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CSV deputy Paul Galles, pictured, was elected for the first time in the central constituency in the 2018 Luxembourg legislative elections
Self-styled changemaker and coordinator of the Young Caritas volunteering programme, Paul Galles is the newest face to join the CSV in parliament.
He stood for the first time in the 2018 legislative elections and was elected in the central constituency with an impressive 16,942 votes, just 268 fewer than seasoned politician Laurent Mosar.
“I guess that my social commitment for the poor and the weak and that my work with youngsters (to motivate them to commit themselves for disadvantaged people) is a big reason for people’s trust,” Galles told Delano on Monday.
The 45-year-old, who has a doctorate in theology from the Papal Gregorian University in Rome, has worked on a number of innovative projects with the catholic church in Luxembourg and in the Vatican, among them the “pimp my church” initiative. He coordinates Young Caritas Luxembourg and Young Caritas in Europe, a programme to motivate young people and create opportunities for them to show solidarity in action.
In 2016, Galles was recognised for his efforts and awarded the European citizen’s prize for his work in mobilising young people to help integrate refugees and migrants, through things like the “living library”, where refugees told their stories in schools.
He said the insights these experiences gave him into society’s problems led him to believe much of the changes needed can be made through political measures.
“That’s why I decided to bring my social motivation into politics. And I want to help to develop new ways of citizen’s participation,” he said, adding that he strongly believes it is possible to forge a society based on solidarity in Luxembourg.
Galles stepped outside of the social sector and into the world of politics for the first time in 2017, when he ran in the communal elections and won a place on the Ville de Luxembourg local authority. This year marked his first foray into national politics, however. Galles said he was largely helped by his mentor, CSV lead candidate Claude Wiseler, who he described as a “very wise, sincere, intelligent and determined person. I feel that he deserves more than this difficult situation.”
The CSV lost two seats in the 2018 elections, reducing their presence in parliament from 23 to 21 seats.