25 Sep, 2018

LIBSEEN celebrate 10 years of successful cooperation

Last week, the Liberal Southeast European Network (LIBSEEN), chaired by former ALDE Party Treasurer Roman Jakič, celebrated their 10th anniversary. On the occasion, from 18 to 19 September, the LIBSEEN, with the support of the ALDE Party, organised a regional Leaders Meeting in the network's founding city, Skopje. The event was hosted by our Macedonian member party, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

Over the last decade, the LIBSEEN has turned into an important regional forum of the liberal democrats. This year, Liberal leaders from across the region and Europe convened in the Macedonian capital to discuss the state of play and the road ahead in the region’s EU and NATO integration. Some of the topics discussed were enlargement, security and migration, crucial both for the region and for next year’s European elections.

Roman Jakič, Chair of the LIBSEEN, commented: "After 10 years we, liberals from South East Europe are stronger and much more self-confident. We know that the development of the regional cooperation is in the interest off all Western Balkan countries and Europe. It’s a key factor of establishing political stability, security and economic prosperity. Liberal parties and countries of the South East of Europe must realise that we have responsibilities towards each other."

"Liberal values are on stake. In some countries liberal values where not implemented yet and we should use our energy to do it. In some countries where liberal values - with the help of our liberal parties - were implemented, they are in danger to be over voiced by intolerant and xenophobic languages, movements and parties. We should stand up and fight."

ALDE Party President, Hans Van Baalen MEP, was also presented at the 10th anniversary and the Leaders Meeting.

Commenting on the event, ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP said: “10 years since the establishment of the LIBSEEN is a proof that liberal values are an essential part of the democratic societies in southeast Europe. It is important that he LIBSEEN will continue to work closely in the region, particularly with the Western Balkans countries to maintain and promote regional peace and stability. Democratic values, rule of law, domestic reforms, and good neighbourly relations are vital for regional cooperation and for the Euro-Atlantic integration process.”

Kyuchyuk added: “Especially today, when finding an agreement for the name of Macedonia is maybe one of the most inspiring diplomatic efforts of the European Union in recent years. A historically difficult decision that has been negotiated between Greece and Macedonia. Now the people of Macedonia have the final word and I am hopeful they will pass the referendum because it will open the door for NATO and EU membership. That being said, it is very important that certain groups do not lean towards the extreme populist and historic rhetoric against Macedonia in an attempt to undermine the successful outcome of the referendum. There would only be harm and no winners from such an action.

ALDE Party Treasurer, Gašper Koprivšek, said: "The event in Skopje, celebrating the 10th anniversary of LIBSEEN, was a big success. I was really happy to see that our joint efforts to strengthen the network and to bring in a solid political character, are bringing results in the region.”

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