From our Correspondent in Barcelona – the ELDR Congress previewed

Yesterday saw the opening of this year’s ELDR (European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) Congress, which will see a galaxy of European Liberal Prime Ministers, EU Commissioners, party leaders and officials, as well as your correspondent, converge on the Hilton Diagonal Mar hotel in Barcelona.

The theme of the Congress is ‘economic liberalism after the financial crisis’ and it is hoped that this will be an opportunity to develop a wider sense of the key themes of European liberal values and principles. And with Nellie Kroes, the scourge of the UK banking sector and Commissioner for Competition, taking part in a debate entitled “Kick-starting Europe’s economy”, it is unlikely to be dull.

There will be plenty of UK input too. Lord Tope will be taking part in a seminar on “How liberal parties succeed at the local level” on the Wednesday, and Thursday sees a panel discussion chaired by Centre Forum’s Alasdair Murray entitled “Can Europe build a new global financial order?”. ELDR Vice President Sharon Bowles MEP will be prominent too, chairing the theme resolution working group.

With keynote speeches from Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Group Leader in the European Parliament, Hans van Baalen, the newly-elected President of Liberal International, and Pat Cox, the former President of the European Parliament, debates on health care and energy and, best of all, elections for members of the ELDR Bureau, it looks like a busy, but entertaining three days.

* Mark Valladares blogs at Liberal Bureaucracy.

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This entry was posted in Europe / International.
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