One of the curiosities of an ELDR Congress is that the debate on policy that really matters takes place in working groups which, at breakneck speed, consider resolutions and amendments to them.
So, in an hour this morning, delegates recommended for adoption policies on LGBTI rights – the ‘I’ stands for intersex – global digital freedom, a more effective European Union and freedom of movement for same-sex couples across the EU.
In addition, working parties were set up to agree competing policies on fundamental European rights and on fighting the 2014 European elections.
But the most lively debate was reserved for a proposal to create a fully pan-European ELDR Party, which called for ELDR to support groups in countries or regions without an existing member party. The Centrepartiet delegate from Sweden was opposed to the idea, and a representative from the militant bureaucrat wing of the Liberal Democrats questioned the financial viability of funding offices to support nascent political groups from the outside.
The counter argument, that only a pan-European political party could nourish the emergence of new liberal groupings, was strongly put, however, with the Austrians first to make that case.
It was, after more points from both viewpoints, agreed that the matter should be referred to the ELDR Bureau to carry out a viability study before reporting back to a future ELDR Council meeting.
The final resolution before lunch was in support of European Commission proposals on the Transeuropean Transport Network, something that calls for significant infrastructure investment.
So, only an hour and a half left to cover tax policy, the sovereign debt crisis, the Future of the Economic and Monetary Union, protection of birds, recognition of the Palestinian State, Syria, youth unemployment and the EU budget for 2014-2020. Should be a piece of cake…
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