How would you like to find out more about Federal International Relations Committee?

Last week, I was less than entirely complimentary about FIRC. This week, perhaps I should try to be more… helpful. So, having raised the question of communication, and being fairly confident that the Committee’s Chair and Secretary may look in on the comments, here’s an opportunity for you to make some suggestions as to how we, as a Committee, might engage with you all.

First, though, here’s an excerpt from the Federal Constitution, just to make it clear what we do, and what we do not…

There shall be a Federal International Relations Committee (“FIRC”) which shall be responsible to the Federal Board for:

(a) generally managing the Party’s relationships with like-minded parties and individuals in other countries and international institutions, including managing the Party’s relations with the European and international organisations of which the Party is a member and the Party’s participation in their meetings and events;

(b) overseeing the Party’s relationship with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and projects arising therefrom;

(c) advising the Party, including the Parliamentary Parties as set out in Article 16, on European and international policy;

(d) advising the Party on campaigning for European Parliament elections and other organisational matters which relate to the Party’s international work;

(e) co-ordinating the work of internationally-minded organisations within the framework of the Party; and

(f) overseeing the organisation and provision of training for like-minded parties and individuals outside the UK.

This is what the Party’s website says about us, which conveniently includes a table explaining how the Committee is structured in terms of membership, albeit without a list of names.

And now, an outline of the possible limitations as to what is possible;

  1. we have an International Officer, but her primary role is to fulfil part (f) of our constitutional obligations.
  2. our Secretary is a volunteer, juggling his current commitments alongside the rest of his Party activities and his personal life.
  3. there is very little money, as the Party’s priority is, not unreasonably, fighting elections, campaigning and ensuring legal compliance.

You see the potential problems.

But, nonetheless, as a Federal Committee of the Party, we ought to do what we can to reach out to you, and finding the most effective way of doing that should be the goal. So, over to you. How could we best reach out to members, given the limited resources available?

* Mark Valladares is a member of the Federal International Relations Committee, whose term in office ends on 31 December 2019.

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4 Comments

  • What would you say have been the Committee’s achievements to date, Mark?

  • Nuff said. 😷

  • Gordon Lishman 5th Jun '18 - 9:05am

    To answer David Raw, the main achievements have been (1) the work through the Westminster Foundation to help develop liberal parties in new democracies; (2) specifically, the development and support of the Council of Asian Liberals &
    Democrats and then the African Liberal Network, both of which have made a significant contribution to promoting liberalism; (3) offering a (UK social liberal) alternative to German ordo-economics in both ALDE and LI, which is important both in new democracies and among established parties; and (4) helping the development of a stronger ALDE with a wider membership.

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