‘Ministers’ criminal liability: Italian political justice and United States of Europe

Luigi Trisolino, Italian jurist and writer, European liberal activist, writes about the Italian political justice question and in particular on the ministerial crimes procedure and institutions during the monarchical statutory age; during the first times of the Republican age; and after the important Italian constitutional reform in 1989. Trisolino suggests uniform or coordinated disciplines on this matter, hoping for a European federalist future.

The ministers’ crimes issue is current and important for all. It has a constitutional significance in civil and common law systems. The juridical rules around ministerial crimes represent a public space where the state powers and functions realize their institutional relationships, and so the ministerial crimes represent an important aspect of the form of government. 

The ministerial crimes are the crimes committed by ministers or the President of the Ministers’ Council.

The time is ripe for all EU Member States to realise a frame of EU juridical discipline on political justice and on the criminal liability of those holding governmental positions. We can imagine a federal United States of Europe with an efficient ministerial liability system. In the face of requests for reform of the Italian political justice, we need to know the historical root of ministerial crimes. 

During the Italian age from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of the Republican age in the half of the 20th century, the Senate also had jurisdictional functions. Article 36 of the Albertine Statute stipulated that the Senate was constituted a High Court of Justice by a King’s decree to judge the crimes of high treason and attacks against state security, and to judge the ministers accused from the Chamber of Deputies. The same article stipulated that in these cases the Senate was an apolitical body.

In the Historical Archive of the Senate in Rome, I researched historical sources about the trials of the Albertine High Court of Justice, and I studied documents about the trial of the Minister of Finance Lazzaro Gagliardo with the judgment of the 1898, and the trial of the Minister of Public Instruction Nunzio Nasi, condemned by a sentence of the 1908.

From the beginning of the Italian Republican age in 1948 to the first Constitutional Act of 1989, Article 96 of the Republican Constitution stipulated the ministerial crimes procedure: sanctioning an accusation by Parliament gathered in a common session, and after a judgment in front of the Constitutional Court. 

After the Lockheed scandal of 1977, in which political personalities from Italy, West Germany, Japan and Netherlands were involved and in which there was the sentence of the Constitutional Court against Defense Minister Mario Tanassi for corruption, the times were ripe for a constitutional reform of the political justice and ministerial crimes procedure.

The first Constitutional Act of 1989 rewrote Article 96 of the Republican constitution in the current version and in the same year there was Act number 219 too regarding the ministerial crimes procedure. Article 96 sanctions that, even after they leave the office of President of the Council of Ministers or as a Minister, they are subjected to ordinary jurisdiction for crimes committed during the exercise of their functions, after the authorization by the Senate or the Chamber of Deputies according to the Constitutional law. 

The cases concerning ministers’ crimes in the performance of their institutional functions are heard by an ordinary judge, which in these circumstances has a particular composition. This particular college of judges is called the Tribunal of Ministers. This expression is not present in the normative texts, but it is used for this particular composition. The Tribunal is not a special court, but it qualifies as a specialized section of the ordinary court. It is established at the court of the capital of the district of the Appeal Court competent for the territory, by reason of the place of commission of the ministerial crime.

Now I can speculate about a pragmatic evolution of the European and Italian political justice question, but with a great prudence for the particular delicacy of the borderline between the political system and the judicial system, on this matter.

On the one hand, there is the need to avoid politicization in the strict sense of the judiciary. On the other hand, there is the need to guarantee to all citizens respect for the fundamental principles of the Italian constitution and the inalienable rights of persons without inopportune distinction. There is the need to guarantee a specialised solution about the political justice question and, in particular, about ministerial crimes procedure. There is the need to combine the constitutional respect for the separation of powers with the value of equality between citizens in the criminal trials.

The future for the political justice procedure and in particular for ministerial criminal liability lives in the courage to build and implement a Euro-federal legal discipline in these sensitive matters. This courage is the courage of the liberal and democratic United States of Europe values.

To those who want to deepen some profiles inherent to the Italian political justice question, first of all in the historical perspectives, I suggest reading my two academic essays. The first is titled ‘The High Court of Justice. About the jurisdictional function of the Senate during the statutory age’ and was published in paper 7 of the number 18/2020 of the academic review Historia et ius, and also on www.historiaetius.eu. The second academic essay, titled ‘Perspectives historiques sur la ‘justice politique’: la responsabilité pénale des ministres en Italie’ and was published by Roma Tre Press in a collective work, and is also on the website www.romatrepress.uniroma3.it. This second essay is the result of my academic intervention in France on 26 September 2019 at the Law and Social Sciences Faculty in the University of Poitiers, during a scientific twinning among the jurists from the Roma Tre University and the University of Poitiers.

