This year's ALDE Congress took place at the Convention Center in Dublin, Ireland from Thursday 2 to Saturday 4 June. The Congress provided an opportunity for delegates; Prime Ministers, Members of the European Parliament, Members of Parliament and Policy Advisors to come together to discuss and discuss today's political challenges for Europe and the world.
We look back at a successful weekend. On Thursday evening, Malik Azmani, Faction Leader of the VVD at the European Parliament and First Vice-President of Renew Europe, gave a strong opening speech at the reception on Thursday evening. His speech was about the urgent need for a strong and united Europe. In addition, he warmly welcomed the delegates from Ukraine and emphasized our support.
Furthermore, with the Rainbow Platform, of which the VVD is a co-founder, the Dublin Declaration has been signed for more LGBTQ+ representation in politics. On behalf of the VVD, Lennart Salemink (Delegation Leader), Roelien Kamminga (Member of Parliament), and Joost Dijkshoorn (Policy Advisor) signed the Dublin Declaration for LGBTQ+ representation in Europe. Before signing the declaration, Lennart gave a speech in which he told a story that was very close to his heart. In his speech, he underlined why it is important to have role models in politics in order to avoid people from feeling different and excluded.
Additionally, the ALDE Party Congress hosted a series of high-level debates in which liberal leaders addressed some of the most important challenges of our time. The first debate, called “Powering Europe into the future: towards a sustainable, secure, and independent system” addressed the future of Europe’s energy supply in the context of the climate emergency and the war in Ukraine. In the second debate, titled “War in Ukraine - European security and migration challenges”, panellists discussed the consequences of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine from different perspectives. The last debate, named “Politically engaged liberal women – the biggest fear of autocratic regimes”, explored the role of politically active women in opposing autocratic regimes and advancing liberal democracy. The panel discussions were of high quality in which liberal priorities for the future of Europe were reflected and debated upon.
The Congress, also, gave the opportunity to elect a new President and five Vice-Presidents. For the first time, the ALDE party opted for a co-presidency. Congratulations to Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP (MRF, Bulgaria) and Senator Timmy Dooley (Fianna Fáil, Ireland) who won the ALDE Party Bureau elections and became Co-Presidents. We would also like to congratulate Deputy Mayor of the 2nd district of Budapest Dániel Berg (Momentum, Hungary), Baroness Sal Brinton (Liberal Democrats, United Kingdom), Svenja Hahn MEP (FDP, Germany), Holos Party Leader Kira Rudik (Holos, Ukraine), and Annelou van Egmond (D66, The Netherlands) who have been elected as Vice-Presidents.
In the Council meeting, the delegates welcomed 4 new full members and 1 affiliate member, among other things. We are happy to welcome Centar (Croatia), Iniciativa Liberal (Portugal), Lelo 2020 (Georgia), and Sluha Narodu - servant of the people - the party founded by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Ukraine), as full members and Girchi - More Freedom (Georgia) as an affiliate member of ALDE Party.
Last but not least, we considered the legacy of Hans van Baalen. To commemorate his legacy, together with Hans' wife Ineke and son Robert, we handed out the first Hans van Baalen medal to Ukrainian President Zelensky. The medal was well received by the Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna.
In sum, our team has worked hard behind the scenes to secure the organization with the VVD delegation and ALDE.
We look back on a successful event and are excited about the future and we are thrilled to move forward together and strengthen liberal unity in Europe!