ALDE Party member parties today formally elected former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt as the candidate for European Commission President and as the co-leader of the European Liberal campaign for the European elections with Olli Rehn, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs.
The agreement between the two candidates reached on 20 January that the two candidates will jointly lead the campaign, on an equal footing, was today approved at the ALDE Party electoral meeting at Flagey, Brussels by 79.3% votes in favour, 14.2% against with 6.5% abstaining.
The duo will campaign together for a more liberal Europe and on the electoral platform outlined in the ALDE Party Election Manifesto that was adopted at the Party Congress in London on 30 November 2013.
In a joint statement, Guy Verhofstadt and Olli Rehn commented: “Liberals are strong when they stand united. In these European elections we have the chance to make Europe stronger. Together with our 39 member parties in the EU member states we will both fiercely campaign for reforming Europe where necessary and taking actions to create jobs and prosperity.”
ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson added: “Today liberal parties are needed more than ever to counter populist forces on the right and left trying to nurture fear. We work for a Europe which inspires trust, not fear; promotes prosperity and unity, not division.”
"I welcome the fact that we have two extremely well qualified and experienced campaigners to lead our campaign. With all liberal parties working together, I am convinced that Europe's Liberal Democrats will fight an effective and successful campaign for a more Liberal Europe."
The ALDE Party will hold its Spring Council and European Campaign kick-off rally on 2 May in Vienna at the invitation of NEOS.
Note to editors
The ALDE Party manifesto ‘A Europe that Works’ can be downloaded here: http://www.aldeparty.eu/en/news/alde-election-manifesto-online-now-europe-works
ALDE Party member parties were awarded a proportion of votes based on their respective size and electoral success and delegates voted on-site and via online ballot.
The candidate selection process of the European Liberal Democrats:
28-30 November Nominations opened & Election Manifesto adopted at London Congress
19 December Pre-Summit liberal leaders met to discuss nominations received
20 December Nominations closed
1 February ALDE Party candidate elected at special Electoral meeting in Brussels