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.

The mood is likely to be a reflective one. Whilst liberal parties did well in Benelux and the Nordic countries, results were little short of catastrophic in the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy, and the defection of Romania’s National Liberal Party (PNL) to the European People’s Party was a further blow to morale. In short, ALDE is in transition, and talk is of challenging populist forces across the continent by offering a positive vision for Europe, one of reform and focus on creating a smarter, more effective Europe.

So, instead of a theme resolution on a core subject, there will be a theme debate on ‘Reclaiming Liberalism’, with an opportunity for delegates to influence the future direction of European liberalism. What will a European liberal party look like when the British and Germans, key players for so long, are less influential than ever? Will the emerging liberal parties of Eastern and Central Europe point the way towards a more social liberal or economic liberal platform?

Elsewhere, there will be debates on a common defence policy (unlikely to be agreed), on how to deal with the ‘Russia problem’ (delicately, I suspect), on regulation of the digital economy and on tax havens and possible strategies for developing greater transparency amongst multinationals. One of the more interesting resolutions is one concerning the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which came into force on 1 August this year.

What else is on the agenda? There are elections for two Vice-Presidents, with candidates from Austria, Ireland and the Netherlands, as well as the unopposed election of Roman Jakic, the former Slovene Minister of Defence, as Treasurer for his third and final term (if successful). The fringe sees opportunities to discuss the digital economy, the future of environmentally sustainable industry, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the interaction between freedom and data protection, the latter interestingly sponsored by Microsoft.

I’ll be reporting from Lisbon as time permits, and hopefully keeping you up to date with events there.

Photo of sailing on the Tagus river, Lisbon by Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Europe / International.
Advert

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarVenetia Caine 14th Aug - 11:49am
    I've asked before, but have not had a response. But I wish you would ensure that when your posts appear under your name on Facebook,...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 14th Aug - 11:48am
    Cllr Jonny Tepp Couldnt agree more it is technically feasible brown field sites and existing housing land where proerties are no longer fit for purpose...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 14th Aug - 11:47am
    Peter Hirst: Like they did not expect us to abolish tuition fees
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 14th Aug - 11:47am
    Innocent Bystander Now that Miliband then Corbyn have taken all those voters back and scared all the “right leaning LibDems” into voting Tory the LibDems...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 14th Aug - 11:44am
    We need a range of radical clear policies that sound interesting to the electorate such as land value taxation, abolition of SATS and that property...
  • User AvatarMike Drew 14th Aug - 11:39am
    The reason why we were able to build so many houses after WW2 wa because we had so many demopped soldiers and industry did not...