European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party: Wikis

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European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
Europäische liberale demokratische und Reformpartei
Parti européen des Libéraux, Démocrates et Réformateurs
Partito europeo dei democratici, liberali e riformatori
Partido Europeo de los Liberales, Demócratas y Reformistas
Partij van Europese Liberalen en Democraten
Páirtí liobrálacha Democrat agus Athchóirithe na hEorpa
Partidul Liberal Democrat European
President Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck MEP
Founded March 1976 (as "Federation of Liberal and Democrat Parties in Europe")
April 30, 2004 (as formal Party)
Headquarters Rue Montoyerstraat 31,
1000 Brussels, Belgium
Ideology Liberalism
Social liberalism
Classical liberalism
Conservative liberalism
International affiliation Liberal International
European Parliament Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Official colours Gold and Blue
Website
www.eldr.eu
Politics of the European Union
Political parties
Elections

The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party is European political party, mainly active in the European Union, composed of 55 national-level liberal and liberal-democratic parties from across Europe. 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.[citation needed] Internationally, ELDR is affiliated to the Liberal International.

As of 2006, the ELDR is the third-largest political party represented in European Union institutions, with 74 Member of the European Parliament and 8 members of the European Commission.

ELDR is politically represented in the European Parliament by the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) parliamentary group, formed in conjunction with the European Democratic Party, and led by Guy Verhofstadt, a former Prime Minister of Belgium.

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 a Franco-Belgian politician Aloys Rigaut (MR, Belgium), 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.

Contents

Leadership

The leadership of the ELDR Party is Annemie Neyts, a Flemish MEP for the Belgian party Flemish Liberals and Democrats 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. She was re-elected for a two-year term at the ELDR Congress in Berlin in 2007 and again in the Congress in Barcelona 2009.

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

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Bureau

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

President

Vice-Presidents

Treasurer

ALDE group leaders

Other party officials

ELDR Congress

The ELDR Congress is the sovereign body of the ELDR corporation, 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 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:

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

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 matching 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 and later became a European political party.

The ELDR Europarty allied with the European Democratic Party in 2004 to form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, with a matching group in the European Parliament.

European Commissioners

ELDR Member Parties contribute 8 out of the 27 members of the European Commission:

Member parties

Proportion of ELDR MEPs per country as of 2004

 Austria

 Belgium

 Bulgaria

 Cyprus

 Denmark

 Estonia

 Finland

 France

 Germany

 Hungary

 Ireland

 Italy

 Latvia

 Lithuania

 Luxembourg

 Netherlands

 Poland

 Romania

 Slovakia

 Slovenia

 Spain

 Sweden

 United Kingdom

Outside the EU

 Andorra

 Azerbaijan

 Bosnia and Herzegovina

 Croatia

 Georgia

 Kosovo

 Macedonia

 Moldova

 Norway

 Russia

 Serbia

 Switzerland

  • Free Democratic Party of Switzerland (Freisinnig-Demokratische Partei der Schweiz/Parti radical-démocratique suisse/Partito liberale radicale svizzero/Partida liberaldemocrata svizra)

See also

External links


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