Luigi Trisolino

A multiexistential ‘par condicio’ for a social and dynamic pan-bourgeoisie

Luigi Trisolino, ALDE International Member from Italy writes about the need to increase -economic system in a new open capitalism, and the need to build federal models 

Public actions on national and local economies cannot go beyond what is necessary. If the ‘invisible hand’ is absent in markets, states cannot alter the complex balance in the markets’ questions and offers.

When markets are composed of some fragile actors, the public hand has to search for the instruments to rebalance the economy. Social inequalities and human/geographical adversities are elements of aprioristic imbalance and economic distortions. The great and old Italian Republican Giorgio La Malfa is remembering Keynes’ lessons about the state’s economic policy.

Contemporaneity needs to stay free from  scientific consciousness about social limits and risks. Socioeconomic considerations cannot remain on the margins during political decision-making processes. This particular consideration must become the heart of economic and political structures. Various new liquid necessities among subjects are the consequence of the super-structural actions, but public rules can create a situation where citizens-customers have the legal power to influence the necessities of production and trade. Only an open liberal democracy can dissolve rust on the capitalistic mechanisms. Subjective and objective elements to change the socioeconomic system are not on the horizon, and the realistic plan for socioeconomic development is according to the real people’s life. Therefore contemporaneous skills can be improved by the way of an effective open capitalism. After Locke’s combination of liberty and property, the new values in combination are liberty and new-personology. Each social personological conception of life that wants to interpret and solve today’s needs cannot renounce freedom. Political, civil and economic freedoms are into the DNA of the new social and pluralistic individualism.

We need to overcome ancient capitalism for a new open and liquid capitalism of socio-personological needs. The capitalism that can flow from the new humanities is the capitalism of shared and equal opportunities. The new, open capitalism of the contemporaneous and liberal rebirth is the system able to go beyond the chains of birth socioeconomic condition. The par condicio system can share human capitals through the cultures, enhancing the differences of ethnic, sexual, religious and philosophical free lifestyles, based on a liquid, new-personological freedom for a holistic-queer-social-class, and for a free social choice building a dynamic and trans-national pan-bourgeoisie.

Federal and trans-continental united states systems are the auspicious international horizons of a new balanced-libertarian and liberal peace. These economic harmonies are the realistic means to commute needs into progressive and general opportunities. Women and men can bring children into the world, if they want, giving to them the perspective to be free and to be different from their socio-economic conditions of origin. Towards a new and different model of a holistic and trans-national pan-bourgeoisie composed of free persons-citizens, people have the social power though liberal and legal opportunities with dynamic lifestyles. In this direction, states and public powers have the rule of new-constitutional guarantors. They can control and maintain the vertical and horizontal subsidiarity of their positive actions in society.

The neutrality of a methodological secularism is the space in which law and humanities can become socialized for all ethnicities, genders and social classes, overcoming the modern concept of social class for a smart wellness society with free, holistic and heterogeneous corpora hominum. This evolutionary perspective needs to be against the tired models of the Soviet communism and to be against Khomeinism too.

Luigi Trisolino

Giorgio Rusconi: “My experience with Covid-19 in Italy”

Giorgio Rusconi, italian ALDE Individual Member, wrote about his double experience with Covid19, as witness and as a volunteer

My name is Giorgio Rusconi. I am 65 years old, retired in May 2019, loving and practicing a lot of sports, preferably outdoor.

As a volunteer of the Italian Red Cross, serving on ambulances twice a week and on ski patrol on snow slopes as well, in the past three months I had the opportunity to be both a witness and a protagonist of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy. I made this introduction because my rescuer activity is almost certainly the cause of my infection.

On Friday 13th March, I got sick with 38° fever and a cough, with a lot of pain in my bones. The day after I called my General Practitioner, receiving a message saying he was unavailable* and suggesting I call the Emergency Medical Service at the local hospital. This second call was diverted to a member of Lombardy Region in charge of the COVID-19 emergency. After about 30 minutes, I finally spoke to an operator who asked me for my information and symptoms, telling me that a doctor would call me back soon. Shortly after, a very kind doctor called me back to confirm my symptoms and to suggest that I take paracetamol to lower the fever and to keep my breathing and lungs under control. My cough disappeared after a few days but the fever never went down, while oximetry continued to be pretty good (SpO2: 95-96).

