Tag Archives: ALDE

Nigel, was there something you forgot to do?

Nigel farage photo by norbert1As the net migration figures come out today, Nigel Farage has never been far from a tv camera. He’s been on the BBC News Channel. on the Daily Politics, spreading his ill-informed nonsense that we have an open door to half a billion people as if the entirety of Europe was going to pack up and come here to live.

It must have slipped his mind that he was supposed to be in Strasbourg this morning, voting down the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. He must have also forgotten to take part in the debate on the motion on Monday. The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope.  UKIP MEPs don’t often trouble the Parliament with their presence, but you would think that Farage would have bothered to turn up to support his own motion! He and others including France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen had wasted Parliament’s time with the motion which was roundly defeated this morning.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt spoke against it in the debate and he didn’t mince his words:

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Opinion: ALDE Party Council: Bouncing Czechs, “which Slovenes are the liberals?”*, and a prospective rise in the price of cod…

Whilst you might not have guessed it from those manifestos you read from candidates for places on the Party’s ALDE Council delegation, the policy debates were still in our future when Council made an early start on Friday morning.Our task was a straightforward one, debate changes to the constitution, including a revision of the membership structure, authorise the creation of a business club, consider six membership applications, receive and approve the 2015 budget and debate the report of the Bureau… in two hours (English Council, please note).

The constitutional changes were adopted, although there were concerns over the apparent absence of a code of conduct for fundraising. Luckily, a helpful British member of the Financial Advisory Committee was on hand to both reassure and clarify the position – there is one, it was available for circulation, and it could be applied to the proposed business club, a means for corporate sponsors to fund events without directly funding a political party’s campaigning activities.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 9 Comments

ALDE gather in Lisbon: setting sail for a new, more liberal world?

Sailing in Lisbon by Pedro Ribeiro SimõesOnce again, liberals from across the European Union and beyond gather this week for the Annual Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE). And whilst Portugal might not be the most obvious place, given the absence of a liberal party in Portuguese politics for some years now, the emergence of the Earth Party as a serious contender – it won two seats (out of twenty-one) in this year’s European Parliament election – makes Portugal an interesting place to be.

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ALDE sets sail for a new world from a old port

image aldeThe Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) have confirmed that they will be holding their next Annual Congress in Lisbon, Portugal, a country not known for its liberal politics in recent years.

However, as part of ALDE’s efforts to encourage the growth of liberal forces across the continent, links with a new group in Portuguese politics, Nos Ciadados (We Citizens) have been established, and it is hoped that, by meeting in Lisbon, that those links might be strengthened and nurtured.

In the light of the recent European Parliamentary election results, …

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Antony Hook asks… Juncker nominated as next President of the European Commission – What happens next?

EU flagToday the European Council nominated Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next President of the European Commission. The heads of government of the 28 states voted overwhelmingly for Juncker. Only the UK’s David Cameron (European Conservatives and Reformists) and Hungary’s Viktor Orban (European People’s Party) voted against.

Juncker’s nomination reflects not only the European People’s Party’s status as largest group in the Parliament but also that it supplies more of the states’ heads of government than any other party. The Council’s nominee will go before the Parliament in its plenary, 14-17 …

photo by: rockcohen
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Opinion: What’s going on in Brussels? Political groupings in the European Parliament

European Parliament chamber, StrasbourgFollowing on from my post last week on post-election developments in Brussels, here’s the first of two updates. Today’s will focus on developments concerning the formation of political groups in the Parliament itself whilst tomorrow’s will address issues regarding nominations to the European Commission.

Political parties have until tomorrow, June 24th to form their European Parliamentary groups. In order to qualify as a group, you not only need at least 25 MEPs but these must be drawn from at least 7 EU countries represented in the Parliament.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 24 Comments

What’s going on in the European Parliament this week?

European FlagDebates between the political parties in the European Parliament to form the all-important political groups, on which depends importance Committee places and speaking rights, continue in Brussels this week.

The Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Group, in which the UK’s Lib Dem MEP Catherine Bearder sits, is continuing negotiations with liberal-minded parties either newly elected to the European Parliament or no longer content with their existing groups.

It is now unlikely that ALDE will remain the third largest group in Strasbourg-based Parliament as the European Conservatives

photo by: rockcohen
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@ALDEParty Council preview – “How was it for you?”

image aldeIt seems like mere weeks since the last Council meeting of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE), when optimism was in the air – admittedly helped by the presence of our Austrian hosts on that occasion, who were running an unashamedly pro-European campaign. Sadly, just six weeks later, delegates from across Europe gather in Brussels under rather less cheery circumstances.

