Former ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson received the Liberal International Medal of Liberalism on Saturday 28 April at the closing reception of the ALDE Party Council in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Medal of Liberalism is yearly awarded to individuals who have worked to advance liberal values on a local, national and international level. Former recipients of the prize include Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen or the Ivory Coast's President Alassane Ouattara.
In his acceptance speech, Sir Graham Watson said: "In twenty years in the European Parliament, and seven years leading its Liberal Group, I strained to promote contact between European Liberals, and Liberals in Asia, Africa and Latin America. And in the four years I led the ALDE Party I tried to build beyond the national borders and the national nexus of politics which hampers human progress."
"The first and foremost duty of Liberals will always be to empower. A glance across our planet shows much we have empowered. More of our fellow human beings than ever before are empowered: with food and water, sanitation and education, and what Ralf Dahrendorf called life chances. Democracy and technology have spread the opportunity for participation and self development. Opportunities for travel and communication and access to knowledge abound. There is no room for complacency: Poverty, disease, and squalor still too often blight human lives, but we have made tremendous advances through Liberal ideas and the Liberal market economy," he added.
Congratulations to former ALDE Party President @sirgrahamwatson for being awarded the @liberalinternat Medal of Liberalism - you’re a true long-standing committed Liberal🏅#ALDEcouncil pic.twitter.com/qPqPtudlMt— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) April 28, 2018
Congratulations @sirgrahamwatson— Liberal International (@liberalinternat) April 28, 2018
This evening in #Bulgaria - in the margin of #ALDEcouncil - our global family awarded our highest political honour to a great European #liberal hero pic.twitter.com/Ez4jWVDGxS