On Monday evening in Lisbon, ALDE Party’s individual members in Portugal hosted an event on the topic of “Women in Power – the new role of women in politics.” They were honoured to have as key note speaker European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, who was welcomed by country coordinator Luis Menezes.
Said to be the most powerful woman in Brussels who makes sure the EU’s internal market works in a fair way for everyone, Vestager shared with the participants her experience in politics, from an early age. She joined ALDE Party member Radikale Venstre, the Danish Social Liberals, and ran for parliament at the young age of 21. Vestager said: “I was asked to run in my countryside constituency knowing well that I didn’t have a big chance of getting elected. The worst thing that can happen in life is that you fail. But at least I tried, and next time I could do better.” Soon after she was asked to join Radikale Venstre’s national board, of which she became Chair in 1993.
Vestager became a Minister of Education and Church Affairs, was elected to the National Parliament, became Parliamentary Group leader for the Social Liberals and in 2011 became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic and Home Affairs. In 2014, Margrethe Vestager was nominated to become the Danish member of the European Commission.
Her stories inspired individual members and their friends as they believe that politics of Portugal lacks the same strength where most women seem not to care a lot about politics. Vestager reminded the participants why women care less to be part of the political process: “Often you have to sit through tedious meetings where the same arguments are repeated time and again and it is difficult to see any progress or development.” Yet, she reminded that: “If you see the possibility to make a difference in something you strongly believe in or feel about, then why not be part of that political process and make the change.” She continued to state that: “Obviously it helps if the conditions are right and there is for example such a thing as child care, which allows you to balance family and professional and political life.”
Following the meeting with ALDE Party’s individual members, Vestager continued to open the WebSummit, the largest tech conference in the world, to discuss “Fair Play and tech”.
The event was made possible with support of ALDE Party’s “political projects” programme.