One week later, a little worried by the fast spreading of the coronavirus in Lombardy, and with my body temperature not coming down, I called the Emergency Service asking to be transported to the emergency room to receive a swab test to check if I had been infected and they agreed to send me an ambulance. Ten minutes later, they called me back warning that the emergency rooms of the local major hospitals were closed because they were overcrowded and I would be diverted far away from home with no certainty that I could be tested as my symptoms were not 100% those of COVID-19. It was a clear invitation to stay at home to take self-care, and not to crowd hospitals further. Thanks to my wife’s pressure, on Sunday I called my cardiologist. He immediately shared my wife’s concern and recommended I go to the hospital the next day.

On the morning of Monday 23rd March, I called the Emergency Service and a Red Cross ambulance with two colleagues of mine came to take me to the Hospital. I was lucky enough to be able to walk on my own and I checked in immediately, while dozens of ambulances carrying patients were queuing outside waiting for free beds.

It wasn’t an easy day that I spent in the ER waiting room. The hall was mixed up, with most chairs replaced by beds and stretchers. As I walked in alone, despite my high fever, I spent all day sitting – and sometimes laying down – on a very uncomfortable chair. I received thorax x-rays and my blood was analysed. Late in the afternoon, it was decided that I had to be hospitalized.

When I was discharged from the hospital two weeks later, I saw my x-rays: bilateral interstitial pneumonia with severe breathing difficulties. I think I was lucky not to have known the results before – I could cope with my fifteen days’ hospitalization more easily and less stressed.

Two months after the first symptoms, I have fully recovered and I’m back again serving the Red Cross.

Giorgio Rusconi

*When I entered the COVID-19 hospital wing, I found out I was to share the room with my General Practitioner who was hospitalised 12 days before me. 

Political absenteeism of youth in Russia

Nikita Lyakhovetskiy is an ALDE Im from Russia.  Political activist from Russia, specialising in International law and International relations. Member of Russian United Democratic Party “Yabloko”, he talks about young people in Russia and their low participation in political things

Political absenteeism is defined as the evasion of voters from voting in elections, or political behavior. Absenteeism can be an indicator of the loss of people’s trust in the political system or interest in political activity. It can pose as a serious threat to the legitimacy of the authorities, resulting in either complete political apathy or extremism.

Generally, there are two types of absenteeism: active and passive. Passive absenteeism is a result of low levels of political culture – as a result of people not understanding the importance of the political process, they tend to renounce taking part in any political activity.

Active absenteeism, on the other hand, is a type of political protest. Active absenteeism takes place when a person, who doesn’t like any of the candidates on the ballot, or disagrees with the question of the referendum, deliberately refuses to vote. The problem with active and passive absenteeism is that it is impossible to determine how many people refused to vote due to their political views and how many due to the lack of understanding of the political process. And politicians use this problem, to claim that all the people who didn’t vote, are, in fact, their supporters. For example, famous Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, after being denied access on ballot during last presidential elections, called for a boycott and afterward claimed that the majority of the people who didn’t vote were his supporters. He is planning on using the same strategy during the upcoming constitutional amendments vote.

Development of society depends on the participation of the young generation. Young people have enormous innovative potential, which is the source of current and future changes in public life. The increasing role of young people in society is a natural tendency, which is becoming more clear nowadays, in the era of globalization and interconnectedness.

Opposition parties in Russia are creating different ways to get the youth involved. For example Russian liberal Yabloko Party ran a  “Make Your Voice Louder!” campaign calling citizens of Russia to join the  party so that to make their voice heard in defending their rights and making the government change their policies. Grigory Yavlinsky called on all Russian citizens to participate in politics and join Yabloko, because the approaching domestic political crisis represents a rare moment when a mass party can change the fate of a country.  After this call, hundreds of people all over Russia joined  Yabloko, including renowned academics and human rights activists.

But not only the opposition is trying to involve the youth, the government is also seeking for a variety of methods of youth involvement in politics. State parties and public organizations connected to the government have increased their work with the young electorate. First, it was the creation of youth organizations under the patronage of the presidential administration. Then they ran a parliamentary school, which was in fact, just a way to get youth to work with United Russia – the ruling party, and a bunch of youth forums, which were closely tied to the ruling party as well.

