Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Lukas Mandl, MEP
John Cotton Richmond, former US Ambassador-at-large to monitor and combat human trafficking for the US Dept. of State
Peter Smits, ECPYouth President
The annual Cornerstone dinner took place again in Brussels, after a hiatus last year, caused by the pandemic restrictions. Nearly fifty young professionals had the opportunity to meet, network, and discuss the ways they can implement Jesus’ principles in European politics.
MEP Lukas Mandl shared personal experiences from his work in the European Parliament as well as from his involvement with Parliamentary Prayer Breakfasts across Europe. He underlined several traits of the person and character of Jesus and discussed how these characteristics could be translated into political action and participation in society. Justice, freedom, human dignity, love were values preached and enacted by Jesus and His followers and also the foundation of our democratic societies.
Ambassador Richmond spoke about the importance of knowing your name and who you belong to; of knowing your identity. He exemplified the importance of that for every person, by providing a story from his work with human trafficking survivors where in the process of enslaving and dehumanizing them, their captors changed their names. Once free, the survivors found getting their names back and being called by their real names an essential step in their recovery and reintegration.
Finally, ECPYouth President Pieter Smits presented the youth group’s vision and work when it comes to young people’s participation in European affairs. The aim of their work is to equip and connect young professionals from all over Europe interested in working and leading in accordance with Christian-Democratic principles. He also informed attendees about the upcoming projects and events of ECPYouth.