WYA Europe speaks at the ECPYouth

On the first of September, WYA Europe participated in guest lectures for the European Christian Political Youth Network (ECPYN) contributing to their discussions on human dignity. The program of ECPY’s summer school was spread over four days, including visits to the European parliament to hear lectures from NGO members and European MEPs.  The overall theme of their talks was “Europe 2019: What future for Europe after the EU elections?” These talks sought to give young political activists the clarification and encouragement they needed to bring about change in their home countries. Fielding questions from the group, WYA explained to a Christian audience how WYA’s mission is non-confessional and seeks to promote understanding through universal values and thereby foster understanding between developing and developed countries.

WYA’s participation presented views on family planning and reproductive health lobbying. Daniel Wiśniewski explained how specific wording influences agendas when drafting development aid for the developing world. He specifically denounced how money for abortion is given precedence over real development goals, such as vaccines and access to clean water. He gave many novel tips on lobbying and participation in conferences, as well as some amusing anecdotes from conferences he attended and successfully influenced. Daniel also gave his views on society and the age of isolation, in which “connectedness” has largely replaced meaningful relationships as the main thing bringing us together. WYA’s Antonio Mellado gave a talk on family, how it relates to Europe amid a climate of rising divorce rates and demographic decline. He listed certain policy instruments to reverse this trend, such as the organisation “Second Chance” which attempts to give married couples a second chance at their marriage. Both talks received a warm reception from the participants of the summer school.

The rest of ECPYN’s program was with a diverse group of lecturers from many different countries, as well as political delegates from the EU parliament. Tobias Teuscher, former secretary of the Intergroup "Family, Child Protection and Solidarity between Generations" at the European Parliament; Philip Powell, a representative of the Cambridge based Jubilee centre, gave a lecture on Relationism; David Fieldsend, leader of the European Politics and Society Network; Maria Hildingsson, secretary-general of FAFCE, the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations; European Parliament MEPs Arne Gericke and Branislav Škripek from Germany and Slovakia respectively; Jannes de Jong, advisor on human rights of the conservative group in the parliament; the esteemed Commission bureaucrat Jakob Cornides, who gave a “fascinating” talk on the negative family litigation of the European Court of Human Rights.