Young European of the Year

The Young European of the Year is given to young Europeans between the ages of 18 and 26 who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to a peaceful, diverse and inclusive Europe.

The prize grants 5,000 euros for a six-month internship with a member of the European Parliament or with another European institution. It is also possible to finance a recipient’s own project that promotes European integration. The award winner will become part of a European network and the jury of the Schwarzkopf Europe Award.

The nomination process

Nominations take place every year in the autumn and are open to the public. Anyone can propose candidates for the award. The prize is awarded by a jury consisting of members of Schwarzkopf Foundation Young Europe and representation of the European Commission in Germany, in cooperation with the European Youth Forum.

Young European of 2021: Constantin-Alexandru Manda

This year’s Young European of the Year is Constantin-Alexandru Manda from Romania, who is campaigning for fair and equal education for all children in his country. In 2013, at just the age of 14, he founded one of Romania’s first student associations and succeeded in getting the Romanian government to guarantee a minimum scholarship for every child in need. We congratulate Alexandru on this success and honour him as Young European 2021!

Former awardees

  • 2020 – Mariya Atanasova, 23, is a mentor for youth from the Roma community and a member of the European Roma Youth Network in Bulgaria. She studies midwifery and is involved in various organizations for young people who are affected by discrimination and social difficulties. As a young Roma woman, she supports children and youth from her community and advocates for more visibility of Roma in Europe.

  • 2019 – Yasmine Ouirhrane is being honored as the 2019 Young European of the Year for her commitment to equal rights for women and equal participation opportunities for migrants in Europe. At 23, she is already a scholarship recipient of Women Deliver's Young Leader program, organized the European Youth Forum's "YO!" festival in Strasbourg in 2018, and has been involved in projects with young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods in France.

  • 2018 – Madeleina Kay is a British activist and one of the loudest voices for European cohesion in her country. Madeleina, also known as #EUSuperGirl, uses art and music to campaign for the UK to remain in the EU, making public appearances and mobilizing thousands of people both on and offline.

  • 2017 – Nozizwe Dube has actively steered policy in Flanders through her chairmanship of the Flemish Youth Council and carried the voice of young people in Flanders into policy decisions. She has been particularly active on minority issues, but has also been involved in other European issues, such as the right to vote at 16 and the impact of Brexit on young people.

  • 2017 – Haris Kušmić is the founder of the National Committee of the European Youth Parliament in Bosnia and Herzegovina. His organization has involved more than 2000 young people from the country in exchange activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in other European countries.

  • 2016 – Adrian Balutel, born in 1992 in Moldova, was the Executive Director of JEF (Young European Federalists) Moldova from 2013 to 2015, at the same time he was the Vice President of the National Youth Advisory Council of Moldova and is currently the Executive Director of the National Platform of the Eastern Civil Society Forum and the Secretary General of the Youth Business Association.

  • 2015 – Eugenia Lopata, born in 1994, was already politically and socially engaged in her hometown Chernivtsi during her school years. She is the youngest cultural manager in Ukraine. One of her biggest cultural projects is the poetry tour Meridian Chernivtsi 2014 Austria-Ukraine-Poland-Germany.

  • 2014 – Luis Alvarado Martinez, born in 1989 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), graduated in Translation and Interpreting for Spanish, English, French and Italian. After having held several positions at the AEGEE Students' Forum, among others as its president, he is the current president of the European Youth Forum.

  • 2013 – Lukas David Meyer, born in Göttingen in 1989, began his studies in Evangelical Theology at the University of Göttingen in April 2010. His social commitment to Europe already began in 2008 with a voluntary service year in the Sarajevo office of the organization Schüler Helfen Leben. He received the "Young European of the Year 2013" award for his commitment to a Social Day throughout Europe.

  • 2012 – Robin May was born in Lutherstadt Wittenberg in 1988. Even as a schoolboy, he was committed to raising the political awareness of his fellow students. Later, he continued his commitment to youth participation in European dimensions.

  • 2011 – Stefan Ivanovic, born in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1988, has been strongly influenced in his childhood by the war and the collapse of society in his home country. Growing up in a dysfunctional society, Stefan early recognized the role of the European Union as a model for a peaceful world order, a political order beyond nationalisms, based on the core values of democracy.

  • 2010 – Maria Tandeck, born in Poland in 1989, became involved in social, political and intercultural issues at a young age. During the years of negotiations and Poland's accession to the European Union, she developed a special interest in European politics, which was also encouraged by her work in the European Youth Parliament Poland. Further commitments followed, such as in the Social Democratic Youth Poland, the Student Council Law of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), as well as in the Polish Youth Council.

  • 2009 – Sandra Orlovic worked as a student volunteer for the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska and Serbia. With her exemplary voluntary work, she helped to increase the awareness of rights and history among the population.

  • 2008 – Tamuna Kekenadze, born in Georgia in 1982, was a founding member and the first president of AEGEE Tbilisi, but also through her involvement in the "National Council of Youth Organizations", the umbrella organization of more than 45 youth organizations in Georgia, she made it easier for both Georgian and other European youth organizations to carry out exchange projects.

Award winner before 2008

  • 2007 – Paul de Kuijer (the Netherlands)
  • 2006 – Burcu Becermen (Turkey)
  • 2005 – Tamas Boros (Hungary)
  • 2004 – Anar Jahangirli (Azerbaijan)
  • 2003 – Adrian Langan (Ireland)
  • 2002 – Mjellma Mehmeti (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)
  • 2001 – Daciana Oana Mailatescu (Romania)
  • 2000 – Tobias Bütow (Germany)
  • 1999 – Lola Stoppleman de Almudévar (United Kingdom)
  • 1998 – Michael Schmitt (Germany)
  • 1997 – David Stulik (Czech Republic)

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