On Saturday 16 September, ALDE Party member Liberalų sąjūdis (Liberal Movement) held its 15th Congress in Kaunas, Lithuania, with members unanimously confirming Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen as party leader for a third consecutive mandate.
Alongside Čmilytė-Nielsen, who currently serves as Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, members also elected eight deputy chairs, 15 board members, 11 members to its Ethics and Transparency Commission and seven to its Control Commission.
Edita Rudelienė, Member of the Lithuanian Parliament and Deputy Speaker to Čmilytė-Nielsen, was confirmed as the party’s first Deputy Chair.
Čmilytė-Nielsen told members that that the leadership team formed at this Congress is ready to spearhead the party into a big election year as Lithuanians will be called to the polls for presidential, European and parliamentary elections in 2024.
"First of all, I want to thank the liberal community for their trust and the opportunity to work for another term. Secondly, I want to congratulate the newly elected members of the Board, Ethics and Transparency and Control Commission - they are people who are determined to work for the spread of liberal ideas and the constantly growing and strengthening party,” she said.
ALDE Party Co-President Timmy Dooley addressed the Congress with a video message underlining the European liberals’ support, as well as the need for the liberal family’s strength and unity to succeed in these three key elections in Lithuania.
“The last years have not been easy, and the road ahead is filled with lots of challenges. But remember it’s a steady hand that steers the ship through those rough storms. Your Congress today marks the renewal of our collective commitment to liberal values, while being a trusted party of governance. A party that gets things done. So as you gather today to shape the future, I wish you strength, unity and good fortunes,” he said.
In another video message, ALDE Party Vice-President Kira Rudik MP from ALDE Party member Golos in Ukraine and expressed her gratitude for the party’s support during Putin’s war of aggression.
Excited to deliver a speech at the the Lithuanian Liberals Movement’s congress today. Expressed a huge gratitude for the unwavering support of Ukraine in the fight for democratic values!@liberalai, @VCmilyte pic.twitter.com/njgD2y9w8b— Kira Rudik (@kiraincongress) September 16, 2023
"Europe is facing a series of new tests: the rise of artificial intelligence, Russia's war, and climate change. Even though they challenge liberalism, there is one true solution - the fight for free will, equality, and human rights. However, we need to adapt to the inevitable change. Yet, I believe that the unity of liberals is an unstoppable force that will overcome anything and anyone that challenge us," said Eugenijus Gentvilas, leader of the Liberal Movement political group in the Lithuanian Parliament.
During the Congress, members also agreed to update the party’s statutes and to ratify its candidate for President of Lithuania at a Council expected to be held in December this year.
On the same day, the Liberal Movement also held the third edition of the Festival of Liberal Ideas, an initiative connecting experts, politicians, scientists and citizens to debate about liberalism.
Photo: Liberalų sąjūdis