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WEEKLY RESOLUTION CONFERENCES ON OCTOBER 21ST: THE PROGRAM

Dear Individual Members,

We Congress delegates are happy to invite you to join our weekly resolution conferences starting October 21st.

As many of you have already submitted resolutions for discussion, we decided to go a new way and actually bring us individual members closer together by meeting online. We think it is a nice idea to actually see each other and giving each author the possibility to present their resolution to all of us and at the same time allowing all IMs to ask questions, debate and make amendments to each resolution during the meeting.

Our resolution conferences will be held every Wednesday at 20:30 on Webex until we’ve worked through all submitted resolutions or hit the deadline (which we don’t know yet because of the postponed ALDE Congress). We will definitely reconsider the schedule, if we run out of time before Congress deadlines.

As we decided to only discuss one resolution per conference meeting, we think that one hour is a good time frame for discussion and convincing your fellow IMs to support your resolution. (Presentation of resolution: up to 10 min, questions & answers: up to 20 mins, amendments: up to 30 min)

The first conference will take place on Wednesday, 21st of October 2020 at 20:30 CET.

Anders Basbøll will present his resolution „Climate change: Expand ETS and Net zero“

More resolutions to be discussed in the forthcoming weeks (dates will be announced shortly):

– A new approach to European Migration Policy: Pascal Hureau, Cedric Viero, Robert Arthur Crane, Isabelle Négrier

– Towards a true party of citizens: Pascal Hureau, Cedric Viero, Robert Arthur Crane, Isabelle Négrier

– Towards a true party of citizens: Pascal Hureau, Cedric Viero, Robert Arthur Crane,Isabelle Négrier

– Freedom of movement – sustainable mobility: Pascal Hureau, Cedric Viero, Robert Arthur Crane, Isabelle Négrier

– Spitzenkandidaten: Anders Basbøll

– Commission’s size: Vladan Lausevic

And a few more coming resolutions.

Please note: In case you are not able to participate in a certain conference, but you are interested in the topic, feel free to send us a message with your questions or feedback so we can ask the author during the meeting. We plan on having our conferences recorded, so you will be able to watch at a later time.

We are looking forward to seeing you in our conferences!

Your Congress delegates,

Theresa, Anders and Lianna

About the Coronavirus and our individual responsibilities

Ádám Bakai is a Hungarian individual member living in Munich and the Vice President of Momentum in Munich, Germany. He wrote about Coronavirus pandemic

The  corona virus crisis and the different restrictions and regulations are impacting all of us heavily. Unfortunately lots of regulations can’t be understood very easily or are even controversial. However, we must protect ourselves against the virus, if possible without having to lock down entire countries again.

I read a lot, that some people still choose to ignore the rules. They are not just outraged, when new restrictions and possible penalties attached to those are introduced, but they desperately try to play the system. “They don’t know where I am travelling from”, “ I won’t pay the penalty and I won’t wear masks either!”, “Others don’t keep the rules either, why should I?” These are few examples of many reactions I meet day by day. I saw in the news the other day, that the German authorities are not able to trace back the infected people in a bar in Hamburg, just because hundreds of guests chose to give fake personal information to the restaurant.

Adam Bakai

I do understand, that we would all like to go home to our families without any problems, that we need to go to work, we need to take care of different matters. We would also like to go to restaurants, meet friends and live our life as good as possible. Our individual life does not stop from the corona virus – of course only if we pay attention to ourselves and to each other as well. The different regulations are not worth anything, if a significant part of people don’t keep the rules. Because of that, the virus will probably spread quicker, which will lead to further restrictions.

I am asking you: do we need that? Do we need kindergartens and schools to be closed down again? Do we need to get locked in between the 4 walls of our apartments again? Do we need workplaces to get locked down again, just because we were unable to step up together against the virus? Do we need to risk our own life as well as other people’s lives?

Let’s wear the masks regularly, by covering both our mouth and nose as well. Let’s be a role model for our children and let’s protect our older loved ones. If we don’t really have to travel somewhere, let’s stay at home and let’s discover our own surroundings instead! Let’s keep a safe distance from the people! Let’s disinfect our hands on a regular basis! These are all compromises, which we can all live with, without bigger sacrifices. If we see someone who is not keeping the rules, let’s kindly explain them what to do! Shall we really need to travel somewhere, let’s do that with the biggest care and caution! If we don’t understand the new rules, let’s dig into them thoroughly, what we need to do!

