We welcomed Sir Graham Watson, former ALDE MEP, and Andrew Burgess, political adviser at the ALDE party, who took us through ALDE’s manifesto for business in advance of the next European Parliament elections.
After hearing from En Marche the week before, welcoming ALDE at this lunch briefing allowed us to get a solid grasp of what the liberals will have to offer during the next European elections. ALDE want to create the core of a pro-European alliance by campaigning with En Marche on a common front to block the populists from gaining too many seats in the parliament.
Our members and the speakers managed to have very open conversations about various topics. ALDE’s core values were put forward and explained. Talent, technology and tolerance (the ”three T’s”) constitute the motto of ALDE, and their manifesto is a reflection of those values. As well as a strong insistence on gender equality, the manifesto put forward solutions and suggestions to, amongst others, issues of migration, diversity, research and innovation, and security (security of citizens, military, and security of the currency).
The process which led to the writing of the manifesto was very open and inclusive. Citizens had a direct input, all the members’ parties were consulted and were able to put issues forward and be heard. There will also be no transnational list: no one will be able to vote directly for ALDE and for the manifesto, which is rather the expression of a large European vision to which all members agree. In addition to discussing the manifesto, we also heard about ALDE’s history and how the group came about.
The Q&A touched upon varied issues, such as the European policy on migration, Italy and the rise of populism, the digital agenda of the manifesto, the change of dynamics in politics and the flexibility of the labour market.
Following the event, Willem Vriesendorp, partner at Fipra International and Vice-Chair of our Competition & Trade Task Force kindly shared his thoughts with us: “We all know how important ALDE will be in the next EP elections. Their expected growth, their role as king maker, their links to En Marche, etc. makes them a factor of relevance. It was therefore a privilege that the British Chamber managed to get Sir Graham Watson and Andrew Burgess. This event has helped me to get insider knowledge and background that are needed to advise my clients better.”
Former MEP | European Parliament