• JEF is a supranational, politically pluralist youth NGO with about 30,000 members in over 30 countries. The goal of JEF is the creation of a democratic European federation as a guarantee for peace and more free, just and democratic society.

Meet the European Secretariat!

Valentin Dupouey-Sterdyniak - Secretary General

Valentin was born in Nancy (France) and, as an Erasmus Generation member, has lived, studied, volunteered and work in the UK, Slovenia and Denmark before settling to Belgium. He completed a Masters Degree in Sports Management, focusing on EU Sports Policy. He has worked and volunteered in various NGOs in the field of sport, youth and learning mobility for the past 7 years. Besides his work at JEF Europe, he's volunteering for the Erasmus Student Network and the European Youth Forum. In his spare time, he plays badminton intensively and shares some thoughts on his blog.

He's been appointed as new Secretary General of JEF Europe in April 2016. During the next two years, his main objective will be to strengthen JEF Europe and its sections throughout Europe, to help them develop to ensure JEF's political impact grows even stronger at all levels. 

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Secretary General’s Responsibilities

Organisational management: ensuring good working relations with the sections and guaranteeing the close coordination of JEF activities and statutory meetings.
Project management: coordinating the preparation of events and projects (receiving applications, keeping track of participation fee payments, circulating documents, etc.)
Communication management: internal mailings, the maintenance of databases (JEF INFO, press contacts, etc.), assisting the EB in updating the “Who is Who” list with detailed contact details of all key mandate holders and disbursing info on JEF’s online social networks in collaboration with EB and WG5 – FOA.
Website management: the regular updating of the website.
Financial management: supervising the accounting and bookkeeping process and assisting the Treasurer in guaranteeing the financial sustainability of the organisation by keeping the budget in balance and by actively searching and applying for funding.
Human resources management: the coordination of the Secretariat staff and organisation of the recruitment process together with the EB.
External representation and advocacy/lobbying together with the EB.


Sonja Afanasjeva - Project officer

Sonja, originally from a small Estonian capital Tallinn, is a truly international citizen. After having lived in four different countries, from Russia to Switzerland, she is now excited to explore the heart of Europe – Brussels.

Sonja holds a Master in Law Degree from the University of Zürich and KU Leuven, and has dedicated her last academic years to deepening her understanding of EU law and policies. After having an internship at the European Parliament, she realised the importance of raising awareness of the European project among European citizens and enhancing participation of youth in the EU policy-making. She is a true believer in stronger Europe and wants to see young generation more active and engaged in the European life. To contribute to that goal she is also leading Brussels Model European Union, an annual international simulation of EU decision-making process.

Having witnessed the complexities of the EU mechanisms from the inside, she finds it her goal to bring Europe closer to its citizens and to raise the participation of young people in the democratic European life.

Sonja will support the Secretariat in the coordination of the LADDER project.

Contact Sonja 

Chloé Berthelemy - Policy Officer Trainee

Chloé is coming from Reims in France but she rather identifies as a European citizen and finds this true, meaningful sense of belonging when she lives abroad, discovering new places, cultural habits, experiences and people. This is why she studied and worked in four countries across the world, she enjoys speaking in a curious mix of several languages and always tries to find opportunities to escape from her national ties.

When it comes to the EU, Chloé is convinced that the European project and polity are real added values for pushing forward progressive causes as well as for fostering public discussion over transnational political issues. During her Master in European Affairs, she learnt to adopt a critical thinking on European choices, which made her believe that making the EU more visible and accountable to its citizens would be a solution to the current European democratic challenges. To support this ambition, she became active in a European university association and helped creating the initiative “Europe at school” aimed at organizing talks in secondary schools to encourage the younger generations to develop interests in the European questions and to take part in the European adventure. She is also keen on experiencing the EU policy-making ‘puzzle’ herself by taking part in EU simulation games with many other international students.

During her internship with JEF, she will support the Secretariat in particular with regards to its policy-related work, help with the implementation of JEF projects and the drafting of the 2018 Work Plan, as well as support the office in its daily tasks.

Contact Chloé

Marine Betrancourt - Communication Officer Trainee

Marine is from Lyon (France) where she studied political sciences and public law. True European, she interned Monash Europe & EU Centre at Monash University in Melbourne for a better taste of Europe from down under and has been involved for years within AEGEE/ European Students’ Forum, as well as various European youth projects. She has also been part of two youth-led webmedia.

She further developed a strong interest in gender equality and digital stakes as part of different media and youth activism initiatives.

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Activity Report

40 years of JEF