ALDE Party co-Presidents Senator Timmy Dooley and Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP hosted the official opening ceremony of the 2023 ALDE Party Congress in Stockholm.
"United we make a profound impact", Dooley said, talking of the road to next year's European elections. "Between 6th and 9th June 2024, every European member state will have a chance to vote, people will have a say on what type of Europe they want to live in."
“We Europeans largely took peace and prosperity for granted. We thought that democracy was given, we thought that the only issues left for those of us in politics were those of economy, equality and climate change. But then, 24th February gave us a clear reminder that autocratic forces remain strong. A reminder that if you want our liberal, democratic values to exist, we have to protect them,” Kyuchyuk said, speaking of the importance of upholding liberal values in these turbulent times.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy joined the opening ceremony through a video message. In his message, President Zelenskyy thanked for the support Ukraine has received and continued:
“Time is now to change, but this is not for our Europe to change. Europe is to stay united, peaceful, free, showing respect to every person, every community and every country. The time is now to change for those who threaten Europe. They must step back and respect our common values.”
“I am confident that this year is ripe and right for decisions. This year can and ought to do everything for our Europe to become the strongest. I thank everyone who is helping. Thank you all who trust in Europe, who make our unity stronger and who have no doubt that freedom must keep the global leadership,” he concluded.
Moreover, Prime Ministers Kaja Kallas and Alexander De Croo delivered video messages, highlighting our common fight for liberal values ahead of the 2024 European elections, as well the unwavering liberal support for Ukraine and its people.
In her message, Prime Minister Kallas noted: "It has been over a year since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This war has been a clear reminder that we cannot take our freedom for granted. It has been a reminder that the world has entered a new era. It has also reminded us of something many of us have said for a long time: that's today's struggle is actually very simple. It is a struggle between good and evil. A struggle for authoritarianism and terror on one side, and freedom and democracy on the other. Freedom will triumph over evil, sooner or later."
Prime Minister De Croo added: "We have one year until the European elections. Let us be united and help each other, like we do with Ukraine. Let us be bold in our actions and truthful with our words. I wish you all the best of luck and a fruitful Congress."
First Vice-President of the Renew Europe Group Malik Azmani MEP underlined the importance of looking ahead in his remarks: "We have a future together, and that future is called Europe."
During the opening ceremony, Swedish member party leaders Muharrem Demirok (Centerpartiet) and Johan Pehrson (Liberalerna) also took the stage, sharing Sweden’s prospective ahead of next year’s elections.
“We need to rely on a strong European Union, on a strong solidarity between us, and build it together with NATO, to safeguard our borders, to make sure that peace and prosperity grow all over the continent,” Demirok said, highlighting the importance of cooperation between the EU and NATO.
“We walk the talk. We will be able to do our share. And if we don’t take the leadership in Europe, who should take the leadership in the world then?” Pehrson said, talking of Europe's road to a greener future.
You can watch a recording of the welcoming address on our Youtube channel.
“This war has been clear reminder that we cannot take our freedom for granted.”— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) May 27, 2023
🇪🇪 Prime Minister @kajakallas shares insights on European security in her #ALDECongress video message pic.twitter.com/eSo1JTZ3PM