ALDE Party Council preview – rewriting the rules, but not in triplicate…

Yes, it’s that time once again, when liberals gather from across Europe to renew old acquaintances, make policy and debate the burning issues of the day. Hang on, wrong introduction, that’s the one I meant to write for the Congress taking place alongside it.

It is fair to say that the Council meeting isn’t as exciting, focussing as it does on rule changes and membership applications.

First, the rule changes. There have been some concerns expressed that the way that individual parties are represented in the ALDE Party is not as fair as it might be. Accordingly, a small group of crack diplomats has been assigned the task of coming up with a new system. Needless to say, it combines a complexity that makes it hard to explain with a lack of salience to our readers that makes trying to do so fairly futile. I’ll give you a summary though…

The new system rewards successful parties and national influence, whilst rebalancing the membership dues system to ease the burden on small parties from small countries, something that, as a member of the Financial Advisory Committee, I had attempted to do a few years ago. Obviously, I support that. Whether or not the new allocations of Council and Congress delegates achieves the stated aim is another matter.

The impact of the reforms on the Liberal Democrats is that we gain one Council delegate (from 6 to 7), but lose a Congress delegate (from 36 to 35).

There are new membership applications from the Union of Democrats and Independents, France and the Liberal Democrat Party of Macedonia, the latter applying for Affiliate membership. The French are already part of the ALDE family at European Parliamentary level, but were previously part of the European Democrat Party. They bring with them two members of the European Parliament, twenty-eight members of the National Assembly and forty Senators.

We’ve lost Italia dei Valori, sadly, and NMSS, Bulgaria, although not much had been seen of either lately. The loss of an Italian member party is much regretted, but it does seem that there is little impetus for the emergence of a liberal voice in Italian politics currently. Perhaps that will change after the referendum on 4 December…

* Mark Valladares is Secretary to the Party’s International Relations Committee, and a delegate to the ALDE Party Council and Congress, which starts on 1 December in Warsaw.

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One Comment

  • Andrew Martin 30th Nov '16 - 5:20pm

    The UDI are currently suspending members who have announced their support for the Emmanuel Macron instead of the socially conservative hard right François Fillon. I hope they will be questioned on this.

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