Tag Archives: ALDE party

Tonight! Join online for the kick-off of the “Renew Europe Now” Platform campaign!

This evening, at 6 p.m., the ALDE Party and other members of the “Renew Europe Now” platform kick-off their European Campaign, and you can watch from the comfort of your own home…

  • Hear from inspiring Liberal leaders from around the EU like Prime Ministers Alexander De Croo, Kaja Kallas, European Commisioners Margrethe Vestager, Věra Jourová, Thierry Breton, Didier Reynders and Kadri Simson and other speakers.
  • Meet the Renew Europe Platform lead candidates from ALDE Party, Renaissance and EDP, and find out their plan for Europe.
  • Discover the next wave of Liberal leaders who will fight against the artisans of European

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

ALDE Party Council – give ‘em the old razzle dazzle…

Escaping Storm Babet, albeit not by much, Thursday saw me heading to the Paris of the East, and capital of Romania, Bucharest. After the various travelling calamities that befell the delegation to Stockholm in June, I wasn’t taking any chances on arriving on the day of the meeting, and reached my destination to find the sun shining and the temperature pleasantly warm. Perhaps it was a good omen…

In truth, the most controversial item on the agenda was always going to be the urgency resolution on the situation in Israel and Palestine, given that European liberals have quite divergent views on who is to blame and what should be done. However, our delegation leader, and Chair of Federal International Relations Committee, David Chalmers, had decided that the best way forward was to draft something which might attract majority support in advance and, after some discussion amongst our delegation, with valued input from our Parliamentary Foreign Affairs team, we had been able to circulate something to our sister parties that, I thought, had a real chance of success.

Posted in Europe / International | 8 Comments

Making a difference for LGBTI+ communities across Europe

On 12 October two young members of the LGBTI+ community, university student and bartender Matus Horvath and visual merchandiser Juras Vankulic – were shot dead outside ‘Teplaren’, one of Bratislava’s two LGBTI+ bars. The killer, the son of a local far-right politician, who later shot himself, had before the shootings published online a white suprematist manifesto, expressing his wish to carry out further attacks on different groups.

The killings took place in Slovakia, a country which for months had witnessed increasing lies and insults from Slovakian politicians and the Catholic Church aimed at the LGBTI+ community, whipping up the atmosphere of hatred against them – an atmosphere that had been nurtured for years by politicians in power and in Parliament. Slovakia is one of the few countries in the Europe that still does not give any legal recognition to same-sex relationships.

Last Friday evening, during the ALDE Council meeting in Bratislava, delegates from liberal and democrat parties from across Europe gathered outside Teplaren bar to remember the terrible events of that night – we laid white roses, lit candles and filed past in silence – this was not the time for big speeches, rather quiet reflection. The photos of the two young victims stared out from the darkened windows of the bar, which to them like many other young people had come to be seen as a refuge – a home and a haven – in a country which systematically rages against them.

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ALDE Party Council – so many thoughts, so little time…

It was grey and dank as I strode briskly through the quiet morning streets of Bratislava en route to one of those modern, efficient hotels that are so much a feature of European city centres these days. I was a man on a mission, eager to contribute my knowledge and wisdom to the cause of European liberalism. And then I arrived at the ALDE Party Council meeting…

In fairness, the meeting started with a tribute to our fallen colleague, Robert Woodthorpe Browne, with contributions from the co-Presidents, Ilhan Kyuchyuk and Timmy Dooley, Phil Bennion (Chair of our Federal International Relations Committee) and Manfred Eisenbach, who likened his friendship with Robert to that of Stadler and Waldorf from the Muppet Show.

Posted in Europe / International and News | 1 Comment

@ALDEParty Council to meet in Bratislava – the preview

And so, once again this year, I find myself heading for Bratislava, this time as a member of the Party’s delegation to the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party Council meeting which takes place on Saturday morning. Here’s what’s on the agenda…

Preparations for the 2024 European Elections

A tricky, and somewhat painful, agenda item for us, given that we won’t be fighting them and don’t have a vote on the manifesto, but work is underway on designing the campaign, drafting a Europe-wide message and building stronger links with non-ALDE members of the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament. Our position as a European nation which doesn’t have any formal arrangement with the European Union, nor ambitions to join, does leave us a bit like a small boy with his nose against the outside of the shop window.

Finance

The Commission is being difficult about receipts from third countries (for example, us), and there are suggestions that our rights within the ALDE Party are in jeopardy. Indeed, the key European Regulation 1141/2014 does offer challenges in terms of having non-EU member parties. But it does seem strange that the Commission would discourage participation from EEA states (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), Schengen micro-states such as Andorra, or even candidate nations such as Bosnia-Hercegovina or Moldova.

I would expect quite a lot of horse trading before this resolves itself, but we will continue to make the case for wider inclusivity within all European political families.

Posted in Europe / International | 1 Comment

Want to represent the Liberal Democrats and influence international politics? Read on…

The ALDE Party and Liberal International both hold their next Congresses in June and their committees will face re-election. Accordingly, Federal International Relations Committee (FIRC) is seeking potential candidates to serve on these committees.

