Category Archives: Individual membership


Dear fellow ALDE Individual Members!

2016 was the year I joined ALDE IM and would have joined many years before, if I had known we existed. I will work hard to represent all individual members and their dreams and wishes for the ALDE Party Congress. 

My name is Finn Nielsen, from Denmark and active in the Danish ALDE party Radikale Venstre since 1997. I live with my fiancé Kasper and our dachshund in Odense,the fairy tale town of Hans Christian Andersen. I have a master of Chinese and have been a teacher at a general adult education centre since 2011. I am the president of the regional branch of Radikale Venstre for Southern Denmark and the president of the local branch of the Danish European Movement. Since 2017 I have also been the country coordinator for Denmark.

I have been active in numerous local, regional, national and European elections. One of the most memorable was when I campaigned for RemaIN in Devon in 2016. Despite the terrible result it has given me a considerable insight into the minds of the UK voters and the debate at the time. And it may not be for everyone to campaign on a Danish fall day, when most people are tired of politics. Then it is a great comfort to know that you helped political figures such as Margrethe Vestager win elections and that they were there with you in the cold rain staying positive.

For the Congress in Stockholm I hope to bring people together and encourage more members to take part, even as attendees without a vote. I believe I can be diplomatic and network with other delegates from national ALDE parties to lay the groundwork for the Congress and provide a better understanding of IM resolutions as well as work with other delegates to promote progressive resolutions.

When I took part in the last ALDE Party Congress in Warsaw, I was very impressed by the energy of the ALDE IM delegates. You may think that what we as individual members need is more formal power, but I believe we stand to gain influence through persuasion and with our innovative solutions and great proposals. I have no doubt that we will again utilize our creative powers in drafting first-class resolutions. The hard part is convincing the other delegates on our ideas, some may be obvious to vote for while other may be controversial.

We must use our soft power in opening up minds to our controversial resolutions. There are many areas in which we can work for a more liberal and democratic Europe; environment, transparent trade policies, democracy on a European level in close contact to citizens and a cultural flourishing Europe.

For Council I will strive to represent all ALDE IMs of all ages and backgrounds. I will do my utmost to include all voices in the preparation for the Council and keep everyone informed about what happens at the Council. The work will be carried out in close contact with the Steering Committee. I stand for a liberal Europe that fights for democracy, the rule of law and diversity. Europe must lead in the green transition and be a power for good in a world of Trump and Putin. 

I am very honoured to be one of five nominees for delegate to the Congress and one of only two nominees for delegate to the ALDE Council. I hope to debate with all candidates in the Facebook group and answer any questions you may have in the coming days. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram with #VoteFinn.


I am Anders Basbøll, I am running to serve you as a delegate to the ALDE Congress. I have been a member for many years, and have participated in many ALDE IM events since my first on refugees in Düsseldorf 2016. I have attended the ALDE congresses in 2017 and 2019 and 2 more a long time ago.

I am 42 years old, doctor of Physics. I work as Chief Adviser in the Danish Gambling Authority. I live in Odense, Denmark, with my 2 daughters (10 and 8). I want them to grow up and have (at least!) the same European rights and freedoms as my generation have had. We shall not let fear of immigrants, terrorists nor viruses close our (internal) borders or our hearts. Speaking of borders, the way governments all want control with outer borders when they speak in public, but refuse to spend recourses on it when governments meet behind closed doors, is a good illustration why I want European parliamentary democracy (e.g. Spitzenkandidaten) and majority voting in the council. We need european leaders with a clear mandate. That is why I wrote a resolution on Spitzenkandidaten last year. I also co-wrote a resolution on stregthening the cap and trade (for carbon emissions) to combat climate change, with the best economical weapons that we have. Liberals should have a clear platform here. Not ignoring the problem as some conservatives do (it hurts industry!) and not using it as some socialists do to revive old dreams of the state planning the economy (remember Eastern Europe during the cold war?). We shall set strong rules to ensure net zero emissions, and use market forces to get there as efficient as possible – guided by the choices and ideas of workers and consumers.

