Europe’s MediaLab (ex Fondation EURACTIV) is a think-and-do-tank developing quality projects fostering the media sector’s innovation and skills, and organising policy conferences, training programmes and workshops. Europe’s MediaLab is the Stars4Media Project Initiator. 

THINK – Media Policy: We can demonstrate a strong track record with news media cooperating across borders, and deep industry insights. We support a proactive EU media policy to rebalance the information ecosystem and reinforce the financial sustainability of the news media.

DO – Training and Innovation: In the past 15 years, we have trained about 1,000 media professionals, involving cross-border media cooperation

Stars4Media started in 2019 as a pilot project implemented by a Consortium of four partners: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) – the project coordinator; Europe’s MediaLab (ex Fondation EURACTIV) – the project initiator; the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The first two editions of Stars4Media were co-funded by the European Commission (grant agreement number: LC-01590082).
The third edition of the programme, Stars4Media NEWS, is implemented between 2022 – 2024 in cooperation with European Journalism Centre  (EJC), and co-funded by the European Union (project number 101054041)

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is the Stars4Media Programme Coordinator. VUB is a competitive, high-quality, socially committed and internationally oriented university located in Brussels, Belgium. 

The implementation of the Stars4Media programme is mainly supported by the specialized research centre on Studies, Media, Innovation and Technology (SMIT). The Research Group SMIT was established at the VUB in 1990 and is specialized in social scientific research on media and ICT. Support for the implementation of the physical mobility and virtual cooperation is provided by VUB’s International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO).

Europe MédiaLab Team

Christophe Leclercq, Executive Chairman

Christophe Leclercq is a French media entrepreneur, first founding of EURACTIV Media Network, now chairing the think-do-tank Europe MédiaLab

MédiaLab initiated several Stars4media programmes, on innovation with VUB, WAN-IFRA, EJC and EFJ, and on fact-checking with Comenius University and Euractiv affiliates in the East. Altogether: 32 media are helped, from 16 countries. 

Mr Leclercq was on the EU’s High-Level Expert Group on disinformation, and is now on the Advisory Council of EDMO (European Digital Media Observatory). Before his media career, he was strategy consultant with McKinsey and then EU competition official.

Also a commentator on media policy and strategy, Mr Leclercq wrote several opinion articles in French and English, often co-signed with European  stakeholders and policy leaders, and addressed high-level events.

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David Mekkaoui, Former EurActiv CEO, Future Europe MédiaLab Managing Director

Former Euractiv CEO, a pan-European media specialising in EU affairs, David steered the organisation to profitability, leading to its acquisition by Mediahuis Group in 2023. Now, beyond exploring Brussels on his e-wheel, David is a key player in media innovation and AI integration with Europe MédiaLab, delivers communication training worldwide through Institut Egmont, and champions French culture on the board of Alliance Française. An Oxford graduate with a deep expertise in finance and governance, David garnered an international marketing award during his seven-year tenure at The Wall Street Journal Europe and contributed to launching Expedia in Europe.

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Thierry Leroy, Finance & Admin – Public Project management

Public Projects Finance Director at EURACTIV Media Network, he has a vast experience in financial management, and EU-funded projects, notably gained as Treasurer of the Alliance française de Bruxelles-Europe.

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Anamaria Corca, Director Stars4Media Programmes

Anamaria is in charge of Europe Media Lab’s media innovation projects, implemented with consortium partners, see notably: Stars4media NEWS  and Stars4media FACTCHECKING (EAST) . She has over 12 years of experience in public affairs, communications and business development at EU level. She has won several awards for her work in integrated campaigns for their creativity and impact. Languages: EN, FR, ES, RO (native).

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Marina Chaparro, Communications Assistant

Marina Chaparro supports the communications at Europe’s MediaLab. She is in charge of both internal and external communications.

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Charlotte Barsky, Communications Assistant

Charlotte Barsky supports the communications at Europe’s MediaLab. She is in charge of both internal and external communications.

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Europe MédiaLab Board Members

Martin Beck EURACTIV
Irene Braam Bertelsmann Foundation
Daniel Knapp AB Europe
Sharon Spooner EPPA
Eva Simekova CIVITTA Slovakia
Frédéric Simon
Gilles Vanderpooten Reporters d’Espoirs
Karolina Zbytniewska EURACTIV Poland
Max von Abendroth Europe Media Development Investment Found
Radovan Geist EURACTIV Slovakia