Closing date: 15 March

The following opportunities are available to Liberal Democrat members;

ALDE Party Bureau

This is the political leadership of the ALDE Party, and most, but not all, current Bureau members have parliamentary experience. A high level of political experience, preferably with a European dimension, is an advantage. If nominated, the candidate will take part in an election where the electorate will consist of the delegates to the …

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ALDE Party Council – the view from the cheap seats…

Billed as the first meaningful opportunity for European liberals to meet in person since the pandemic started, approximately one hundred delegates and senior figures gathered at the Westin Excelsior hotel in Rome to scrutinise the work of the Bureau and to make decisions about the running and finances of the ALDE parry, along with half as many again online. The British delegation was split fifty-fifty, with five delegates in Rome, and five scattered around England and Wales, including me.

The event started with a speech from Sandro Gozi, the Secretary General of the …

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ALDE Party Council preview – Rome(o), Rome(o), wherefore art thou, Rome(o)…

Holding any international meeting in a time of plague is a challenge, but when the rules are in such a state of flux as has been caused by the Omicron variant, there is a sense that you might be better staying at home. But, despite the requires for tests, passports and all the associated hassle, at least some of the party’s delegation to ALDE Party Council will be travelling to Rome for meetings on Friday and Saturday. It is a hybrid meeting so, for those of us who, for various reasons, can’t or won’t travel, it will be another series of sessions in front of laptops or PCs.

The key matters of business are;

  • finance – the 2022 budget is to be adopted
  • membership – we have two applications from parties in Georgia and Lithuania
  • urgency resolutions
  • the future of the ALDE Individual Members group

One of the joys of state funding is a degree of predictability, and the fact that the ALDE Party receives most of its income via a direct grant from the European Commission does make for a rather less fraught financial position than is the case for British political parties. All of the European political groupings are funded in the same way, with strict limits on corporate and individual donations, and as funding has become more generous in recent years, it enables more Europe-wide campaigning, albeit restricted to the confines of the European Union.

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ALDE Party eCouncil – a comfortable seat, a nice cup of tea and a cast of hundreds…

Friday morning and, for those of us that aren’t naturally early risers, the hour time difference between Brussels, the nerve centre of the ALDE Party, and the United Kingdom was the cause of a slightly hurried morning routine for your correspondent.

First, there was a rather sad piece of business, as the Congress was asked to make a decision on how to proceed following the sad demise of Party President Hans van Baalen. There had been some consultation as to whether or not a by-election should take place to fill the vacancy, amidst rumours that a candidate was already “working the room”, and our delegation had concluded, having read the Statutes, that it should wait until the regular Autumn Congress, on the basis that the post would have been up for election then anyway.

We apparently weren’t alone, as Congress voted pretty overwhelmingly to postpone, leaving the senior Vice Presidents, Senator Timmy Dooley from Fianna Fáil and Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP from the Bulgarian Movement for Rights and Freedom, to act as joint President for the time being.

Posted in Europe / International | 1 Comment

Slow progress in women’s access to politics in Europe, ALDE Party study finds

Following the launch of The Alliance Of Her on 8 March, a new research report published by the ALDE Party in collaboration with the European Liberal Forum and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation highlights the experiences of European liberal women in politics.

In Europe, women’s political representation has increased significantly in the last decade. Currently, the region accounts for the highest number of women in elected office worldwide. However, while some progress has been made, achieving gender equality seems to be going forward at a snail’s pace. Men continue to outnumber women in elected positions and those measures which perhaps have made a difference when it comes to parity, have done little to improve how women are valued as political leaders and actors.

In other words, while we celebrate the increase in number of women elected to political office in Europe, women are still more likely to be undermined in every stage of their political journey as compared to their male counterparts.

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ALDE Party Congress – Boris Johnson’s best friend speaks…

Even for those whose interest in, and knowledge of, European politics is limited, the identity of the Prime Minister of Luxembourg recently became rather better known after a recent intervention in the Brexit debate.

Xavier Bettel is here in Athens, and was one of the speakers at the opening of the Congress. Here’s what he had to say…

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

ALDE Party Council meets in celebration in Zurich

There was a celebratory mood at the Council meeting of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in Zurich at the weekend. The May European elections sent a record 108 ALDE Party MEPs to the European Parliament, a cohort largely boosted by Emmanuel Macron’s MPs from France and Britain’s own Liberal Democrats plus Naomi Long from the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland. Under pressure from the French (who have a problem with the word “Liberal”, because of its economic neo-liberal resonance), the parliamentary group is renaming itself Renew Europe, but …

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8 May 2019 – today’s press releases (or not, as the case may be)

Given that this column has been somewhat erratic of late, there was a danger that you might have thought, “Ah, Mark’s forgotten to do this again.”. But I haven’t. I understand that the Press Team have been pretty busy today, but that hasn’t manifested itself in a press release.

However, we do have one story that might be of interest to you given what’s coming up…

The ALDE Party has rather subverted the contest to be the President of the European Commission, the so-called Spitzenkandidate process, by announcing a team of prominent European liberals, rather than just one person, to lead the …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged | 8 Comments
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