders that would become a flagship European programme shaping the future of our continent and creating a coherent European identity.
“Brussels is not Europe and the discussions which take place there between EU specialists … do not constitute a European debate. Creating such a debate, in which the people of Europe can speak and listen to one another, is perhaps the greatest challenge still to face us.”, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission