Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe


Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe

The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (French: "Alliance des Démocrates et des Libéraux pour l'Europe") is an alliance between two European political parties: The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party and the European Democratic Party. It is a political group in the European Parliament, the EU Committee of the Regions, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.In these groups, there are assorted independents.

ALDE in the European Parliament

Infobox European Parliament group
name = Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
title=Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe




imagecaption = ALDE logo
from=2004
to=present
precededby = European Liberal, Democrat, and Reform Group
succeededby = n/a
englishabbr = ALDE
frenchabbr = ADLE
formalname =
europarties = European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
European Democratic Party
ideology = Liberalism, Social liberalism, Conservative liberalism
chairs = Graham Watson MEP
meps = 100 (28 September 2008)
website =http://www.alde.eu/

Foundation

The meeting of the Parliamentary Group of the liberal democrat European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party which took place in Brussels on 13 July 2004 approved a recommendation to unite in a new group with MEPs of the European Democratic Party founded by François Bayrou's UDF, the Lithuanian Labour Party and the Italian Margherita. The two European political parties remain separate parties outside the European Parliament. The group, as originally constituted, comprised 88 members.

The founding Group meeting of ALDE-ADLE, which immediately followed the ELDR meeting, elected Graham Watson MEP of the British Liberal Democrats as Group Leader. It also adopted a 10-point 'Program for Europe'.

Programme

# Promoting peace, through a Union in the federal tradition
# Making the EU a global player bridging the gap between its economic and political dimension
# Opening up and democratising the European Union
# Guaranteeing the fundamental rights of all European citizens
# Promoting education at all levels.
# Strengthening economic governance after the introduction of the Euro.
# Rooting out fraud and unnecessary bureaucracy
# Making Europe the world leader in environmental protection.
# Making globalisation work for everyone.
# Ensuring a full recognition and enhancement of the role of Europe’s regions

Group Members

ALDE in the Committee of the Regions

Foundation

Following the creation of the ALDE group in the European Parliament, which occurred half-way during the third mandate of the [http://www.cor.europa.eu/ Committee of the Regions] (CoR), the members of the ELDR Group in the CoR rapidly entered into talks with the CoR members belonging to the EDP Party with a view to replicating a similar arrangement within the CoR. Under the presidency of Kent Johansson, Executive Member of the Swedish Region of Västra Götaland, the ELDR Group of the Committee of the Regions unanimously agreed in February 2005 to change its name to the ALDE Group and to accept the EDP members to the group. In doing so, the group adopted a new Mission Statement (see below). The current President of the Group is Mrs Flo Clucas, Executive Member of Liverpool City Council for Economic Development and European Affairs, UK. There are three vice-presidents: First Vice-President; Mr Guido Milana, President of the Lazio Regional Council, Italy, Second Vice-President; Mrs Lenie Dwarshuis, Executive member of the South Holland Province, Netherlands and , Third Vice-President; Mr Gian Mario Spacca, President of the Marche Region, Italy.

Mission Statement

[http://www.cor.europa.eu/alde The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Committee of the Regions] is committed to ensuring that the European Union develops legislation in as decentralised a manner as possible, communicating with and listening to Europe’s citizens in a systematic way.

We aim to achieve these goals by:

The Institution

• Ensuring the Committee of the Regions continues its development as an effective institution of the EU, working with a clear purpose and vision, and bringing added value to the Union’s institutional framework.

• Ensuring the Committee maintains the highest standards of accountability, transparency, and efficiency, responding to the expectations of Europe’s citizens and its local and regional authorities.

The Citizen

• Ensuring CoR Opinions and activities respect and promote personal freedom and the self-fulfilment of each individual, as the best way to achieve a prosperous and fair society.

• Promoting the protection of minorities, and ensuring that CoR activities reflect the make up of Europe’s society, involving citizens from all backgrounds, regardless of their ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, faith, or age.

• Developing citizen ownership of the Union, by using the CoR’s unique network of Members throughout the EU to communicate and consult with the citizen.

• Working with other EU institutions to promote greater labour mobility within the Union, by for example, relaying information to citizens about EU opportunities for personal and professional development.

• Promoting the development of multiple identities as a necessary foundation for a successful European Union.

• Ensuring the free exercise of regional identity.

The Region

• Ensuring that the EU only takes decisions in those areas which are best dealt with at European level, that is to say, guaranteeing the suitable fulfilment of the Principle of subsidiarity.

• Working closely with the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council, to ensure that EU legislation includes the views of local and regional authorities.

• Promoting measures which enhance the ability of regions to contribute to Europe’s economic growth and their ability to develop a fair and effective European social model.

• Working towards the development of new forms of collaboration between the different spheres of government in the EU, recognising where appropriate the specificities of those authorities with legislative powers and those without.

The Union

• Ensuring that the heritage of cultures and identities of the peoples of Europe is not lost, and is used to support the development of multiple identities.

• Promoting simplified, accountable, and fair European governance.

• Ensuring that CoR Opinions and activities promote sustainable development throughout the Union and the protection of Europe’s environment.

• Promoting the development of decentralization and regionalization.

• Promoting competitiveness as a mean to achieve economic, social and territorial cohesion on a basis of solidarity and justice.