The decimation of the British, German and Italian member parties in the European Parliament, plus the defection of the Romanians to the European People’s Party following merger with …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 24 Comments

European elections: vote Conservative, get Liberal?

election day 2014It’s polling day here and, indeed, in the Netherlands, as four days of voting for the European Parliament kick off. And, just possibly, whilst the Liberal Democrats are predicted to suffer losses here in the United Kingdom, the groundwork for the appointment of a liberal as President of the European Commission might be being prepared.

Christopher Flores, writing in the EU Observer, explains how;

Should a left coalition be blocked, the left will likely rally around one candidate in hopes of salvaging the loss of the Parliament by being able

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ALDE Party Council – seeing double in the city of intrigue and sachertorte

SachertorteIt is perhaps appropriate that, given the much-anticipated (at least by our enemies) fate of Liberal Democrats on 22 May, the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Party Council meets in Vienna, the city where Orson Welles set ‘The Third Man’, in which Harry Lime gave the impression of being dead, only to be killed in the end anyway.

However, this month’s European Parliamentary elections represent the raison d’être of any pan-European political party, and so liberals from across the European Union are working to ensure the strongest possible representation …

photo by: Jen SFO-BCN
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#SelfEU: the way to win a day with ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt*

Guy VerhofstadtYes, the #selfEU is actually a thing, as ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt promotes his campaign to become the next President of the European Commission:

THE ONE AND ONLY “SELF-EU” CONTEST
It’s simple, just send us an EU selfie or a #selfEU, and you could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.

The EU is about more than rules and regulations. Show us your favourite thing about the EU. Did you just board an airplane on a cheap flight, cross a border without having to use your passport or change currencies, or

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Opinion: It’s official – Lib Dems are “most successful and influential” in Europe

Europe Day - European Union - Some rights reserved by Niccolò CarantiAhead of the second EU debate between Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage this evening, a timely new report has found that Liberal Democrats are the most influential British party in the European Parliament.

The analysis of MEPs’ voting records from VoteWatch Europe over the past five years by think tank Policy Network, finds that Liberal Democrats are the “most successful coalition partner” in the European Parliament and “have played a central role in policy-making in both Westminster and Brussels.”

As …

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ALDE 2014 – it’s just like being in a movie

aldeIn any half decent action movie, you have to have a vaguely credible, if unlikely, hero, a stereotypically evil, well-resourced opponent, and some sort of desirable outcome. For example, a mild mannered archaeologist or museum curator, the Nazis and the retrieval of some mystic artefact.

In ‘Indiana Clegg and the Temple of Federalism’, the outcome is the selection of the right Liberal candidate for President of the European Commission, and the opponent is Guy Verhofstadt, a former Prime Minister of Belgium and current leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament. The hero? You decide…

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2014 – the year of an election the media might miss

This year starts with media attention turning towards European elections in the Spring, and will end with the political parties cranking through the gears in anticipation of a General Election. In between, though, there are two elections that matter, one in Brussels (or, in an interesting turn of events, Athens), one in the Liberal Democrats, each of which will serve as a marker towards future events.

First, the European one. After the European elections, the European Council will vote, using qualified majority voting and bearing in mind the results of the elections, for a nominee to become the new President of …

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2013 @ALDEParty Congress: a manifesto is born

ALDE has become the first of the European political parties to release its manifesto for next year’s European elections.

As ALDE Party President, Sir Graham Watson notes;

This manifesto is a departure from the norm – it has been forged in the heat of the crisis Europe has been weathering for a number of years now. I am pleased that it demands a stronger union to serve our interests while calling for a cutback in top-heavy, unnecessary and costly bureaucracy. A stronger, simpler union is what we all want and need and that is what our manifesto delivers. It is a solid

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Nick Clegg backs Olli Rehn as ALDE European Commission Presidential candidate

Nick Clegg yesterday backed Olli Rehn, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs to become the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission in next year’s European Elections.

One of fourteen ALDE leaders to have co-signed a letter nominating Olli Rehn as their candidate, he said;

I am delighted to nominate Olli Rehn to be the ALDE Presidential candidate. He is the perfect man for the job, and will be a powerful advocate for the liberal cause. I know Olli will help us build a stronger economy

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ALDE to select candidate for president of the European Commission

The ALDE Party has called an extraordinary Electoral Congress to advise the ALDE Party Bureau to choose a candidate for the President of the European Commission. This congress will take place in the afternoon of the 1st February 2014, in Brussels. Liberal Democrats are the biggest delegation with the total of sixty-two votes.