I also joined ALDE working groups on the manifesto for the EP election of 2019 on defence in Warszawa (where I spoke out for a role for the European Parliament, not just governments) and on trade in København (speaking out against using the climate as an excuse to avoid trade deals). I have recently enjoyed online meetings on Covid-19 (with VP Lambsdorf, thanks Germany) and on Transylvanian local democracy (Thanks, Romania). Great meetings both of them! Exchange of ideas and information across boarders are who we are. And I think that Covid-19 have shown many of us, that online meetings can work well. There has never been a better time to be in a continentwide organisation. I stand ready to fight for you from day one, and I look forward to cooperating with you all – whether I am elected or not. I enjoy the work on resolutions and would like to secure that ours are well written and well presented. I look forward to reaching out to other delegations to reach majorities for our proposals. And I look forward to receiving all your knowledge and ideas when we decide how to vote on other resolutions. This includes the work on urgent resolutions. The ALDE congress should be a strong platform for speaking out against human rigths violations and lack of democracy… in Belarus and/or elsewhere….. and a way to set moral guidance for liberal parties in government.

ALDE IM is my only political affiliation (unless you count cross party Danish European Movement, of which I am a national and local board member).


Dear ALDE Individual Members,

#ALDECongress Delegate election is very close. Being an Individual Member of ALDE since 2019, it is honour for me to be one of the 5 nominees. I want to cease this chance to use my tenacity and experience to work more actively for this Democratic European Family.

Democracy  and Liberalism is a part of me and I consider ALDE my second family.

Hi, I am  Lianna Meelker-Amirkhanyan, from the Netherlands, a mother of two, 3 and 1,5 years old,  a wife and with my Dutch husband we run a family Financial Business. I Study European Law and coach working women Time Management.

Since 2014 I am a member of local VVD Party which stands for Liberalism and Democracy and is a part of ALDE. Having been an active volunteer in two terms of European Parliament elections, I had a chance to work with Hans van Baleen, from where I became an Individual Member of ALDE.

As a new member of ALDE I already had a chance to have my video in ALDE social media and I get familiar with the members via social media, and managed to know many of them. In my turn I invited a few VVD members to become ALDE Individual Members. I believe in ALDE Individual Members power, I believe we can work cohesively for ALDE Missions and Values, for Rule of Law, for Bill of Right, for Equal Division of Power and for Equality to defend Democracy. This is what led me here.

I offer my candidacy to be a part to align and delegate all activities of the IMs, which in its turn will support ALDE’s mission in today’s most difficult period time for the world due to COVID-19. We can overcome this together and not let this damage our democracy.

 My strong personality, right timing in work, love and passion for European Democracy and ability working with team and drive things happen, ability to communicate in 6 languages  will be a part of ALDE activities positive result. I always say what I mean, and I do what I say. I believe that our mission is about addition not a division, a unity over division will bring ALDE into better position. Being elected or not, I am going to work hard with all members, I am going to invest myself in innovation of projects for IMs group. I wish the best for ALDE and our IMs family and let us chose the best candidate for the party. We are a family and can stand for each other.

I had that feeling after being endorsed by six IMs generously, the same way I will stand for each member’s activity, despite of the result of the elections.

I would like to thank the members endorsing me, Daniel and Julia for their hard work and Hans van Baleen, thanks to whom I am in ALDE.

This seems improbable beat.

I am open for any questions, comments and criticism.

My warm Regards to all Members and ALDE administration.

Lianna Meelker-Amirkhanyan

ALDE International Members Congress delegates: get to know candidates/1: Theresa Zettl

Dear fellow ALDE individual members,

As you have already been informed, the delegate elections for Council and Congress will take place shortly. I have decided to run as a delegate for Congress and would like to ask for your support. As I would like to give you the possibility to get to know me a little better, I’d like to introduce myself to you.

My name is Theresa Zettl, I am 33 years old, I work in marketing and live together with my six-year-old daughter in Lower Bavaria, Germany. Even before the federal elections in 2017, I became a member of the German liberal party FDP and I have been an ALDE individual member since July 2019.

After one year of being an active ALDE IM, I would like to get myself involved even more in the matters of the individual members than posting in the Facebook group only. Although the ALDE IM have been established six years ago, we are still rather unknown. I experienced, when talking to pro-European people from the national parties, that they do know the ALDE party or Renew but have mostly never ever heard of the ALDE individual membership. In my first year of being an ALDE IM I successfully recruited quite a few liberal democrats to join us.

