With support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), liberal parties and think tanks from the Iberian peninsula convened on 14-15 September in Vigo, Galicia for their annual „Iberian Liberal Forum“ (ILF). The conference, which for the first time was supported by FNF, provides a platform for stronger cooperation among the various regional liberal parties in Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar.
„In countries highly divided into a conservative and a socialist camp, liberal ideas have a hard time“, Eduardo Giménez, President of „galidem”, a Galician think tank that hosted this years’ meeting, explained. „Therefore, the different Iberian liberals need to combine forces in order to play a significant role in the political process. This is what the ILF wants to accomplish.”
On behalf of FNF, board member Manfred Richter thus conducted a workshop aiming at more intense cooperation between liberals of different Iberian regions. „Liberal organizations in Spain and Portugal have to increase the interaction among themselves to get their voice heard on a national level“, said Richter. „In the current crisis, liberal ideas are a reasonable alternative to the Iberian mainstream politics. Only the regionalism, that is inherent in Spanish politics in general and within the liberal parties in particular, has to be overcome in order to gain more political weight.“
Besides Manfred Richter’s address, ELDR Vice President Marc Guerrero i Tarragó as well as British LibDem grandee Andrew Duff MEP spoke at the ILF.