These examples prove the hard work of the government to involve youth in politic life and why this is so important, but the problem will not disappear if the causes were not fixed. So what are the reasons that prevent young people from participating? Firstly, this is a low educational level. Statistics prove that people without college experience show lower interest in this sphere of life than students with college experience. Secondly, distrust of the government. It is expressed in distrust of certain power structures, specific officials, state and municipal institutions. It can lead to the total disregard of the election. most of the young people do not believe that their voice will make any changes. They think that the results of an election are already known in advance.

Most countries have to deal with absenteeism and look for different ways to overcome it. For example, the introductions of a mandatory vote, that is, the legal duty of voters to participate in voting. It is used in Italy, Australia, Belgium, Greece, Turkey.

Politics is not considered important or even remotely interesting by many young people, they think it is just a group of old people sitting in the parliaments and writing laws, but the thing they do not understand is, that those laws politicians write, those decisions politicians make, are directly affecting everyone’s daily life. It matters of war and peace, that politicians are up to decide, and if the youth is not going to choose the right representatives, the views, progressive ideas shared by most of the young people will not be represented during the lawmaking process, and thus the decisions made, will not be progressive, but are likely to be rather conservative.

Nikita Lyakhovetskiy

Populism in modern day Russia

Nikita Lyakhovetskiy is an ALDE Im from Russia.  Political activist from Russia, specialising in International law and International relations. Member of Russian United Democratic Party “Yabloko”, he talks about populism in Russia.

Most often populism is understood as actions of politicians, who for the sake of gaining or preserving power promise to easily solve the problems which are recognized by the citizens as the most serious, as well as create an artificial social conflict between the so-called majority and another social group e.g. the ‘elites’, or  for example “enemies of the state” or “agents of the US” which is a common rhetoric among Russian state owned propaganda programs, referred to the liberal opposition.

Fulfilling the said promises is not so easy, so the populists in power tend to divert the public attention by making other promises, or deepening the artificially created social conflicts, as well as create the so called “besieged fortress effect” so loved by Vladimir Putin. It’s core idea is that people won’t be paying enough attention to political sphere, when they feel scared of  enemies both inside or outside the country. That’s why for Putin’s system it is vital to be in a conflict military or political, in order to “unite” the citizens in the face of this artificially created danger.

Putin’s invention is the anti-negative populism. This is a populism of one who is in power, however it requires very few resources. At first negative expectations are created, and then, of course by the good will of authorities and Mr. Putin, they are not being implemented, or are significantly reduced, which leads to approval rising for them.
Since the economy is in the decline, compared with the 2000s the government has to create positive news related to it, as well as implement the “good king – bad boyars” formula, when the government officials are blamed for all the problems, this includes even demonstrative punishments of corrupt officials, whilst Putin is shown as the good and caring Father of the Nation.

Populism is far from harmless because it leads to degradation of political elites and civic society, encourages prejudices and phobias, promotes ideas of national exclusivity and superiority.
But in the state where populism became a part of national ideology opposition is no exception. Many political forces who oppose or say that they oppose Putin use the similar rhetoric or approach, just on a smaller scale.
First there are parties of the Crimean consensus. These are the only three parties, apart from Putin’s United Russia,  represented in Russian State Duma – they support Putin’s military operations, as well as agree with him on major political issues. United Russia has an overwhelming majority, big enough to pass any bill they desire, so the parliamentary “opposition” which in reality is rather loyal to the regime, and controlled by it, can make any promises they want. As they have little to no chance of gaining a majority, they tend to make unrealistic, but appealing to the general public, promises, as there is no chance of them being in the position, where they would be able to bring any of them to life.
Lack of democratic institutions and transfers of power, is the best environment for populism, which in itself leads to further degradation of political institutes, as well as harms civic society.  What’s more worrying, is that some non-systemic opposition politicians and parties tend to use populist rhetoric and methods as well.

A great example of this is one of the prominent opposition leaders – Alexey Navalny. One of his characteristic features is constant changing of political views as well as allies – liberals, then nationalists, leftists. He tries to appeal and work with everyone, no matter their political views or positions. Navalny is using a common anti-elite populist method, of creating division, anyone who is not with him is labeled as pro-Putin, with no exception. He creates this two polar world, where there are only two main players – him and Putin, and no one else. He is not seeking alliance, only obedient supporters, who have to agree with him. And his political program has no scientific basis, but is filled with slogans and unrealistic promises.