The Covid-19 pandemic shows that Europe itself, but also the European idea lives from the commitment, dedication, and cohesion of its citizens. The situation is quite similar for us individual members. I am sure that we IMs could have a great influence on Europe, and it is my opinion and goal, that our voice as IMs should be heard in the ALDE Congress and – even more important, be taken seriously. However, this requires delegates who are self-confident, motivated, and consistent in their actions in cooperation with the Steering Committee to successfully implement our decisions in Congress.

Have you realized yet, that there is a development, especially among the younger generation, that European policy is no longer seen as a separate policy field that somehow stands next to social or health policy, but that the European level is perceived as an additional level of politics?
Many Europeans are disappointed by their national policy and therefore are looking for a transnational organizational structure in which they can implement European policy from the outset. And that is exactly the point at which we, the ALDE individual members, must be their contact persons to introduce and convince them to share the idea of a liberal, united Europe.

So, if I could see two initiatives to be worth supporting in the ALDE Congress, it would be the following two: One of them is standing straight up against rising right-wing populism in EU member states. Member states that restrict the rights of their citizens due to their gender, origin, religion, or sexual orientation should no longer receive any EU funding. We need a strong, united and a Europe of solidarity in which we value and even more important, promote our cultural diversity. Another important initiative would be that we need to call upon the EU to invest more in non-violent conflict management and develop its strengths as a mediator in conflicts. In regard of the large number of violent conflicts worldwide, the EU should not arm states that wage war or violate human rights. The EU is the world’s most successful and long-lasting peace project and it is in our hands to ensure that this project will never fail.

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 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…

ALDE Congress Delegates elections: Get to know candidates/3

From July 3rd we’ll have congress and council delegate elections: as usual, we gave  candidates the chance to present themselves. Here we are second slot with the other congress delegates:  Diana Severati, Timothy Asotie and Guillermo Passas Varo

Why you are running as a candidate?

Diana Severati, I joined ALDE as Individual Member because I strongly believe in the values of the open society, and being a member is, for me, an opportunity to be actively involved and have a say on party policy. Running as a candidate is, for me, a natural step in this experience, and I find the idea of representing the Individual Members at the congress a very exciting one. 

Timothy Asotie Alde is a platform where ideals are welcome and utilise, and i was motivated by Alde party because the party stands for liberalism and democracy. And with great joy, i choose to serve Alde Party where political ideals are put in place and socio-economic developmental goals are achieved. Their aims on the fight for freedom and equity, migrants consideration/inclusion, gender equality/right to choice and idea, e.t.c, actually encouraged me alot. The biggest political platform/coalition in Europe is bringing ideals together in helping the European economic growth and prosperity, as it also represent gender equality, freedom of speech, and migrants inclusion. I believe my theoretical knowledge and practical experience over the years as a political scientist, will not only enable me in analysing political issues but also discussing possibly solution/problem solving.

Guillermo Passas Varo This year is essential for the European liberal family. We’ve seen how our fraction in the European Parliament has grown up to 108 MEPs, but times of growth also represent times of uncertainty: many of us, IMs, fear that liberal values need to be vindicated in this time of convergence, and I’m committed to it. I came to this family many years ago, inspired by Guy Verhofstadt, who has been our spokesman for 11 years. He advocated for a more democratic Europe, for a brave liberalism, and Guy’s years have also been years of leadership of the liberal family within the EP fraction. Now, we’re stronger than ever, but at the same time we’ve stopped leading the way, thus we’ve got to speak out loud and clear for what we stand for. I stand for a more liberal and democratic Union: I want a Union where citizens are considered free and therefore responsible in a broad sense, not only in terms of civil rights, but most particularly in terms of political rights; for this, citizens must be able to directly participate in European politics, and this is something that is only possible within ALDE Party IMs.

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

Diana Severati, I believe that we should keep on working for a resolution on the creation of the transnational lists. Having transnational lists would allow candidates to focus on European issues, while freeing them from campaigning on topics mostly relevant for their regional circumscription – and citizens who want to bring their contribution to the European liberal project would be encouraged to join the ALDE Party as individual members, or an ALDE member party. Besides that, I would like to focus on the sustainability issue: promoting a rational and tech-based environmentalism opposed to an ideological view (e.g. Nimby syndrome, no major infrastructure projects, etc.) and on the strengthening of Europe-Africa cooperation, considering the primary role of the Mediterranean basin countries.