• Promoting European cultural and linguistic diversity.

• Actively pursuing real cross-border cooperation.

The Non Member States

• Assist, where necessary and within the CoR’s means, the development of democratically legitimate local and regional authorities, mainly in the EU’s neighbouring states.

• Support international peace and stability.

Members of the Group

For membership and information about the group's activities, please click on the following link [http://www.cor.europa.eu/alde]

ALDE in PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe)

The rapid expansion of the Council of Europe has brought new responsibilities for the political groups. Between 1990 and 1995 alone, the Council of Europe was enlarged to include Albania, Andorra, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Additional delegations with special guest status regularly take part in the sessions in Strasbourg.

The political groups have shown that they have the potential to play an effective introductory role, especially with regard to parliamentarians from the new states as well as for those with guest status. While the Council of Europe currently comprises 46 member states, the policy of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, with its 630 members (315 representatives and an equal number of substitutes) is formulated principally in conjunction with the five political groups: Socialist Group (206 members), Federation of Christian Democrat Parties of Europe (EPP) (182 members), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) (98 members), European Democrat Group (EDG) (78 members) and the Group of the Unified European Left (UEL) (32 members).

The rules of Procedure have also taken account of the growing importance of the political groups. The Ad Hoc Committee of chairmen of Political Groups which assists the President of the Assembly in reaching decisions was created in March 1993. Since January 1995 the Group Chairs have had the right to sit and vote in the Bureau and the Standing Committee of the Assembly.

The earliest minutes of Liberal Group meetings in the archives date from 1974. At that time Frederik Portheine (Netherlands) was leader of the Group which comprised 30 members, no more than 13 of whom attended the meetings. It was customary for Liberal Group members to hold only one meeting during the week of the Strasbourg part-session. In those days the Bureau was composed of the Chairman and the Secretary General. In August 1978 a secretary was appointed who today is still responsible for dealing with administrative matters. In autumn 1980, Manfred Vohrer (Germany) was elected to succeed Frederik Portheine. Having acted as Secretary General of the Group since becoming a member of the Council of Europe in 1973, he was well qualified to take over the post of Chair. In 1983 Manfred Vohrer decided not to stand for re-election and left the German Bundestag. Bjorn Elmqvist (Denmark) was elected by the Group to succeed him. Under Bjorn Elmquist's chairmanship, membership increased significantly in the space of a few years, rising from 35 to 50 members. At the end of 1990 Bjorn Elmquist lost his seat in the Folketing. In May 1991 the Group elected Daniel Tarschys (Sweden) as its new Chair. A leading expert on east European questions, the high esteem in which he was held both within the Assembly and by central and east Europeans led to a further increase in Group membership. Since his election as Secretary General of the Council of Europe on 12 April 1994, the Group has been led by Sir Russell Johnston (United Kingdom). In 1999 Lord Russell-Johnston was elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly (1999-2002). The Group supported Kristiina Ojuland (Estonia) to preside the LDR Group. In 2002 she was appointed Foreign Minister in her country. The same year Matyas Eörsi(Hungary) gained support of the group members to become its seventh President.

Until the mid-1980s the Group's official name was “Liberal Group”. As the word “liberal” does not have the same connotations in all languages, the new Group members in particular called for additions to the name which would make the Group's political ideals universally and unequivocally recognizable. After lengthy discussion, it was finally agreed that the Group should be called the “Liberal, Democratic and Reformers' Group’” (LDR). The “Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe” (ALDE) emerged on June 20, 2005 to become full legal successor of the LDR-Group. This title makes it clear that the Group's members are not only convinced democrats devoted to liberal values but they are committed to creating better cooperation between European liberals to build stronger Europe respective of human rights in all its member states. Technological progress maintains society in constant flux so that individuals' attitudes to society are also changing.

As the third largest Group, the Liberals have a major voice in the appointment of the President of the Assembly and the Secretary General. Originally the Presidency rotated every three years: a Socialist was followed by a Christian-Democrat who in turn was followed by a Liberal. Under this system there have been three Liberal Presidents, each separated by a period of six years:

1960 - 1963 Per Federspiel Denmark

1969 - 1972 Olivier Reverdin Switzerland

1978 - 1981 Hans J. de Koster Netherlands

Following the appointment of a member of the conservative European Democratic Group, rather than a Socialist, to succeed Hans J. de Koster, the Presidency now rotates between four political groups on the basis of an agreement drawn up and signed in spring 1986 by the Socialists, the Christian-Democrats and the conservative European Democrats and joined to in 1994 by the LDR Group. The agreement provides for a rotation system whereby the President continues to be chosen from the larger groups (Socialists and Christian Democrats) at six year intervals and from the smaller groups (LDR and European Democrats) at 15 year intervals. Under this agreement, a Liberal president Lord Russell-Johnston, United Kingdom, (1999 - 2002) led the Assembly into the new millennium.

Members of the ALDE (PACE) Group

ALDE in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

There is an ALDE group in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly

External links

* [http://www.alde.eu/ Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe]
* [http://www.cor.europa.eu/alde/ Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the Committee of the Regions]
* [http://www.alde-pace.org/ Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in PACE]
* [http://www.eldr.org/ European Liberal Democrat and Reform (ELDR) Party]


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