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meet the team

The Board defines the overall strategy of the European Youth Forum. Board Members are democratically elected every 2 years at our General Assembly.

The Secretariat is the permanent structure of the Youth Forum. It is made up of employees under the supervision of the Secretary-General.

For speaking invitations, please email

For media requests, please contact


Silja Markkula


Silja is a passionate advocate for youth rights and supporting youth civil society to thrive across Europe, and has for the past decade engaged in various youth organisations to advance the rights of young people both in the EU, Council of Europe as well as the UN. She has a background in the Finnish National Youth Council Allianssi and the World Organization of the Scout Movement. She has a master’s degree in social and cultural anthropology from the University of Helsinki.

Anja Fortuna


Anja is a rural girl from Slovenia with a bit of urban spirit, youth leader and youth worker. She actively engaged in the topic of rural development, mainly through Rural Youth Europe and Slovenian Rural Youth Association. She is former President and Vice President of the National Youth Council of Slovenia and a former board member of Slovenian Rural Youth Association, Assembly member of the Youth Centre Idrija, a Scout from Žiri and many others. In her master studies she is focusing on marketing and tourism in rural areas.

Frédéric Piccavet


Frédéric Piccavet is a European by heart and a Belgian by birth. Over the past decade, he was deeply involved in the student movement and in youth organisations, both nationally and internationally. The core topics he has worked on are socio-economic rights (ban unpaid internships!), student participation, gender equality and mental health.As Vice President, he is devoted to bringing the members of the European Youth Forum back at the heart of the organisation. Frédéric has a Master in International Relations, Economics and Communication Sciences. His background organisation is the Flemish Youth Council (VJR). He interned at the Council of Europe (Strasbourg) and the public broadcaster (VRT) and enjoyed an Erasmus exchange at La Sapienze Università (Rome).

Nicolai Boysen

Board Member

Nicolai's passion for youth organisations started when he took initiative to found a local youth council in his home town at the age of 13. Since then he has been involved in various organisations, most recently as responsible for European affairs in the Danish Youth Council (DUF). In his volunteering work, Nicolai’s interests have revolved mainly around democratic participation and a strong environment for youth organisations. When not volunteering he studies political science at the University of Copenhagen and works with financial policies in the Danish Ministry of Children and Education.

Panagiotis Chatzimichail

Board Member

Panagiotis, also known as Pete, is a graduate of Political Sciences (UCY). His youth engagement journey started back in 2010, as a volunteer in local NGOs. After a few years, he decided to step in the field of youth policy and advocacy more professionally, becoming a youth representative in various regional processes, followed by his certification as educator/trainer and employment as staff member of INGYOs. Pete has invested a lot of his time addressing the importance of inclusion and diversity within and beyond youth organisations. To this date he has worked with a variety of organisations, some of which focus on education and youth others more on working with members of the LGBTQI+ community.

Paulína Jalakšová

Board Member

Paulína is a student of finance and behavioural economics in Prague. She has a particular interest in the European public finance and financing of NGOs in which she also has working experience. She has been a volunteer since the age of 19 when she started on the national level and gradually moved to the international and European levels. Her experience comes mostly from the World Esperanto Youth Organisation (TEJO) with the main focus on youth work, non-formal education, but also youth rights, equality, diversity & inclusion, and of course grants and finances.

Simon Lindkær Andersen

Board Member

Simon’s most impassioned interests revolve around inclusive democratic participation and engaging especially marginalized young people in electoral politics. His experience is primarily in the liberal youth movement (IFLRY & LYMEC), where he has worked nationally and internationally, having served amongst other things as foreign policy speaker and chairman of the policy committee of the Danish Liberal Youth. In addition, Simon has been involved in a range of other organisations such as the Danish upper secondary students’ union and the Danish national youth council. He’s currently pursuing dual master’s degrees in law from the University of Copenhagen and Stockholm University.

Tom Matthew

Board Member

Tom is currently in his first year as an undergraduate studying Human, Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University. He works as a content creator for a social enterprise building online courses for 12-18 year olds. Tom began his volunteering journey with Amigos Worldwide, a charity providing education and training to young Ugandans, before volunteering with a number of different organisations and eventually the British Youth Council. Tom is passionate about leadership, communication and youth engagement and participation.

Monika Skadborg

Board Member

Monika studies Environmental Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark. She has a long history in student organisations, most recently the European Students’ Union where she worked on sustainability and internationalisation. She has worked on climate and sustainability issues in many different ways, including being chairperson for the Danish Youth Climate Council and a Youth Delegate to the UN.

María Rodríguez Alcázar

Board Member

Youth organisations have raised María to be a committed activist and advocate for Human Rights. From the secondary school student union she joined at the age of 14, to the Spanish Youth Council (CJE) where she was Vice President, María has engaged in many structures and processes to bring young people’s voices to the public debate. Professionally she works at policy and advocacy in the social sector. She holds a Master in African Studies and is keen to continue her studies on integration processes. Learning languages is her hobby: Challenge her to learn a new one!

Christiana Xenofontos

Board Member

Christiana holds a BA in Political Sciences from the University of Cyprus, with expertise in International Relations. From 2020 she is working as a Parliamentary Associate at the House of the Representatives in Cyprus. Previously she worked as a Youth Policy Officer at the Cyprus Youth Council and she served as the chair-person of the NWG for the EU Youth Dialogue in Cyprus.

She has been an elected Member of the Consultative Body on Membership Applications (CBMA) of the YFJ (2018-2020). She has been the Vice President A’ of Cyprus Youth Council (2019-2020). Since November 2020 she is an elected Board Member of the European Youth Forum (2021-2022).

Strategy & partnership

Joe Elborn

Secretary General

Eszter Somogyi

Partnership and Funding Manager

Josh Cope

Associate Director

Lana Čop

European Year of Youth Coordinator

Milosh Ristovski

Project Manager

External Affairs

Inge Brees

Director of Policy, Advocacy and External Affairs

Rafael Shilhav

Director of Communications and External Affairs

Anna Blackwell

EU Institutions Coordinator

Jan Mayrhofer

Policy and Advocacy Manager | Sustainability

Manon Deshayes

Policy Officer | Social and Economic Inclusion

Assia Oulkadi

Senior Policy Officer | Sustainability & Global Cooperation

Ivan Neirotti

Project Officer | European Youth Capital

Kristóf Papp

Policy Officer | Youth Participation

Thomas Desdouits

Campaigning Officer | Fiscal Policy

Jessica Nguyen

Policy and Advocacy Manager | Youth Rights

Verena Mitschke

Project Officer | Depolarisation & Intergenerational Justice

Fabiana Maraffa

Policy Officer | EU

Lauren Mason

Policy and Advocacy Manager | Youth participation & digitalisation

Álvaro González Pérez

Policy Officer | Funding & Civic Space

Cláudia Pinto

Policy Officer | Social and Economic Inclusion

Benjamin de Moor

Digital Designer

Karolina Fabianova

Digital Strategy Officer

Francesco Zollo

Communications Officer

Governance and membership

Estefania Asorey

Statutory Meeting Coordinator

Daša Koribanicova

Membership & Capacity Building Officer

Magali Hübers

Governance Officer

Operations and Finance

Luis Teixeira

Director of Operations and Finance

Marie-Aimée Musanase

Human Resources Coordinator

Sarah Jane Schlögel

Finance Officer

Antonella Ragusi

Operations Officer

Afroditi Deilogkou

Operations Support Officer