There are only two declared candidates so far, Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, and former Prime Minister of Belgium, and Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission, and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, a key portfolio over the past …

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Liberals launch new European network for LGBT rights

Giles Goodall at ALDELast weekend, over a thousand European liberals met in London for the annual ALDE congress, hosted by the Lib Dems and opened by Nick Clegg. The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe – the European family of liberal parties – became the first to adopt their joint manifesto for next May’s elections to the European Parliament.

But a second historic event took place at the congress: the launch of a new European liberal campaign for LGBT rights: Liberals for Equality. LGBT rights are human rights, …

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2013 @ALDEParty Congress: the election results

On Saturday afternoon, despite some technical difficulties with the election equipment, Returning Officers Daniel Obst (FDP, Germany) and Mark Valladares (Liberal Democrats, UK) were able to announce the winners of the two contests as follows:

President

  • Sir Graham Watson MEP (Liberal Democrats, UK) – 377 votes (91%)

Vice-Presidents

  • Lousewies van der Laan (D66, Netherlands) – 389 votes (98%)
  • Marc Guerrero i Tarragó (Convergencia, Catalonia) – 378 votes (95%)
  • Olle Schmidt MEP (Folkpartiet, Sweden) – 348 votes (87%)
  • Karin Riis-Jørgensen (Venstre, Denmark) – 339 votes (85%)
  • Alexander Graf Lambsdorff MEP (FDP, Germany) –

Posted in Europe / International and News | 3 Comments

@ALDEParty Congress: writing a manifesto for Europe

So, a bit like the Eurovision Song Contest, but possibly with better tunes, liberals from as far afield as Armenia and Catalonia, Finland and Cyprus are gathered to debate the draft manifesto.

The draft is founded on four key themes;

  • creating jobs and opportunities – free trade agreements, stimulating SMEs and e-commerce
  • setting new priorities – redirecting spending towards increasing jobs and improving lives, cutting administrative budgets and the Common Agricultural Policy, and ensuring healthy public finances
  • stronger in the world and safer at home – a common asylum and refugee policy, strengthening EU agencies and cooperation to fight organised crime, pooling and sharing

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

@ALDEParty Congress: Council, the contractual obligation album?

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the Annual Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, or ALDE for short. The Congress, which was officially opened yesterday evening, continues until Saturday.

As at many similar events, scheduling anything for 9 a.m. tends to signify a less exciting part of the business or, for the more cynical, things that the leadership hope to sneak through relatively unnoticed. ALDE Council meetings tend to into the former category… And yet, because most, if not all, of the key figures are present, it offers an opportunity to see how Bureau candidates perform …

Posted in Europe / International and News | 1 Comment

@ALDEParty Congress: meet (most of) the Vice-Presidential candidates *updated*

Welcome to Liberal Democrat Voice’s coverage of the Annual Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe, or ALDE for short. The Congress, which was officially opened yesterday evening, continues until Saturday.

In the run-up to next year’s European elections, the role of ALDE in leading the Europe-wide campaign is a key one, and so it was no surprise to see a high quality list of candidates for Vice-Presidential positions on the 2014/15 Bureau, which will be elected tomorrow. And because the Liberal Democrats represent about 15% of the entire electorate, six of the seven candidates put in an …

Posted in Europe / International and News | 4 Comments

Sir Graham Watson MEP writes…Welcoming ALDE Party Congress to London

This week the Liberal Democrats are playing host to the wider European Liberal family – the ALDE Party’s big annual congress, which is taking place in London on today, Friday and Saturday.

Over 900 Liberals from across the EU and beyond will gather in Canary Wharf to draw up the common manifesto for the 2014 European Parliament elections and consider nominees for the Liberal candidate for European Commission President.

The European Liberal family includes three current Prime Ministers: Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, Andris Ansip of Estonia and Alenka Bratušek of Slovenia, and they will soon be joined by Xavier Bettel in …

Posted in Op-eds | 9 Comments

Will Lib Dem councillors miss out on this year’s LeaDeRs Awards?

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Local and Regional Liberal Politicians Awards, LeaDeRs, organised by the ALDE Group in the EU’s Committee of the Regions has been extended until 10 October, to allow members of those parties in Europe (such as the Lib Dems) who have been tied up with party conferences, or in other cases, election campaigns.

Open to Liberal Democrats from across Europe, nominations have so far been received for work carried out by local councillors from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Estonia, and Latvia. Others from France and Spain are on their way.

