On 19 January, ALDE Party Secretary General Didrik de Schaetzen took part in a panel debate on the role of civil society in protecting European democracy.
The discussion, hosted by Brussels-based organisation Civil Society Europe, saw Secretary Generals and Presidents from four prominent pan-European parties discuss necessary measures to prevent and fight back attacks on civil society, threats to democracy and the rule of law.
de Schaetzen outlined ALDE Party’s initiatives to engage with civil society, such as last year’s Manifesto town hall series, and described how civil society can be closely intertwined with local, national and European politics.
“Civil society is not important, it’s essential. In our political family, we have a lot of civil society movements that have become political parties, especially in Hungary and in Slovakia,” said de Schaetzen.
“With the recent crises we have faced, civil society can change the world perhaps more than politics. We need civil society organisations to slash corruption and mishandling of power, and it is crucial that no rule of law means no EU money.
“We need to rebuild trust again, and to reform institutions to make them more efficient and transparent. The support of civil society organisations is crucial to implement these changes.”
- Walter Baier, President, Party of the European Left
- Benedetta De Marte, Secretary General, European Greens
- Didrik de Schaetzen, Secretary General, ALDE Party
- Giacomo Filibeck, Secretary General, Party of European Socialists
You can rewatch the debate below.