“Small is not beautiful in politics” – Why liberals must unite

The European Liberal Democrats, the ALDE Party, have elected a new president, Hans van Baalen, a Member of the European Parliament and Honorary President of Liberal International. Van Baalen hails from the liberal VVD Party in the Netherlands. Rounding off our series of Liberal Breakfasts FNF and the ALDE Party hosted an intimate breakfast discussion with Van Baalen to find out how he wants to run his term as the “hands-on” president, the slogan he brandished during his campaign.

In his introductory remarks van Baalen made IMG_9034clear that he saw his role as ALDE Party president much more in the tradition of British party chairmen than as a more political president. As a proverbial chairman he would focus more on bringing European liberals together in celebration of their diversity, rather than forcing uniform positions on European issues. He stressed that he was personally not a fan of labels such as social liberal, market liberal, left-liberal or conservative-liberal. Van Baalen underlined that liberals of all colours share a commitment to civil liberties on the one hand and a free market on the other. As president he will use this basic tenet work to bring liberals together and ensure that regardless of labels they work together for a more liberal Europe. Continue reading

Liberal Breakfast: Hands on – How can Liberals unite?

Baalen
Source: ALDE Party

Wednesday, 9 December 2015
8.00 – 9.30

Venue: ALDE Party, Rue d’Idalie 11, 1050 Brussels

About the event

The European Union is facing a seemingly never-ending list of challenges these days: refugee crisis, terrorism, Euroscepticism, unemployment, energy union and the digital single market are just some of the issues on the agenda.

How will the new ALDE Party Presidency set priorities? What new ways can European Liberals propose to counter the refugee crisis? How do we protect liberal values in the face of calls for increased surveillance and security measures? Continue reading

Poland: The boat has been rocked, but not capsized

The Poles have cast their ballots and the vote has overwhelmingly come out in favor of the opposition national conservative Law & Justice Party (PiS). In parallel to the return of Law & Justice, the liberal-conservative Civic Platform Party of EU Council President Donald Tusk tanked at the polls and now faces a bleak future as the largest opposition party to Law & Justice. Since their erstwhile leader’s departure for Brussels, the party has dropped in the polls and the drop has been further enhanced by marring corruption scandals. Continue reading

Beyond a Europe of economic cooperation towards a Europe of solidarity – Liberal Breakfast with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg

When the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, was a student he spent several months at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Here, he enjoyed jumping into his car at the weekend and exploring his host-country and its neighboring states – only to discover that borders were completely closed down at events such as football games because border guards were busy following the live broadcast. Not to mention the sanitary shower his car had to pass in order to be allowed to drive through the Greek neighborhood. Continue reading

Relaunching Europe? – A midterm review of the Italian EU Presidency

IMG_0391The European Union is currently confronted with numerous challenges that, at least to many of its citizens, seem insurmountable. The slow recovery from the economic crisis, high unemployment rates in large parts of Europe and also the conflict with Russia over Ukraine, to name just a few, render concerted action by the European Union’s member states absolutely necessary. In this context, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union plays a major role. Since July 1st 2014, Italy has held this position and has thus been in charge of brokering inter-institutional compromise between the Commission, Parliament and Council as well as among the member states. Most importantly, the presidency also gives Italy the chance to put issues on the agenda of the Council that it considers to be of primary importance.

Continue reading

Upcoming Event: Liberal Breakfast “Launching the ALDE Gender Equality Network: Promoting gender equality in political life and beyond”

Wednesday, 6 March 2013img_8524
8.00-10.00

In 1999 the Finnish delegates to the ELDR Council launched the idea of establishing a network of European Liberal Women to promote equal opportunities. At the ALDE Party Congress in Dublin in November 2012, the network was renamed and launched as the “ALDE Gender Equality Network” to reflect the wider issue of gender equality.  “ALDE-GEN” campaigns for gender equality and the promotion of women´s rights to ensure full participation as equal partners in economic, social and political life. The speakers will elaborate how more women can be included in politics on all levels and how to strengthen the relationships and sharing of information between liberals across Europe. The panel will be followed by a Q&A session.

For more information and to register, click here.