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Connecting to the European Christian Political Youth

2019-02-28

Eduard Andreev, a sophomore at LCC International University, had doubts before taking on another responsibility in his already busy schedule. Being involved with the Spiritual Life team, Bible studies on Friday evenings, and a lot more, Eduard has also taken up the responsibilities of a member of the Board of Communications in the European Christian Political Youth. Despite having an intense schedule, E. Andreev has kindly agreed to take some time and share about the European Christian Political Youth, its mission and vision, as well as share his hopes for the future of the organization.

If you were to introduce yourself in one sentence, what would that be?

Hello, my name is Eduard and I am from Moldova.

Recently you have become a part of the European Christian Political Youth (ECPYouth), can you tell how you got to know the organization and what your role in it is?

That’s quite an interesting story. I have the privilege of personally knowing the Vice President of the Moldova Parliament Valeriu Ghilețchi, and we are also friends on Facebook. I admire his work and he is a great example of a Christian who is serving his people through politics. In one of his photos, Mr. Ghilețchi was standing with Leo van Doesburg, who is a Director for European Affairs at ECPM, and who had the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) logo on his cover page on Facebook. I became interested in what this organization was, since my major at LCC is International Relations and Development. I am a believer and I share Christian Biblical values therefore I was curious to know what exactly ECPM was. After I added Leo van Doesburg on Facebook, I messaged him and asked to tell me more about the organization. It turned out to be a party in the EU parliament. We kept in contact and at some point Leo van Doesburg shared that there are vacancies in the ECPYouth.

Since I have experience in social media, I sent my application on the last day for a position as a social media editor. I was actually doubting whether I should apply because I am quite busy here at LCC with the Spiritual Life team and Friday night Bible studies, and I was not really sure whether I would be able to handle ECPYouth responsibilities as well. I prayed to God and let Him decide whether He wanted me to be in this organization or not.

In August 2018, I received a positive answer regarding my application and started helping with social media and writing emails in Romanian, and during that time ECPYouth Board of Communications member Ardjan Boersma needed my help with that.

Later, at the end of November 2018, when A. Boersma had to step down to run in elections for his hometown, I was elected as a member of the Board of Communications after going through several interviews.

What are your responsibilities as the Board of Communications?

Most of the day-to-day responsibilities include managing social media, meaning Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Of course, it includes managing the website of ECPYouth, covering various events and participating in the board meetings and General Assembly. Recently we had a board meeting in Warsaw. We do not necessarily have an office where all the meetings and conferences happen, but there is a main office in the Netherlands. Most of the times for the board meetings we meet in different places.

Now that you have shared a bit about your responsibilities with the Board of Communications, could you share the vision and mission of the ECPYouth?

This is an amazing coincidence regarding this question since we are now working on generating a clear vision and mission statement. Our vision is young Christian politicians inspired, equipped, united for a thriving Europe of catholicity, dignity and cooperation. While our mission is providing young Christian politicians with highest quality training and inspiration so that they may glorify God through politics in their communities, share and spread Christian Biblical values throughout Europe. Every year we organize several regional conferences in different locations throughout Europe and an International Summer School. During our events, young Christian activists from all over Europe gather together and learn from our speakers, who are experts in their fields or even people holding an actual political office. It is a unique opportunity to meet new friends, share ideas and learn from each other. ECPYouth conferences and the Summer school are informative, fun and refreshing.

You mentioned that there are various workshops and conferences during the year. Can you tell more about them?

Sure, in the ECPYouth we meet several times a year. We invite our members for these meetings and our member organizations as well. Also, we invite speakers to these conferences to talk about different topics. This year our focus is the power of propaganda and the truth, which revolves around the topic of fake news, how we identify it, and how we behave in such contexts. Usually we invite people who work at different NGOs as well as professors from various universities. During our last conference in Kyiv, we had a professor who joined us for the workshop session and who was an expert in his field. This year, actually in March, there will be a Regional Conference in Amersfoort, where we will focus more on European elections. Another thing that the ECPYouth organizes is the International Summer School that usually lasts around five days. Of course it has a learning part to it, so there are conferences, workshops, and guest speakers. But there is a fun part to it as well, where all of the participants go out together and travel. Each year the International Summer School happens in different places, and this year it will happen in July 18-22, in Georgia.

Since you invite professors from different universities to workshops and conferences, is there a chance that you might invite some professors from LCC?

It is my sincere desire to invite our professors from LCC, because professors at LCC are extremely knowledgeable and they can provide a really unique and legitimate perspectives on various topics. I think LCC professors can contribute greatly to the ECPYouth and the ECPYouth could also cooperate with our university. In addition, as a Board member I can also participate in the search for the speakers for our events. We have a lot of great connections with different international organizations as well. If there is a chance for LCC professors to participate in the ECPYouth, that would be an amazing experience.

What are your hopes for being a part of the ECPYouth organization?

I hope I can contribute to the Board of Communications professionally, and have a positive impact through participating in decision-making. One of my main hopes is to connect the ECPYouth to LCC and vice versa. Another hope is to contribute to the establishment of a good professional and spiritual foundation for the ECPYouth.

Since I am involved with a lot of amazing people in this organization I also hope that ECPYouth continues to grow as a good faith-based foundation for young people and that the ECPYouth would prepare servant leaders who will be involved in politics. Another hope is that the ECPYouth always continues to grow both in numbers and quality.

And, as a last comment, I would like to add that I am really grateful for the opportunity to study at LCC, because LCC has equipped and continues to equip me with great English skills and critical thinking, which are extremely valuable. Also, I am thankful to all of my professors here at LCC for their personal and professional contributions to my life: Dr. Scott Neumann, Dr. Eric Hinderliter, Bonnie Greydanus, Joe and Lisa Harder, Rūta Grumadaitė-Pabarčienė, Dr. Emmy Irobi, Roman Hromyk, Scott Stewart, Aušra Paulauskienė, and many others. It is a blessing.

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