16 Jun, 2021

Belgian liberals celebrate 175 years

The Belgian liberal party was founded in Brussels City Hall on 14 June 1846, making it the oldest political party of the European continent. To mark the occasion, Open VLD President Egbert Lachaert and MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez organised an event this week in the same room where the founding of the party took place.  Along with European Council President Charles Michel, the leaders held speeches on the importance of our liberal values and the important impact of the party on the community.

During his speech Bouchez highlighted the liberal commitment to the European project:

 “Liberals have always been very attached to the European project as shown by the presence of Charles Michel, but also Jean Rey who was president of the European Commission. The EU today is the most positive and inspiring project of modern history.”

In his remarks, Lachaert spoke about the liberal fight for freedom:

For 175 years we have been fighting for the right to be yourself in a free country. To define your own path without pressure or influence from government or religion. We fight for a free economy without too many rules or high taxes to promote entrepreneurship. We fight for equal rights for all individuals. There cannot be room for discrimination and people who face hardships will be helped.”

You can watch their remarks in full by following the links below:

Speech of Open VLD President Egbert Lachaert (in Dutch)

Speech by MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez (in French)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the in-person event was kept small, and party leaders met with young members outdoors following the celebration. However, a larger celebration is foreseen in autumn 2021 with European liberal profiles.

More information on the event will follow.

Pictures of the event are available here.

Photo credit: MR 2021.

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