30 EU Liberal leaders, including three EU heads of government and Commissioners, have met in Brussels for talks about the upcoming European election campaign. The meeting was chaired by Sir Graham Watson MEP, the president of the ALDE Party. Participants included the Prime Minister of Estonia, Andrus Ansip, the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, EU Commission Vice Presidents and Commissioners Olli Rehn and Neelie Kroes and Commissioner Karel De Gucht. They were joined by the leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt MEP.
Discussion centred on the scope and the shape of the common campaign for the EP elections next May. The nomination of the ALDE Party candidate for the position of President of the European Commission and the agenda for the afternoon meeting of the European Council were also discussed.
Sir Graham said:
“Rarely do we have the opportunity to gather so many of our European Liberal leaders around one table to share views and opinions in preparation of a common campaign. We have had a constructive discussion today about the ongoing process to nominate a common candidate for the role of President of the European Commission and about the type of campaign that person should lead."
"The deadline for nominations of candidates closes tomorrow, on the 20th of December. The ALDE Party will then be in a position to officially confirm the name or names of all those who have put themselves forward for the position.”
"As Liberals, we are not afraid of democracy. We are lucky to have at least two extremely well-qualified candidates in the frame, either of whom would do an excellent job."