Timothy Asotie ALDE SHOULD HELP TO STRENGHTEN THE FIGHT FOR HUMAN RIGHT  ACROSS EUROPE, MOST ESPECIALLY ITALY”. It is called: JUSTICE FOR ALL.  The situation in my country (ITALY) is getting out of hand, and the violation for  human right is the other of the day. The socio-political orientation powered by some  desperate Italian politicians is really wrong and it’s causing societal conflict and  discomfort. Conflicts and war are now projected as political agenda by some Italian  politicians. Those that ought to speak or stand for the truth are now scared because  their lives is at risk and might even lost their source of income; (a teacher was  suspended from Italian school just because she speaks in support of human right, a  mayor who was taking to court for standing for human right, e.t.c)  Migrants are been molested and treated like slaves, and there is feelings for humanity  anymore. They risk their lives to escape from war and conflicts in search for freedom,  and the government are happy as they watch them die in the sea. I will be glad to see  Alde do more in Italy, “human right first”.

Guillermo Passas Varo Transnational lists, undoubtedly. I’m aware that we’ve tried this resolution three times, and it didn’t passed, but last year we almost get it approved. I believe that it didn’t pass because of the proximity of the European elections, also because of the vote against of one of our delegates. You may ask yourself why transnational lists are so important: they’re the only way we can openly advocate for political rights, because this would mean that MEPs would fight for the general instead of national interest. Being Individual members means to be committed to the enlargement of European citizens’ political rights, and I believe that this is the only way to do so. Apart from this, I’ll also support every initiative concerning liberal values: civil rights, minority rights (LGBTI, migrants, people with disabilities…), fight against climate change, European trade and investment comprehensive partnerships, a European Army, a common asylum and migration policy… I consider myself a liberal, both socially and economically, and I’ll act in accordance to my principles.

 What role can individual members have to renew Europe?

Diana Severati, As Individual Members we have the opportunity to be ambassador of ALDE values and campaigns through local and cross border events, to create networking opportunities and share insights,  and I also think that the collaboration with national member parties and vice versa, as stated in the resolution approved at the congress in Amsterdam,  is fundamental.  As Individual members we can have an important role of connectors and we can actively contribute to renew Europe with our ideas, together with member parties. 

Timothy Asotie The individual members have much to contribute in the Renew Europe initiative.  Individuals members are a set of professionals who in their individual ways are  successful in coordinating different projects from different socio-economic and political  perspectives. They are a set of people with great ideals that Alde Party needs to push  the European projects forward; politically and economically. Alde Individual Members  are both partisan and non partisan, but they come together to build the future of the European children and beyond.  The Individual members are expected to carry out the political values Alde Party in  renew Europe and make them their culture; “Transparency and Accountability”.

Guillermo Pasas Varo Individual Members are already a paradigm of a renewed Europe. We’re the vivid image of the need for democracy in the current European Union and the vindicating voice of European citizens. In order for Europe to be renewed, Individual Members must be heard, our positions taken into account and our organisation must move forward. This means that we’ve got to increase our autonomy, be more relevant within ALDE Party decision-making bodies and be taken into account by the rest of our political party.

ALDE Congress Delegates elections: Get to know candidates/2

From July 3rd  we’ll have congress and council delegate elections: as usual, we gave  candidates the chance to present themselves. Here we are second slot with Nadia Bennis, Anders Basboll and Hans Heiler Hammer (all for Congress)

Why you are running as a candidate?

Nadia Bennis. My multicultural background and great ability for intercultural exchange could be great assets to represent you at the Congress and work hand in hand with people from all over Europe. I had the honour of representing you last year at the Madrid Congress where I enjoyed the negotiations with all parties and supported the transnational lists.   As a French national, I grew up bilingual in an international environment in the French-German border region and hence I was exposed to various cultures and aware of how crucial the EU is for better cooperation and understanding. I benefited from Erasmus and studying in three different countries for both my MA and BA in European Studies and International Relations which enabled me to speak several languages fluently and to adapt to different environments rapidly, enjoying the hospitality and cheerfulness of each country and uniting all these experiences which certainly shaped my personality and are the engine for my passion for politics and the EU.