We should not be role models of playing the system and breaking the rules, but we should be role models of keeping those rules. Only this way we can protect our own health and also others’, and we can also avoid further restrictions on our personal lives.

Ádám Bakai

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

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.

“+Europa”: the new italian Liberal-Democratic challenge against populism

In this contribution, ALDE Individual Member and relevant blog coordinator Emanuele Lombardini speaks about the birth of ‘+ Europa’, a new list promoted by former EU Commissioner Emma Bonino, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Benedetto Della Vedova, and the movement of Radicali Italiani. The list intends to constitute a common point of reference for Italian radical liberals, liberal-democrats and reformists alike. +Europa’s ambition is running for the political elections of 2018.

+Europa is an Italian liberal-democratic list which intends to offer an alternative to growing populism and represent the Italians voters who embrace the ambitious project of constructing the United States of Europe. Through +Europa, radical liberals and liberal-democrats are determined to regain the seats in the Italian Parliament that they have been missing for a long time. The promoters of +Europa are the historical leader of Radicali Italiani Emma Bonino, former EU Commissioner and former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and founder of the pro- European Union movement ‘Forza Europa’; Andrea Mazziotti, current chairman of the Commission for Constitutional Affairs, formerly member of ‘Scelta Civica’ and now of ‘Civici e Innovatori; and, finally, the movement of Radicali Italiani led by secretary Riccardo Magi. On November 23rd, the presentation of +Europa, a list whose vision is eloquently conveyed by the ‘+E’ symbol with which it will compare on the voting papers, was held in Rome.

Riccardo Magi introduced the vision behind the list by explaining that “today’s distinctions are no longer between right and left, or between conservatives and reformists; but among those who believe that social and economic problems can be solved by closing within national borders and by resorting to neo-nationalism, and those who think that we must build an open society and re-launching the process of European integration.”. He went on to explain how the challenge implied in this vision is “fighting the clichés about Europe shared by most of Italian party leaders, according to which Europe is a ‘bad stepmother’.” Until those leaders will continue exploiting and disseminating these stereotypes, Magi concluded, “+Europa can only be and will remain an independent list. ” “The European Union is the only place where we want to stay”, added Emma Bonino, “since more Europe means more peace, more security, more rights, more growth, more culture, and more freedom.” She then reminded that the European Commission has always had solid arguments to criticize the management of Italian public finances, and that the ‘bonus policy’ promoted by former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, as well as the agreement the current government made with Libya on migrants, were all serious mistakes. +Europa shall not be approached as the list of Radicali Italiani only though.  As Carmelo Palma, one of the early proponents of the list, explains, “The list represents all liberal-democratic, secular, pro-European Union and anti-populist Italian voters”. Those same voters were so far represented by a constellation of movements – like ‘Scelta Civica’ and ‘Fare per fermare il declino’ – who can now find, in +Europa, a common political platform.

One main obstacle to the parliamentary representation of +Europa exists though. The Italian electoral law requires, to any political movement not already represented in the Parliament, to collect a minimum number of validated signatures in each and all constituencies. For +Europa, this requirement comes down to collecting 50,000 signatures . That is why a campaign aimed at recruiting voters willing to undersign the list, as well as validating the signatures of others, was promptly launched by Radicali Italiani and by the several liberal associations that gravitate around +Europa. “It’s an uphill ride”, explains Carmelo Palma, “especially considering that due to the approval of the new electoral law in October 2017, all constituencies themselves shall be first formally constituted; only then, which means around mid-December, we could start with the collection of signatures. This means that we will have 45 days in total to collect 50,000 signatures throughout the whole country.” The stringency of this requirement has led Emma Bonino, Benedetto Della Vedova and Riccardo Magi to submit a formal request to Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to lower the quota of signatures necessary for presenting +Europa among all other candidate-lists. Whilst Gentiloni’s position in regard is yet unknown, liberal activists continue to campaign for empowering +Europa to run at the next political elections.

Emanuele Lombardini