European Liberal Democrats, meeting for their 33rd annual congress in Dublin, have today overwhelmingly adopted a motion to change the name of the party to Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe Party, or in short ALDE Party, with immediate effect.
Sir Graham Watson MEP, President of the ALDE Party, said: "In 2004, other centrist forces joined with ELDR MEPs to form the ALDE Group in the European Parliament. Today, we create one Party to provide a home at EU level for all these forces and more."
Guy Verhofstadt MEP, leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, said: "It makes sense for the ALDE Group in the European Parliament to be reflected in an ALDE Party, uniting the EU's centrist forces under one umbrella."
Founded in 26 March 1976 ahead of the first direct elections to the European Parliament, the European Liberal Democrats were the first truly pan-European political grouping. In 1986 the federation of parties became known as the European Liberal Democratic and Reform (ELDR) Party and in 1993 officially became a European political party.
Note to editor:
The ALDE Party is the party for liberal democrat values in Europe. Together with our liberal member parties across the European continent we are translating the principle of freedom into politics, economics and all other areas of our societies.
The ALDE Party consists of more than 50 member parties across Europe, two European Prime Ministers, at least five Deputy Prime Ministers and eight of the 27 European Commissioners including three Vice Presidents in key portfolios.
In January 2011, 19 member parties participated in 14 governments across Europe in 12 EU member states.