So, What should be the liberal answer to the growth of populism? In the world of post-truth, where facts are way less significant than appeals to emotions and personal beliefs, social liberalism must counter populism with responsible politics.
Firstly we should focus on the grassroots level,  taking part in local elections, referendums and public hearings, as well as helping out people on the local level. This would increase the social capital, as well as help the formation of civic activists – environment that is hostile to populism.
Secondly – organize civic control over the authorities, ensuring their transparency and increasing public discussion of their actions.
And thirdly – create and help building up independent media sources, to break through the wall of state – propaganda.

ALDE IM’s Steering Committee candidates: Gregory Rump, Susanne Wunderer and Diana Severati

Starting from September 4th we will have ALDE individual memberd Steering Comittee elections. So, as usual we present all candidates and their motivations. Fourth  round with Gregory Rump, Susanne Wunderer and Diana Severati

Gregory Rump

I am an engineer and entrepreneur and been living in Switzerland for the last 15 years. Throughout my life I lived and worked in various countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, plus others outside Europe. Having seen different systems and societies throughout my life, I understand the value of freedom and liberty, and highly value the European Project based on our Values that include a free society, a free economy and the importance of the environment. Today this European project is at a crossroad: we need to revive it and have it sustainably anchored in the 21st century for us and for future generations: Diversity, Freedom and Environment all over the continent.

My family roots come from across various nations of Europe (France, Germany, Luxembourg). Being fully quadrilingual (French, Germany, English, Italian plus some basics of others) and having lived in different countries inside and outside Europe, I understand and cherish differences in societies, systems and cultures and know how to empathize with these. Europe needs to be an inclusive project for everyone and not a project for a select few, I intend the ALDE Individual Members to be a beacon for all Europeans showcasing the European Values and European Democracy that fits all cultures and all backgrounds. I will not be able to do this alone, but only with all Individual Members across the Continent. Together we will continue to work for the European Dream.

Thank you for your support and vote.

Susanne Wunderer

I am the hands-on type of person and ALDE Individual Members (AIM) have never needed hands-on mentality more desparately than nowadays. Coming from the electronic industry, where I had the opportunity to gain international and leadership-experience as a CEO, I initiated a grassroots movement during my maternity leave and came in touch with politics. From thereon, I have been working in politics as a staff member, I know all levels of political work – from municipal to regional, national and international. I worked in parliaments, was part of a parlamentarian investigation commission and developed and ran several campaigns. Currently I am self-employed in the field of public affairs.

There is a lot of potential in the AIM, but it has not been exploited so far. After its foundation in 2014 and a period of consolidation, it now needs to develop AIM to the next level. I offer all my professional and political experience to bring AIM ahead. Let‘s roll up our sleeves!

Diana Severati

My name is Diana Severati, European and Italian, I was born in Milan and now I live in Rome.
I joined ALDE IM almost 4 years ago, I attended 3 Congresses (Warsaw, Amsterdam and Madrid) and various ALDE IMs event like the ones in Nice, Visegrad and Vienna. I have been coordinator for Central Italy for 1 year and a half. I am one of the IMd delegates at the upcoming congress in Athens. I am also a member of the National Assembly of +Europa, an ALDE PArty member.
I work in the Finance area of an insurance company and I am also in charge of communication and social media for a nonprofit organization, with a focus on UN SDGs, and a crowdfunding trainer and consultant. I have an academic background in economics with a specialization in economic decisions and corporate social responsibility and sustainability.

I’ve been a member of AIESEC, a student run organization founded in 1948, after World War II, by seven students from different European countries with the dream of building cross-cultural understanding across nations and to change the world, one person and one internship at a time. As a member of that organization in the late ‘90s I had the opportunity to participate to some meetings organized by UNOPS , UNDP and Italian Cooperation for some decentralized cooperation programs like the Pdhl Cuba and Tunisia and I have participated to the pre-meeting of the Geneva Conference held in the International conferences hall at the Italian Foreign Affair Ministry and I was also involved in the organization of the selections of the candidates for the development internships for the Prodere and Prodesco programs.
I think that sustainanility and the Europe-Africa cooperation together with a focus on the Mediterranean area and Southern Italy are key issues for the European agenda.
I have decided to take a new challenge and to run for the upcoming SC elections because I would be more involved with IMs and I am commited to contribute to shape the ALDE Individual Members policy, to strenghten our role through a reform of AIMs and to make our community heard.

