25 Nov, 2020

The power of networks should not be underestimated, ALDE President says

On 21 November, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen took part in a virtual debate on the power of political networks, organised by Friedrich Naumann Foundation’s office for the MENA region.

Together with Liberal International Vice-President Emil Kirjas, former State Secretary of Morocco Mohamed Rherras and Gilbert Doumit from the Beyond Group, President van Baalen discussed the power of networks and the importance of physical meetings to strengthen interpersonal connections. The current pandemic shows the need for basic human interaction and according to President van Baalen, it is that interaction that creates the basis of powerful networks.

“If one speaks eye-to-eye, it creates a moment of trust and commitment. This is much more worth than searching on the Internet. It is of utmost importance to create interdependence between people because that founds the basis of long-term relations and political stability,” he said.

In that light, grass roots movements can play a role, the panel said. They are important in building connections between the policy level and people in the field. For example, ALDE Party member Momentum in Hungary along with many others started as a movement before becoming a political party.

After the US Presidential election, Hans van Baalen emphasizes to keep reaching out to people in every corner of society. It is the duty of liberal democrats to offer solutions and constructive alternatives to those in need. If not, people will tend to lean towards extremism.

You can watch the debate here, from 00:41:45 until 1:45:45.

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