European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party

Infobox European_Political_Party
party_name = European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
party_name_de = Europäische liberale demokratische und Reformpartei
party_name_fr = Parti européen des Libéraux, Démocrates et Réformateurs
party_name_it = Partito europeo dei democratici, liberali e riformatori
party_name_es = Partido Europeo de los Liberales, Demócratas y Reformistas
party_articletitle = European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
party_
president = Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP
foundation = March 1976 (as "Federation of Liberal and Democrat Parties in Europe") April 30, 2004 (as formal Party)
ideology = Liberalism
Social liberalism,
Classical liberalism
Conservative liberalism
international = Liberal International
europarl = Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
colours = Gold and Blue
headquarters = Rue Montoyerstraat 31, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
website = [http://www.eldr.eu/ www.eldr.eu]
The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (founded in 1993) is a liberal party, mainly active in the European Union, composed of 55 national parties from across Europe.

Overview

Having developed from a loose confederation of national political parties in the 1970s, the ELDR is now a recognised European political party incorporated as a non-profit association under Belgian law. Despite this legal status, the ELDR Party has yet to achieve significant grassroots involvement and retains much of the character of a mere confederation of national political parties.

As of 2006, the ELDR is the third-largest political party represented in EU institutions, with 74 MEPs and 9 members of the European Commission.

The Party is politically represented in the European Parliament by the ALDE Group, formed in conjunction with the centrist European Democratic Party, which is dominated by ELDR MEPs and led by Graham Watson, a British Liberal Democrat and former leader of the separate ELDR Parliamentary Group.

Nationally, ELDR member parties participate in the national governments of 11 out of the 27 EU Member States, contributing five prime ministers:
* Andrus Ansip (ERP, Estonia)
* Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Venstre, Denmark)
* Matti Vanhanen (Keskusta, Finland)
* Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu (PNL, Romania)
* Ivars Godmanis (LW, Latvia)

The youth wing of the ELDR Party is the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), which is predominantly based upon youth and student liberal organisations from across Europe but also contains a small number of individual members. LYMEC is led by French politician Aloys Rigaut, who was elected to a two-year term as LYMEC President in May 2008, and has a collective membership of over 200,000 young liberal Europeans.

Leadership

The leadership of the ELDR Party is Annemie Neyts, a Flemish MEP for the Belgian VLD and spokesperson on Foreign affairs, security and defense for the ALDE group. Neyts was elected for a two-year term of office at the meeting of the ELDR Party Congress held in Bratislava in September 2005, defeating former Dutch foreign minister Jozias van Aartsen, parliamentary leader of the Dutch VVD. She was re-elected for a two-year term at the ELDR Congress in Berlin in 2007.

In her mission statement for the party presidency, Annemie Neyts declared: “The most fundamental tenets of ELDR, liberalism, the spread of freedom, democracy and economic development by virtue of integration into the EU and the EU herself are being questioned as seldom before. The need for a strong, well-articulated, future-oriented answer from ELDR, the European political party that embodies liberalism has never been greater. I intend to spend a large amount of my time helping ELDR meet the huge challenges it is faced with.”

Former President of Liberal International between 1999 and 2005, Annemie Neyts was Belgian State secretary for Foreign Affairs in 2000-2001 and Deputy Minister for foreign Affairs in charge of European Affairs, International trade and Agriculture between 2001 and 2003. She was previously a Minister for the Brussels region and Member of Parliament in Belgium.

Structure

Bureau

The day to day management of the ELDR Party is handled by the Bureau, the members of which are:

President
* Annemie Neyts MEP (OpenVLD, Belgium): ELDR Party President

Vice-Presidents
* Jeannette Baljeu (VVD, Netherlands)
* Sharon Bowles MEP (Lib Dem, UK)
* Wilfried Derksen (D66, Netherlands)
* Johannes Lebech MEP (RV, Denmark)
* Markus Löning MP (FDP, Germany)
* Kristiina Ojuland MP (Estonian Reform Party, Estonia)
* Vesna Pusić MP (HNS, Croatia)

Treasurer
* David Griffiths(Lib Dem, UK)