ALDE IM’s Steering Committee candidates: Richard Retezi and Yves Robert

Starting from September 4th we will have ALDE individual members Steering Comittee elections. So, as usual we present all candidates and their motivations. Third round with Richard Retezi  and Yves Robert 

Richard Retezi

I would like to apply in order to reform the Steering Committee and have a strong and politically active representation of the Individual Members. Also as a Hungarian applicant and a member of Momentum, I would like to have yet another entity that strongly focuses on and emphasizes the need of restoring the rule of law in the EU.

Even though it’s a concern of all EU member states (as well as on a global scale), I’m coming from a state within the EU where I have seen the demolition of rule of law, the rise of populism, governmental control over the media, among many other. I’m protesting and fighting against this system for 7 years now, and I want to represent and strongly articulate these grave topics within the Individual members and support ALDE in its fight against the populists and help it truly to Renew Europe. For me, it would be a great honor and possibility to talk about these issues, use my expertise (as an economist) and work together with all the AIMs to help form an effective political strategy and political communication with ALDE’s core values of equality, protection of rule of law and civil rights in its center. Thank you for considering voting for me. 

Yves Robert

We are all aware that with the development of the number of our Members, we must evolve our organization. At the Congress in Madrid, after presenting my White Paper to the SC privately, and then at the meeting of the Coordinators, the SC asked me to create and lead a working group on the organisation of IMS in order to make it stronger, more visible and anchored within the ALDE Party

23 members from 12 countries responded to this call. Last December they received a 12-pages questionnaire. Last February a first synthesis was send, later a new consultation and a new synthesis. This summary was to be used as a presentation in Berlin, in Brussels where I met the members of the SC and about forty individual members. Finally late August meeting have been held in Stuttgart to finalize the document before forwarding it to the working group so that they can give their opinions and vote.

After the vote this document will be presented to the SC and the Party in order to advertise it to the IMs for the vote at the General Assembly in Athens.  My application to SC is to implement and monitor these new rules. You can count on me to finish the job. Together with new rules we will be stronger.

In my brief but exciting time as a member of the SC, I have not only reasserted my commitment to the IMs but also my motivation to continue pushing forward. We have achieved much these past few years, but we keep growing and that calls for a new and improved strategy.

 

Alde IM’s steering committee candidates: Pascal Jacobs and Silvia Fernandez

Starting from September 4th we will have ALDE individual members Steering Comittee elections. So, as usual we get to know candidates and their motivations. Second round with Pascal jacobs and Silvia Fernandez.

Pascal Jacobs

Dear Individual Members. The last couple of years, I have served as a country coordinator in The Netherlands. Amongst others, I organised the Maastricht Conference.  Apart from the fact that we had a great time, I also experienced that there are only limited political activities or possibilities to voice our opinion and to have influence on both national and European levels. So we need to add more political value for every individual member.

In my view AIM should act as a truly liberal movement, in all countries known and recognised. A movement where enthusiastic members discuss and act together. Where they have fun, are heard and have influence. Let’s not only focus on internal resolutions at the Alde party Congress, but also on what we think our Renew Europe politicians should say. Let us send letters to the Polish government on their attitudes towards the LGBTQ community, to Boris Johnson on Brexit et cetera. Let’s first formulate together our AIM-stories, standpoints and visions and then bring it to the public.

To make this happen, we need to strengthen our internal goals and procedures. But we also need improved internal and external marketing and communications. With your vote and support I can use my professional experience as a pr & communication specialist to make AIM strong and visible. I love to take the lead on this topic within the steering committee and build a pan-European team of pr-minded enthusiasts and campaigners to let AIM grow and prosper.

Silvia Fernandez

As a member of a new SC, I would like to see three key points follow through: firstly, to develop a new and more effective communication plan between the SC and the members – especially with the coordinators. I believe coordinators should have a wider set of tools available to them in order to ensure a greater engagement with the members in their respective countries. Secondly, I believe it’s paramount to empower all individuals and strengthen our position within the ALDE Party, from the grassroots. This, and in line with my previous point, would mean a closer cooperation with the Party.

And finally, I find equally as important to have different members from different countries and nationalities to participate more actively in all of our democratic and electoral processes. Diversity makes us stronger – let’s promote it!

