16 Dec, 2020

Liberal Pre-Summit meeting ahead of crucial EU Council

Ahead of a very important European Council meeting on the European budget and the Brexit deal, liberal leaders met on Thursday 10 December at the Egmont palace in Brussels.

After the Liberal Pre-Summit, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen reacted positively to the consensus reached during the meeting on rule of law, and said “the Rule of Law Mechanism does not only mean that fraud with EU funds should be punished, but that member states that breach fundamental values such as civil liberties, human rights, media freedom, the independence of the Judiciary should face severe, financial sanctions. In the end this is also supported by many in Polish and Hungarian society!”

Van Baalen said that he hoped that a hard Brexit could be avoided, however not at all costs. He is of the opinion that a hard Brexit will be followed by new negotiations which could deliver a better result than a bad deal before 1 January.

Furthermore, van Baalen was bold on the Conference on the Future of Europe. A joint initiative of liberals in the European Parliament and French President Emmanuel Macron, there is consensus on liberal leadership of the Conference, which should start soon. Almost 1.5 years after the European Elections, there is now a deadlock which cannot be explained to the citizens of Europe.

ALDE Party and its members have already adopted a resolution on its input for the Conference at the recent ALDE Party Council and will, in the second half of 2021, organise its own Conference on the Future of Europe. “ALDE will not accept stagnation but go agreed to push for the reform of the European Union!”, van Baalen concluded.

Pre-Summit Participants:

Emmanuel Macron, President of France

Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg

Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium

Micheál Martin, Prime Minister of Ireland

Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands

Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission

Věra Jourová, Vice-President of the European Commission

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for the Internal Market

Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management

Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice

Dacian Cioloș, Leader of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament

Hans van Baalen, ALDE Party President

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