Making an impact in public life through training and engagement

May 11, 2018

  Roxana Stanciu

We strongly believe that if we want a better Europe, we must be engaged and promote the values that we stand for. This is why providing training programmes created especially for stakeholders who are active in public life in Europe is one of our core activities at European Dignity Watch.

Our most recent training programme, the European Advocacy Academy held in Brussels from the 10thto 13thof April, focused on communication. We were honoured to have excellent speakers and media coachesprovide both substantive formation and practical training. 25 participants from 12 different countries attended nine lectures and five workshopson developing key messages on the topics of freedom, family, and life.


An enrichinglearningand networking opportunity for participants


All the participants of the April 2018 EAA are highly engaged in the public debate in their countries, running different NGOs or projects on local, national or international levels. Below you will find a few of their comments about their experience at the EAA:

“These few days were very valuable for me because I have sharpened my communication skills. I am really honoured to have been a participant at the European Advocacy Academy!”Jelena Gazivoda, Croatia

 “The EAA was very helpful for me because … I learned techniques that I will efficiently use in the future. It will help me be more present, more coherent, and more efficient in my activities.”Alexandra Oberschi, Romania

“I believe that we can be positive agents for a change in our society. The matters of freedom, family and life are fundamental, foundational for that. I am really happy to find a place where people can meet, exchange, learn and be equipped just to do that. ”Christel Lamère Ngnambi, Belgium

“The EAA is needed because it is not just important to have good ideas, but it is also important to persuade other people that these ideas are valuable.”Melvin Schut, The Netherlands

 “The EAA is … the best chance to build a network with like-minded people and establish a big movement in Europe to defend pro-life and pro-family values.”Rozalia Kielmans-Ratynska, Poland


An encouraging experience for speakers


The EAA was not only a valuable experience for the participants, but also for the speakers. Here is what they had to say:


Ron Nehring


“I am so encouraged by the terrific quality of the people who are attending. These are leaders and activists working in their respective countries to advance pro-family policies. It is great to spend time with fellow conservatives and exchange ideas and best practices.”

Ron Nehring is the Director of International Training at The Leadership Institute. He is a Republican strategist and communications expert who served as National Spokesman in the 2016 Presidential campaign of Senator Ted Cruz.


Gregg Keller


“A week like this week is so important. You have people from … all over the continent of Europe who … come here and realise they are not the only ones fighting on behalf of these issues. It is a good opportunity for them to share best practices.”

Gregg Keller the Principal of Atlas Strategy Group. He is widely regarded as one of the preeminent public affairs professionals in the USA. Before founding Atlas Strategy Group, Keller helped lead two national public policy organizations, directed a national

coalitions program for a presidential campaign, and managed a nationally watched

U.S. Senate campaign.


Željka Markić


“It is great to see all these people from different countries who are so effective in their work in the civil society and yet so eager to learn more.”

Željka Markić is the President of In the Name of the Family in Croatia. She has been involved in the promotion of family and life since her student days during the time of communism. She has been one of the key organizers behind the successful 2013 marriage referendum in Croatia, which defined marriage as an exclusive union of one man and one woman.


Jack Valero


“It is invigorating to see young people from all over Europe concerned with giving good messages, to make people happy about life, society, and all the issues that come up in different countries.”

Jack Valero is an international speaker and media coach, and is the coordinator and co-founder of Catholic Voices, UK. He is also Press Officer for Opus Dei in the UK. In 2006 he coordinated, with Austen Ivereigh, the Da Vinci CodeResponse Group, a team of Catholics who made themselves available to the media in the run-up to the controversial film of the same name.


George Rukhadze


“This is a great project. … It helps young people become more professional and effective as civil activists.”

George Rukhadze is an active foreign and security policy speaker in the Georgian and international media. After serving as the head of world news at IMEDI TV (2004-2007), he continued as the director of the international office for the Christian Democratic Party of Georgia (CDM) being responsible for the party’s foreign policy and international relations.


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