Jan Björklund: "The future must be liberal!" | ALDE Party

Jan Björklund: "The future must be liberal!"

20/11/2017
Jan Björklund during Liberalerna's Congress

Every two years ALDE member party Liberalerna hold their national Congress or Landsmote. Over 600 participants from all over Sweden met to discuss politics and make decisions about how to make the future more liberal from 17 to 19 November in Västerås, Sweden.

Jan Björklund was re-elected as Liberalerna's Chair in a race contested by another candidate, Birgitta Ohlsson. Following his election, Björklund said: "I'm happy, grateful and humble for the mission. The idea of ​​competition is liberal. Birgitta Ohlsson's challenge has made me thought about how to make more effort to become a better leader. I'm going to be a party leader for all, no matter who you supported before. Now we leave behind it. Now we are looking forward, now we have to work all together because we have a choice to win."

Helene Odenjung was also re-elected as First Vice Chair and Christer Nylander as Second Vice Chair. Odenjung is a member of Gothenburg's municipal council since 2002 and Nylander is a Member of the Swedish Parliament since 2002 as well as the leader of Liberalerna in the Riksdag since 2016. More details about the election here.

You can take a look at the full composition of Liberalerna's Board here, now dominated by female members.

One day after his re-election, Björklund addressed the participants with a speech which started reflecting on the recent sexual harassment online campaigns: "I am sad and badly affected by the #MeToo campaign. We must all take this seriously. We all have a responsibility for it, and in our party, I have the ultimate responsibility."

A large part of the speech was about integration issues: "There must be at least one party in the Swedish Parliament that is able to make a clear distance from the Swedish Democrats, and at the same time dares to speak plainly about the integration problems in our suburbs."

Björklund also addressed the subject of education and emphasised how knowledge acquired in schools brings freedom to children and equality, growth and competitiveness into our societies.

Finally, Liberalerna's party leader looked forward to next year's Swedish general election and draw a metaphorical comparison with the Swedish championship's football successes in the World Cup: "Behind every victory lies hard work. And that's exactly what we have in front of us. We have no time to lose. 6 million voters have not decided. Now we should roll up our sleeves and start working. Our mission is important: the future must be liberal!"

You can watch Bjorklund's full speech below or read it here.

During the Congress, more than 600 resolutions were adopted on a wide range of topics, including disability issues, housing, equality or climate change. You can check an overview of the whole Landsmote and particularly of the adopted resolutions here.