On 13 May, over 1,200 members and supporters of ALDE Party member D66 gathered in Amsterdam for their 117th party congress.
Opening the event, party chair Victor Everhardt called on members to work together and continue fighting for progress across The Netherlands. Throughout the day, participants joined in for side events on a range of topics, including improving opportunities for migrant workers, investing in education, European security and much more.
Delegates also voted on several motions to set out the party’s position on key issues, such as digital democracy, and participated in elections for internal party positions. Despite disappointing results in March’s regional elections, attendees expressed ambition and enthusiasm ahead of the upcoming 2024 European elections.
In her keynote remarks, Party Leader, Minister of Finance and Vice Prime Minister of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag highlighted the party’s fight for liberal values in Europe:
“Peace, freedom and justice: those values are universal. All the people of the world pursue them…but those who want to guarantee peace and freedom must always be vigilant. Those who want to protect peace and freedom should not shy away from military deterrence. Those who want to promote peace and freedom will also have to act when it comes down to it. That is why are investing in defence. That is why we are a loyal and decisive ally in NATO.”
“A strong Europe requires more than casual and consensus-oriented cooperation. It requires decisiveness and strategic choices for the future. Making those choices is too often complicated. That is why I advocate for the next step. It must become impossible for one country – large or small – to paralyse the entire European Union. We need to get rid of vetoes as much as possible. If we can do that, we will end division. Then Europe will be stronger than one weak link. Then we make our voice for human rights, democracy and freedom credible”, she continued.
You can read Kaag’s remarks in full on the D66 website.
Commenting on the Congress, ALDE Party Vice-President Annelou van Egmond said: “I was pleased to hear our party leader Sigrid Kaag discuss the need for leadership in times of political polarisation and stress the fact that only through compromises, solutions can be found for the pressing issues in both Europe and The Netherlands.”
Photo credit – © Jeroen Mooijman