On 18 September, Liberalų sąjūdis (Liberal Movement) – one of the ALDE Party members in Lithuania – held its 13th party congress during which incumbent party leader Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen was re-elected for another term.
Currently Speaker of the Seimas, Čmilytė-Nielsen has been leading Liberal Movement since 2019 and has since led her party in the coalition government formed after the country’s 2020 parliamentary elections.
Čmilytė-Nielsen was very pleased with the wide support from party members and looks forward to a never-before-seen liberal future for Lithuania:
"No matter how much we talk or write about the impending end of liberalism, year after year, elections after the elections, the Lithuanian people come to the polls and show that liberals are active and liberalism is alive. Today we have as many liberals in parliament as we have had for a long time, and if we include those liberal politicians from other parties and factions, we could really say that Lithuania's future is liberal.”
During the congress, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė thanked Liberal Movement for the fruitful government cooperation and for maintaining a stable and united faction in the parliament:
“I am absolutely certain that we are in the coalition, first and foremost to do the important work for the long-term future of Lithuania. We need political forces and leaders who genuinely care like the Liberal Movement and Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen.”
Aušrinė Armonaitė, leader of ALDE Party member Laisvės partija (Freedom Party) that is a coalition partner of Liberal Movement, also looked positively at the work of the coalition:
“The crisis must not be a reason not to make important changes in the country. Whether we are talking about growth-enhancing reforms, innovation, a friendlier tax environment or less bureaucracy we need to do this while considering human rights.”
Petras Auštrevičius MEP also delivered an intervention at the congress. Looking proudly back to the track record of the party, he said:
“We have survived because it is not the name that binds us but our beliefs. A pandemic will not destroy liberalism and will not undermine confidence in the values we believe in. Let us implement all the election promises and do our best to make Lithuania different.”
ALDE Party acting co-President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP addressed the congress virtually together with other liberals across Europe, including leader of Belgian Mouvement réformateur Georges-Louis Bouchez, former Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec (LMS) and Belgian State Secretary Eva De Bleeker (Open Vld).
You can re-watch Liberal Movement Congress here (in Lithuanian) with interventions of European liberals in English.
Photo credit: Liberalai