ALDE Group Leaders
* Graham Watson MEP (Lib Dem, UK): ALDE Group Leader, European Parliament
* Matyas Eörsi MP (SZDSZ, Hungary): ALDE Group Leader, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
* Flo Clucas (Lib Dem, UK): ALDE Group Leader, EU Committee of the Regions

Other Party Officials
* Willy De Clercq MEP (VLD, Belgium): Honorary President
* Federica Sabbati (Italy): ELDR Party Secretary-General
* Alexander Beels (VVD, Netherlands): ALDE Group Secretary-General
* Aloys Rigaut (MR, Belgium): President, European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)

ELDR Congress

The ELDR Congress is the sovereign body of the ELDR aisbl, usually meeting on an annual basis, and as such its primary purposes are to:
* Elect members of the ELDR Bureau
* Debate, and adopt, resolutions on matters of policy;
* Adopt the ELDR Party's electoral manifesto for European Parliament elections
* Make amendments to the ELDR Party Statutes

The voting members of the ELDR Congress number around 600-700, and are composed of:
* Members of the ELDR Council
* A number of representatives nominated by each of the Member Parties based on the number of votes that Party received at the last set of European Parliament elections,
* 2 representatives nominated by each of the Affiliate Parties, and
* 10 representatives nominated by the European Liberal Youth.

In addition to the voting members of the ELDR Congress, the following are entitled to attend as non-voting members:
* ELDR members of the European Parliament,
* ELDR members of the EU Committee of the Regions,
* One delegate nominated by each of the liberal democrat groupings in other European parliamentary assemblies, and
* One delegate nominated by Liberal International

ELDR Council

The ELDR Council acts as the ELDR Party's de facto executive committee, meeting in between meetings of the ELDR Congress, and is empowered to:
* Approve the budget of the ELDR Party;
* Approve ELDR membership applications; and
* Speak and act on behalf of the ELDR Party in between meetings of the ELDR Congress.

The voting members of the ELDR Council number around 100-150 members and are composed of:
* Voting members of the Bureau,
* Two or more representatives nominated by each of the Member Parties based on the number of votes that Party received at the last set of European Parliament elections, and
* One representative nominated by each of the Affiliate Parties, and
* One representative nominated by the European Liberal Youth

In addition to the voting members of the ELDR Council, the following are entitled to attend as non-voting members:
* Non-voting members of the Bureau,
* One representative nominated by each of the liberal democrat groups in European parliamentary assemblies (including the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions), and
* One representative nominated by Liberal International

ELDR Political Leaders' Meeting

In addition to the formal structure of the ELDR Party, there are convened at least two Political Leaders' Meetings a year in order to exchange views on the items on the agenda of the European Council and more general views on the European political situation.

The members of the Political Leaders' Meeting are:
* The President and Vice-Presidents of the ELDR Party
* ELDR Members of the European Commission
* ELDR Heads of Government
* The political leaders of ELDR Member Parties
* Other ELDR Ministers
* The President of the European Liberal Youth

Leaders

* 1978-1981: flagicon|Luxembourg Gaston Thorn
* 1981-1985: flagicon|Belgium Willy De Clercq
* 1985-1990: flagicon|Luxembourg Colette Flesch
* 1990-1995: flagicon|Belgium Willy De Clercq
* 1995-2000: flagicon|Denmark Uffe Ellemann-Jensen
* 2000-2005: flagicon|Germany Werner Hoyer
* 2005-0000: flagicon|Belgium Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck

History of pan-European liberalism

Pan-European liberalism has a long history dating back to the foundation of Liberal International in April 1947. In March 1976, the Federation of Liberal and Democrat Parties in Europe was established, which gradually evolved into the ELDR Party with a group in the European Parliament.

At an extraordinary Congress in Brussels held on April 30 2004 the day before the enlargement of the European Union, the ELDR Party incorporated itself under Belgian law, being the first step towards legal recognition as a European political party.

It originated as the European Liberal, Democrat and Reform party grouping with seats in the European Parliament, but on April 30, 2004 (the day before the enlargement of the European Union) reformed itself as a pan-European political party, although it has yet to organise itself at a grassroots level.