Anders Basboll. ALDE IM believes in a federal, European Democracy. Our party went a step backwards when we left the Spitzenkandidaten process. A federation, or a democracy, does not choose its leader in a closed meeting between leaders of member states. We need to stand with the other pro EU parties again on the Spitzenkandidaten, without accepting that the largest party necessarily shall have the Commission President. Leaving “Spitzenkandidaten” was also a tactical blunder. Imagine a Europe wide campaign, probably for Commissioner Vestager – who ended up as the unofficial ALDE candidate at the very end. #Fightlikealiberal should mean fighting elections, even if we risk loosing, instead of waiting for governments to give us what we want. That is not who we are! I have much experience with resolutions and congresses, from LYMEC/IFLRY and Danish Liberal Youth and later in “adult politics”, and I have participated in many ALDE events including congresses and Manifesto meetings. Not to mention my debate activity on ALDE IM facebook for years. I would like to serve you all as your delegate.

Hans Heiler Hammer: Last week, when I announced my candidacy as a delegate to the congress in Athens, it was because I have something on my heart that I believe I can contribute, in ALDE IM / RenewEurope

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

Nadia Bennis. Having worked for several years in policy issues, amongst others in the NGO sector and the European Parliament, my interests, but also my experience, are in the areas of environment, health and equal rights.  I would be very keen to see proposals in relation to efficient and innovative actions to fight climate change and to improve health and environmental conditions. In addition, I would very much welcome proposals that focus on actions to promote equal rights at all levels and efficient strategies to fight all types of discrimination.

Anders Basboll. I think the most important issue is climate change. We must fight it, and cleverly. Economists agree. There needs to be a price on carbon – either through a tax or a quota system. In some sense, we have a fine quota system in EU, but the price is too low, because agriculture, transportation and construction are exempted. We shall fight these special interests and include everything and lower the amount of quotas too. That is why I co-authored a resolution to this end last year. I think we should vote for such a resolution this year – and reach out to other delegations to pass it. No to conservative foot dragging, no to socialist subsidies – and yes to a liberal solution: strong regulation, but using market forces.

Hans Heiler Hammer: I will work for the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be accepted by all countries. It was adopted to protect the individual from abuse; it guarantees a number of fundamental human rights, and as a human being, and a Liberal member, I cannot sit silently reclining and watch, people like; journalist Ivan Golunov, being imprisoned and charged with no valid evidence; that several other journalists and freedom fighters are being imprisoned without cause in Ukraine and other countries; that homosexuals experience hatred and persecution in many countries.
We have a duty to speak and act.
When people flee from distress and persecution, and they knock on the doors of Europe, it is our duty to act. Over 20% of all immigrants, are now climate refugees.
If we do not respect human rights ourselves, we cannot expect others to do so. Therefore, the initiative with RenewEurope is very important. We have a duty to each other and to the global community, to do something. This will be my focus going forward, and therefore it is very important to me, to participate in the debates in Athens and to fight for the necessary resolutions to be adopted. Because we must have visions, hope, and will, to find solutions.

What role can individual members have to renew Europe?

Nadia Bennis. In my opinion, individual members are a crucial element to renew Europe because of the diversity, commitment and innovation they can contribute with. That is why I am running as a candidate in order to make our voice as individual members heard during the congress. I would be very honoured and grateful for the opportunity to represent you in Athens! Thank you in advance for your vote!

Anders Basboll. European Democracy starts with a European Public. We are living European Democracy when we discuss with each other, and we each contribute to making the dream of European democracy come true, when we tell friends, family, social media contacts and collegues that we are a proud member of a European Party. I think ALDE IM can both work as a meeting place for liberals in countries with no liberal party (maybe they even form one), as a place where liberals from different national liberal parties actually meet and talk (like in Denmark) and finally as a political home for people with grievances against their domestic liberal party(ies). There is a lot of sense in liberal policies and in the EU – but sometimes sense does not win the day. Passion is needed too. That is what ALDE IM have (also). And Freedom is beautyful!

Hans Eiler Hammer: The more members we have, the more we can do. Therefore, it is important that we get as many members as possible. As individual members, we can go together and make resolutions that we can commit politicians to! Here I will mention climate as an example.