I have always considered the IMs a very special pan-European platform with an immense potential. An outlet, for those liberals who want to be included in European politics and have a say in issues that matter to them, to us. For this, it will continue to be an honour and a privilege to represent your best interests. ‘

 

ALDE IM’s steering committee candidates: Timothy Asotie and Sven Gossel

Starting from September 4th we will have ALDE individual memberdsSteering Comittee elections. So, as usual we get to know candidates and their motivations. First round with Timothy Asotie and Sven Gossel

Timothy Asotie

I believe the Individual Members have more to give if they are well prepared and mobilized with more political channels to transmit their voices across Europe. The fact is, Alde Individual Members are the mouthpiece to help Alde Party realize and fulfill her political goals and values. The IMs are the definition of Liberalism and Democracy, and they promote socio-cultural integration for political transparency and accountability. The IMs are channeling their voices towards building a society with fair and equal value, human rights and violence-free communities for economic enhancement/growth.

For continuity and for a stronger force of agitation, I would love to serve Alde Individual Members for the following reasons:

1) to help build stronger communication and relationship between Alde Party and the Individual Members, by making the IMs the center-focus in Alde Party policymaking.

2) to project IMs goals and objectives during the Steering Committee decision-making process, policy formulation, and enactment for the benefit and promotion of the Individual Members.

3) to work dearly with Steering Committee Members in building stronger and advance political platforms to promote human rights and keep fighting for what Alde represent; “liberalism and democracy”.

4) I will encourage the Steering Committee to build a relationship and collaborate with the IMs national coordinators to promote Alde values in their various country. This will help to strengthen the fight for a united Europe, equality, freedom of speech/choice, and above all, help to fight against political totalitarianism across Europe.

5) I will never forget and will keep in touch with Alde Individual Members about Alde political movement and political events. And I will encourage the Individual Members to always attend Alde events and participate in political issues/matters in our various countries.

Permit me to say this, the IMS need more force and I will support to create that energy and motivation in making IMs a success. “together we can achieve more”.

Sven Gossel

Europe is at crossroads. With Donald Trump in the West, Vladimir Putin in the East, Brexit in the North and dying migrants in the South, the continent faces real and present challenges. China represents both economical growth and a threat to freedoms Europe stands for ever-since the turmoil of the second world war. The Middle East needs answers, facing a secondary conflict of super powers in-between regional interests towards nuclear weapons of a region we all depend on as to energy resources.

The European Union has to move forward now, to mitigate these developments, moreover, to catalyze from those for a better future of all our continent. May it be by fighting climate change, by tackling poverty in Africa or central Asia, by standing together for free trade, or protecting and ensuring our civil rights and economical success.

Alde Individual Members do have a strong say in this, but need to express it much better, much more efficiently, with confidence and trustworthiness. With my current foothold in foreign policy, within all EU infrastructure and our digital life, I feel extremely well positioned to work for the Individual Members in our every favor: to improve the standing of the Alde IM family towards the Alde party, to contribute in a teamwork with other members of the Steering Committee to make our membership growing and improve and integrate our organization into the programmatic and political work of a truly liberal European party. We are Europe, and we’ve gotta show it.

ALDE Council and Congress Delegates elections: Get to know candidates/4

From July 3rd  we’ll have congress and council delegate elections: as usual, we gave  candidates the chance to present themselves. Here we are a new  slot with three council candidates: Marie-Catherine Meyer,   Silvia Fernandez, Yves Robert  and one congress candidate,  Anja Fabiani

Why are you running as a candidate?

Marie-Catherine Meyer As a delegate I see my function as a double role: On the one hand it is very important to inform the IMs thoroughly and continuously about the decisions of the Council and the Congress and their justifications. And in the other direction: We need to do a field trip. Communication must go both ways. I have a wide-ranging experience: In addition to my membership in the FDP and the functions I have fulfilled there for many years – Local chairwoman FDP, Speaker for LGBT – I am strongly involved in En Marche Allemagne-Autriche, which is an excellent prerequisite for cooperation with the La Renaissance List. Some weeks ago, I had the pleasure to meet Dominique Riquet, who is now Vice president of renew Europe. In 2014 I was an EU candidate for the district of Düsseldorf and did the campaign on my own. Je suis une femme de terrain. „Woman of the field.”   I am a bridge builder, my dual citizenship has trained me in dialogue. Privately. Professionally. Politically.