This was followed later that year by the establishment of the ALDE political group in the European Parliament, in collaboration with the newly established EDP Party.

European Commissioners

ELDR Member Parties contribute 9 out of the 27 members of the European Commission:
* Siim Kallas (ERP, Estonia): Vice-President (Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud)
* Mariann Fischer Boel (Venstre, Denmark): Agriculture and Rural Development
* Neelie Kroes (VVD, Netherlands): Competition
* Louis Michel (MR, Belgium): Development and Humanitarian Aid
* Olli Rehn (Keskusta, Finland): Enlargement
* Meglena Kuneva (National Movement for Stability and Progress, Bulgaria): Consumer protection
* Androula Vassiliou (United Democrats (Cyprus),Cyprus): Health
* Janez Potočnik (LDS, Slovenia): Science and Research
* Leonard Orban (Romania): Multilingualism

Member parties

*Liberal Party of Andorra ("Partit Liberal d'Andorra")

*Liberal Forum ("Liberales Forum")

*Flemish Liberals and Democrats ("Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten")

*Reformist Movement ("Mouvement Réformateur")

* Liberal Democratic Party ("Liberalno Demokratska Stranka")

* Movement for Rights and Freedoms ("Dvizhenie za prava i svobodi")
* National Movement for Stability and Progress (formerly National Movement for Simeon II) ("Nacionalno dviženie za stabilnost i vǎzhod")

* Croatian People's Party-Liberal Democrats ("Hrvatska Narodna Stranka - Liberalni Demokrati")
* Croatian Social Liberal Party ("Hrvatska socijalno liberalna stranka")
* Istrian Democratic Assembly ("Istarski demokratski sabor/Dieta Democratica Istriana")

* United Democrats ("Enomeni Dimokrates")

*The Social Liberal Party ("Det Radikale Venstre")
*The Liberal Party ("Venstre")

*Centre Party of Estonia ("Eesti Keskerakond ")
*Estonian Reform Party ("Eesti Reformierakond")

*Centre Party of Finland ("Suomen Keskusta")
*Swedish People's Party ("Svenska Folkpartiet")

*Free Democratic Party ("Freie Demokratische Partei")

*Alliance of Free Democrats ("Szabad Demokratak Szövetsege ")

*Progressive Democrats

*European Republican Movement ("Movimento Repubblicani Europei")
*Italian Radicals ("Radicali Italiani")
*Italian Republican Party ("Partito Repubblicano Italiano")
*Italy of Values ("Italia dei Valori")

*Latvian Way ("Latvijas Ceļš")

*Liberal and Centre Union ("Liberalų ir centro sąjunga")
*New Union Social Liberals ("Naujoji sąjunga (socialliberalai)")
*Lithuanian Republic Liberal movement ("Lietuvos Respublikos liberalu sajudis")

*Democratic Party (Luxembourg) ("Demokratesch Partei") (Democratic Party)

*Liberal Party of Macedonia ("Liberalna Partija na Makedonija")
*Liberal Democratic Party ("Liberalno-Demokratska Partija")

*Democrats 66 ("Democraten 66")
*People's Party for Freedom and Democracy ("Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie")

*Liberal Party ("Venstre")

*Democratic Party - demokraci.pl ("Partia Demokratyczna - demokraci.pl")

*National Liberal Party ("Partidul Naţional Liberal")

*Yabloko ("Российская демократическая партия "Яблоко")

*Liberals of Serbia ("Liberali Srbije")

*Alliance of the New Citizen ("Aliancia Nového Občana")

*Liberal Democracy of Slovenia ("Liberalna demokracija Slovenije")

*Democratic Convergence of Catalonia ("Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya")
*Mallorcan Union ("Unió Mallorquina")

*Centre Party ("Centerpartiet")
*Liberal People's Party ("Folkpartiet Liberalerna")

*Free Democratic Party of Switzerland ("Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei/Parti Radical Démocratique")

*Liberal Democrats
*Alliance Party of Northern Ireland

See also

* Political parties of the world
* Liberal International
* European Liberal Youth

External links

* [http://www.eldr.eu/ European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR)] official site
* [http://www.lymec.org/ European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)]


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