Previous winners include Paul Scriven, …

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ALDE Party Congress needs you!

What is the ALDE Party?

It is an alliance of Liberals and Democrats across Europe consisting of more than 50 member parties, Liberal Democrats in the UK being the largest.

What is ALDE Party Congress?

ALDE is arranging their annual party congress in Canary Wharf, London this year. The theme of the Congress is creating a European Manifesto. The ALDE Party Congress is the biggest annual event gathering Liberals across Europe:

  • over 650 members of liberal parties from around the continent;
  • top politicians including Prime Ministers, European Commissioners, Ministers, Members of the European and national Parliaments, Members of the Committee of the Regions, and many

Posted in Conference, Europe / International and News | 6 Comments

The LeaDeRs Awards 2013 have been launched!

The ALDE Group in the EU’s Committee of the Regions has launched the third edition of the awards for key liberal democrat players at the level of subnational governments (regional and local). Open to liberal democrats from across Europe, previous winners include Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield City Council (2008-2011) for Achievement in Government at Local Level, awarded in 2010. This year’s awards ceremony will be held on 4 December in Brussels.

Both the national board of ALDE member parties as well as their local party branches can submit nominations of persons who are considered to be suitable candidates for such …

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LibLink…Sophie in’t Veld and Guy Verhofstadt: Europe must get tough with the US over NSA spying revelations

ALDE MEPs Sophie in’t Veld and Guy Verhofstadt pull no punches in an article in the Guardian about the US spying revelations, saying that Europe has only itself to blame for treating the US with awe to the extent that it was bound to start taking liberties:

The truth is that for too long, the EU and its member states have been prioritising cosy relations with the US over the interests of their own citizens. The spying scandal will now put Europe to the test. It must show that it is both willing and able to protect the rights of European

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Sarah Ludford writes …Creating EU Data Protection rules that safeguard both privacy and jobs

As those who read this LibDem Voice article by Peter Bradwell of Open Rights group will know, I am currently the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) group ‘shadow rapporteur’ on the draft EU Data Protection Regulation in the European Parliament.

I was not originally expecting to play a major role on this particular piece of legislation. But when my German FDP colleague Alexander Alvaro unfortunately suffered a serious car accident in February, the ALDE group appointed me as his interim replacement. I unwisely promised a response to Peter’s article ‘soon’! – but the last few months of negotiations have been very demanding. The new Regulation, unlike …

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ALDE Party Congress venue for 2013 announced… welcome to London!

The Liberal Democrats are proud to announce the hosting of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Congress in London at the end of November this year.

The ALDE Party Congress is the biggest annual event gathering Liberals across Europe:

  • over 650 members of liberal parties from around the continent;
  • top politicians including Prime Ministers, European Commissioners, Ministers, Members of the European and national Parliaments, Members of the Committee of the Regions, and many other delegates
  • an event with European visibility, acknowledging the role of the supporting party within both a European and the national political context
  • topical debates, high level speeches and

Posted in Europe / International, Events and News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

ALDE Party Council: “The sun lounger can wait, Brad, there are only twelve months to save Europe!”

From Yerevan and Lisbon, from Mariehamn and Palermo they came, not necessarily to put the world to rights immediately, but to at least organise the processes by which it might happen.

Ah yes, process – not an obvious reason to come to Pula, in Istria on the Adriatic coast of Croatia, I admit, but that was what brought European liberals together for the Spring meeting of the Council of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE). The promise of warm sun, blue sky and crystal clear waters couldn’t have had an influence, surely?

There were two key issues to …

Posted in Europe / International and News | 10 Comments
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  • User AvatarAmalric 28th Nov - 3:09am
    @ Richard Dean Thank you for pointing out my error - 260,000 is for 12 months not 6 (I seem to be making quite a...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 28th Nov - 2:24am
    Malc Just about as many people as had heard of James Graham and Mark Thompson when they left the party and we posted about both...
  • User AvatarMike Drew 28th Nov - 12:59am
    Mr Wallace is that the only reason you decide to vote for a party? If it is so important to you I think you would...
  • User AvatarRoss 28th Nov - 12:36am
    RESPONSE TO CHRIS B - PART 2 OF 2 Okay guys, the size and frequency of my posts is a bit large, so I will...
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 28th Nov - 12:15am
    @Stuart: first of all, this guy is not a Lib Dem. Second, as the anti-immigration crowd so often like to say, just because we disagree...
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 28th Nov - 12:13am
    The problem with the immigration debate is simple: "the UK has problems; the UK has immigration; the UK must, therefore, have problems due to immigration."...