Silvia Fernandez. I always say that the IMs are dear to my heart. They have always represented an outlet for many Europeans whose liberal ideas and thirst for equality, justice, solidarity and openness drives them to politics. The IMs are a very special platform that strives for the diversity of nationalities and cultures across Europe with, what I believe, is an immense potential, inside and outside of ALDE party.  We are currently living during a very big transformative moment, in both the European Parliament, and our Liberal family. And the Council is set to be one of the crucial parts in the process of finally forging this new alliance. Thus I would love to represent the IMs best interests and fundamental rights in the Council. I believe that as our membership grows, our voice and power should too. So I would like to help advance our agenda, and make sure we have real influence in the essential and structural matters – especially those that could affect us all in any way. 

Yves Robert  Today, IMs lack visibility within the Council’s bodies. We must rise to the challenge and work towards more recognition. As a Former Government Advisor, Special Advisor to Prime Minister, Advisor to Minister of Foreign Affairs, former European Programme Director, IM’s Coordinator for France, initiator of the White Paper for an IM’s reform, I believe I have the experience to represent you on the Council so that, together, we can build the future.

Anja Fabiani: First and foremost, because I am the only candidate from Eastern Europe / Western Balkan, which is a very strange situation, showing this part of Europe is left behind and I have addressed this topic by my engagement at Visegrad 8 Group in the frame of ALDE IMs.

Name one initiative or proposal you would like to see endorsed by the ALDE Congress?

Marie-Catherine Meyer I would like to resume the initiative of the last two years: The transnational lists. For me, this means a school of true European democracy. What we urgently need. The recent European elections have once again clearly shown that people still think and talk nationally. And that, unfortunately, many of the commitments to Europe are only lip service. The overarching view is lacking

Silvia Fernandez. Well, Transnational lists were incredibly close to being passed last Congress, in Madrid. It was also the year we were the closest to getting any resolution passed for us, the IMs. It remains a highly demanded matter among the IMs, so I would want for it to be endorsed at this Congress. 
 However, as I’m running for Council, I would like to point out a couple of proposals I would like to see pushed through: the possibility of obtaining a larger budget in proportion to our fees and the European funds. This would allow us to have more autonomy inside the party, and allocate better resources to our coordinators and to organise more transnational events. The second proposal I would insist on is related to our party’s possibility of enlargement. It is my belief that it is fundamental that this enlargement puts our core liberal values first, and follows a strong plan of action against corruption. We shouldn’t have member parties that do not comply with either our liberal and pro-European values, or the respect of transparency and solidarity. 

Yves Robert The Council’s objective is to define the Party’s broad political guidelines and manage ALDE’s membership, finances and internal organisation. We must be able to bring our word and our ideas to influence decisions, even with one vote on the 157 held by the Member Parties. We must not forget that we have as much weight as many countries (12) such as Hungary, Portugal, Georgia, and Cyprus. We must develop contacts, to make sure we are on the map. Acknowledging this is the challenge for the Council in October. Then at the Council of June 2020, we will have to introduce a strong idea that will be defined with you and the SC and so shape our Future.

Anja Fabiani: No doubt, the democratisation of Europe.

What role can individual members have to renew Europe?

Marie-Catherine Meyer It is all too easy to claim noble goals. Adorns one’s own person wonderfully.  I am more modest The IMs should work like some kind of think tank. Giving impetus, “remontée de terrain”.  Basic democracy at its best. Many people are turning away from traditional parties. This is a great opportunity for the ALDE IMs. But they also have to be seized and “fed”.

Silvia Fernandez. I believe that the Individual Members are already renewing Europe, and politics. We provide an outlet, and a ‘safety net’ for people that may not feel represented with the national parties of their countries; or they simply want to be closer to Europe, and the EU policy making. IMs challenge the traditional way of conceiving politics by challenging national parties and representatives, and gathering together in transnational and local events across Europe that, in a nutshell, represents a new era of politics. 

Yves Robert.It is essential to develop a close relationship with Renew Europe Group and work with our MPs to get our message across and to create joint events. I have taken the initiative to organize on 28 November a Transnational Meeting for IMs in the Parliament of Strasbourg, in order to meet our new Deputies. My close relations with the Parties in France, such as La République en Marche, AGIR, RADICAUX, UDI, as well as my distinction received from the European Parliament (European Citizen’s Award) will make this initiative easier.

Anja Fabiani: We, Individul Members, are still not a political party, but a formation in political party (ALDE). Having asked myself, why am I doing it, the only answer is: because of political activism. Individual Members should be: political activists, adressing the most outstanding, urgent, crucial etc… situation, also by actions as demonstrations etc…. I would like to see Steering Committee not waiting on some nice function or job or playing politics by sharing different interests among European countries, but by organising protests, writing, engaging…