Category Archives: Europe / International

Anything to do with European / international issues

Brexit Resolution: statement from Catherine Bearder MEP

Yesterday the European Parliament voted in favour of a Resolution to allow Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

Both the Commission and Parliament have now recommended to the European Council that progress has been made in the three key areas: on citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and the financial settlement.

This Resolution is the last piece in the puzzle to allowing the Brexit talks to progress to the next stage.

It effectively moves the UK one step further away from a disastrous “no deal” situation which would risk thousands

Also posted in Europe Referendum | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Bitter sweet: ALDE Congress in Amsterdam

I have mixed feelings as I come back from my third ALDE Congress (Alliance of Liberal and Democratic parties across Europe), this time in Amsterdam, one of the most liberal cities in the world. It’s energising to spend time with liberals from across Europe, and the largest Congress yet of 1500 people, knowing that we share values of openness, internationalism and environmentalism. Some countries are so liberal like the Netherlands and Finland, that they even have two liberal parties!

There was sad news that the UK representative on the ALDE party bureau, Baroness Ros Scott was not reelected to her position as Vice Chair. Colleagues from other parties like the FDP (Free Democratic Party) in Germany commiserated and said ALDE should look for ways to continue to collaborate with the UK. This is wise considering a sizeable proportion of the resolutions for voting and discussion by the congress were well-informed and well-drafted by the UK delegation on a range of issues from Iran and Myanmar to LGBT rights, and the Balfour Declaration.

The reoccurring theme in the conference debates focused on how we, as liberals, can combat populism and illiberal voices. Xavier Bettel, PM of Luxembourg (one of 5 liberal PMs in the EU and my favourite) said that we need to fight for our values every day. We should speak to the majority, engage with people who hold different views from us, talking about real issues that matter to people and think in dreams not fear.

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 6 Comments

@ALDEParty Congress: Days 2 and 3 – the end, in more ways than one…

The count had taken place, the results were known. All that was left was to announce them, and that was the point where Congress went wrong for the Liberal Democrats.

In a shock result, Ros Scott was unsuccessful in her quest to be re-elected. It was an outcome that nobody had expected, with the exception of the candidate herself, leaving the ALDE Party Bureau without a British member for the first time in living memory.

Jonathan Fryer, blogging after the event, suggested that;

…it looks as if Brexit was a factor, for which Theresa

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@ALDEParty Congress – Day 2: preparing for a manifesto you may never use…

It was a foggy morning in Amsterdam, dark and damp, the sort of day that makes you want to just pull the covers back over you and go back to sleep. But it was also election day, and with our own candidate in the field, sleep wasn’t an option.

The Congress agenda was dominated by a number of plenary sessions, on the future of European internet policy, on mobility, on the future of work and on agriculture policy, all of which might be seen as laying the groundwork for developing the manifesto.

In truth, …

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@ALDEParty Congress 2017 – day 1… a beauty contest in the city of tulips

It was dark, and cold… and far too early. But there was a delegation meeting at 8 a.m., and attendance was compulsory, so I dragged myself out of bed, and was in the right place, somewhere in the vast complex that is the RAI Congress Centre on the south side of Amsterdam. There was much to discuss.

Firstly, there was a delegation to organise, and jobs to assign. For someone has to be responsible for ensuring that our view on each of the resolutions was heard, that our decision on how to vote …

Also posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

ALDE Party Congress – the Brexit resolution…

At the end of the week, liberals from across Europe come to Amsterdam to meet, debate policies, attend fringe meetings and elect new members of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) Party’s Bureau. There’ll be approximately one hundred Liberal Democrats present, and Liberal Democrat Voice will be covering events as usual.

Our coverage this year starts with a review of the resolutions to be considered, and it will come as no surprise that one of the subjects for debate is Brexit, and that’s where we’ll start.

It might surprise readers to …

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Debating Europe from first principles – a new force in Romanian politics

Sometimes, opportunities come along unexpectedly, and when, two weeks ago, the opportunity to go to Timişoara came along, I grabbed at the chance, without really stopping to consider what I might find when I got there. And Eastern Europe does, beyond the classic cities such as Budapest and Prague, have a bit of an image problem given the effects of war and communism on the architectural heritage.

I was there because a new Românian political party, the Uniunea Salvați România (Save România Union), was hosting a conference entitled “The Future of Europe is …

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Recent Comments

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    Well done to all involved, great results. I had a look into the "Something New" party and it looks like they are getting old. The...
  • User AvatarMartin 15th Dec - 1:00pm
    In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which,...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 15th Dec - 12:52pm
    I have a feeling this was going to be a much longer article but was thwarted by the 500 word limit. However it is certainly...
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