Tag Archives: ALDE

Catherine Bearder MEP writes…Nominate a hard-working local activist or councillor for a Europe leader award

I am encouraging Lib Dem members to help me nominate a hard-working local activist or councillor for the Europe-wide Local Leader award.

Last year I was delighted when two of my nominations, Andrew Nesbitt from Scotland and David Tutt from Eastbourne made it through to the final round. I was hugely proud that David went on to win the prize for “Achievement in Government”.  I know that we have lots of talented people working hard on their communities, so do let me know so I can nominate them.

The Liberal group in Europe (ALDE) are offering a variety of awards for exceptional local representatives of European liberal parties. The award categories on offer are:

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Baroness Ros Scott writes…Up for the new challenge

Liberals from across Europe have been meeting in Budapest for the annual Congress of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe,  including a sizeable delegation of Lib Dems led by Party President Sal Brinton.

ALDE has 55 member parties from across the continent,  49 members of the European Parliament, 5  European Commissioners and 7 Prime Ministers. There’s also a local government group in the shape of Committee of the Regions, and a network of Liberal Mayors.

A recent decision to trial an individual membership scheme has gone from strength to strength, with over 1,500 joining up already.

On Saturday, after a intense campaign, I was lucky enough, and honoured, to be elected as one of the new Vice-Presidents of ALDE,  which means serving as a member of governing body, the Bureau.

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

The race for the ALDE Presidency – and why it might matter

Four years of an ALDE Party led by Sir Graham Watson is nearly at an end and, following his announcement in Oslo in May that he would not be seeking a third term, one might not be surprised to hear that the campaign started almost before he sat down. I for one was lobbied by a potential candidate at the reception that followed and, since then, two candidates have emerged to contest the succession. So, who will the Liberal Democrat delegation, which represents 12% of the votes to be cast, have to decide between?

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

ALDE Congress – feedback needed before Thursday

Belinda Brooks-Gordon represents the East of England on the ALDE Congress. She’s asked us to share the report she gave out to members in her region. Please note the looming deadline of this Thursday for amendments to motions to be discussed at the Congress in November.

ALDE Report

The post of President and five, possibly six Vice-Presidents are to be voted on at the ALDE Congress in Budapest from 19th – 21st November.  ALDE is now the fourth group in the European Parliament, and unable to do accomplish as much as it was able to do when it was the third party (don’t we just know how that feels in Westminster too). The new President certainly has their work cut out.

I was delighted at a briefing for the ALDE representatives and meet a candidate for ALDE Bureau President Hans van Baalen MEP as he laid out his vision. A prominent liberal, Hans spoke of the value of a joint action on sanctions to deal with international threats and of co-operation between liberal parties in the forthcoming referendum, Hans said he and his party VVD of the Netherlands would be helping with the LibDemFightback: “It is vital that we stick together to bring Liberalism together as a force.”

Baroness Ros Scott selected for VP of ALDE Bureau

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@ALDEParty Council – mourning our losses in the bosom of our family and friends

I was the first of our delegation to reach Oslo, having concluded that there was little I could practically do to help at home by then and, arriving at the venue for the Friday evening fringe meeting, I was braced for the questions. “What went wrong? What will happen now? Who will be the new leader?”. And yes, I expected some sympathy, although the offer of political asylum in Norway was unexpectedly kind.

Perhaps, just perhaps, opening the event with a debate on the future of Liberal Europe was just a little too raw given events at home, but I did take the opportunity to ask the panel the question, “My political party has just suffered a near-death experience. What single piece of advice would you give me?”. The answer, rebuild from the floor. Rebuild your branch structure, develop some clear, liberal messages, give your members and activists something to believe in and campaign for.

Posted in Europe / International and News | 3 Comments

ALDE Party Council preview: remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue…

Whilst most of you will either be at your count (and good luck to you all!) or sitting in front of a television set or a computer watching the results come in, your correspondent will be in a hotel room in Oslo. Yes, it’s time once again for liberals from across Europe to gather and tell the British how sorry they are for the result/share the love and tell us things will get better/express surprise at how well we did (delete as appropriate). And despite exhaustion and uncertainty, a small, depleted and wholly male delegation will be there to fly the Liberal Democrat flag.

So, what are we there for, apart from the joy of discovering that a second mortgage is required to buy a beer?

Council will be opened with a speech from the Prime Minister of Norway… who isn’t a member of our host party, Venstre, but is leader of the Conservative Party. That said, the ruling minority coalition of the Conservatives and the Progress Party has a confidence and supply arrangement with Venstre and the Christian Democrats in the Storting to ensure its survival (and you thought that British politics was complex?).

The agenda for Council itself is unlikely to generate much excitement, although the membership application from the Liberal Party of Gibraltar is a welcome one, especially given their performance in the European Parliamentary election last year (the Liberal Democrat list – Gibraltar is part of the South West England region – gained 66% of the vote). There will also be a rationalisation of the Slovenes, as three of the five member parties there are expected to disaffiliate (they have, effectively, ceased to exist).

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Two Liberal Democrats win European awards

Its awards season at the moment and last week the focus shifted to Europe where the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe held its annual LeaDeR (Liberal Democrat Regional and Local Politicians) Awards. Two British Liberal Democrats were successful.

David TuttThe first was Cllr David Tutt, Lib Dem group leader of East Sussex County Council and leader of Eastbourne Borough Council who had been nominated for the Achievements in Government prize by MEP Catherine Bearder. He won for:

…his visible leadership in having put core liberal values of innovation, forward-thinking and opportunity into action in transforming what was officially the worst Council in the south-east of England into one widely recognised as among the very best in the country.

Catherine explained why she nominated David:

David has worked tirelessly in Eastbourne to ensure the town continues to go from strength to strength and when I heard about the awards I was delighted to put David’s name forward as I know the huge impact his work is having on the Eastbourne community.

 David is now a winner, just as he’s made Eastbourne a winner.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSILVIO 14th Feb - 1:59pm
    The road to getting a second chance with voters who punished the party so badly at the Election is going to be so much harder...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 14th Feb - 1:32pm
    Hi Stuart I agree with you there. Like you, I don't think you can interpret the AV referendum as a vote in support of FPTP....
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 14th Feb - 1:30pm
    Hi Lorenzo I take your point about coalition. Thanks for the encouragement!
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 14th Feb - 1:25pm
    The trouble with the trade argument is that it's all based on guesswork and therefore seen as scaremongering. We need a positive case for a...
  • User AvatarRsf7 14th Feb - 1:25pm
    A very brave and bold policy. I'm actually amazed. That's four things that jump out at me in the run up to the Scottish elections...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 14th Feb - 1:20pm
    Great article, Mark! We have to ask who we are fighting back against. If it's the electorate, that won't get us anywhere.