Strong Renew Europe CoR presence at ALDE Party Congress

It was a very busy ALDE Party Congress in Stockholm for Renew Europe CoR; local and regional authorities had a strong presence at the Congress with three events organized: a Liberal Mayors summit, a Local Councillors connecting the Union event and Bridging the Union’s East-West divide. It also saw a successful resolution passed: Towards a positive narrative on migration and integration”.

Liberal Mayors Summit

Opened by François Decoster, Renew Europe CoR President, the Liberal Mayors Summit – the tenth edition – focused on how the European Union functions on the ground; it focused this year on the European Year of Skills: the labour force at the local level. For this Summit, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Margrethe Vestager joined about 20 Mayors from 12 different member states.

Resolution on Migration

it will be impossible to sustain economic growth in Europe in the future with a declining and ageing population. There is also no successful migration policy without an effective integration policy. And that successful integration needs local leaders that apply zero-tolerance against discrimination, enforce the rule of law, promote mixed neighbourhoods, a foment inter-cultural dialogue and language learning, as well as buddy schemes to facilitate integration at a micro level (the ‘Mechelen’-model). The Renew Europe CoR resolution, which was successfully passed at the Congress, therefore calls on Liberal Heads of State and Government to place integration high on the European agenda; on National liberal leaders and parliamentarians to promote a positive approach to immigration, and challenge anti-migration parties to explain how they propose to avoid the decline without immigration.

Local Councillors connecting the Union

Following the first successful event last year, we held our second local councillor’s event bringing together local politicians from the Swedish liberal parties Centerpartiet and Liberalerna, and the rest of Europe to discuss how to connect citizens with Europe and bring the EU to local communities via the European Committee of the Regions local councillors scheme.

Our President François Decoster is one of the driving forces behind this EU Local Councillors project. The EU has more than 1.1 million local and regional elected representatives, who are the essential link between Europe and its citizens. Each municipality is therefore invited to designate a member of its council as the EU Councillor responsible for maintaining citizens informed about EU affairs and providing to the EU level the evidence from the ground that contributes to better policy-making. François Decoster introduced this scheme in France and he shared his personal experiences at the EU local councillors event, joined by Kate Feeney, Dovydas Kaminskas, Jasna Gabric and Michiel Rijsberman.

Bridging the Union’s East-West divide

François Decoster, Katalin Cseh, Renew Europe MEP from Hungary, Matus Vallo, Mayor of Bratislava and Clotilde Armand, Mayor of Bucharest Sector 1, offered their outlook on the economic and social perspectives of how cities can bridge the gap between Eastern and Western Europe, in cooperation with FNF Europe.


The Liberal Mayors Summit took place during the ALDE Party Congress in Stockholm, 26 May, and saw the participation of, among others, Christoph Wiederkehr (Deputy Mayor of Vienna, Austria), Bart Somers (Mayor of Mechelen, Belgium), Daria Hrebak and Ivica Puljak (Mayor of Bjelova, Mayor of Split, Croatia), Daniel Berg (Mayor of Budapest Sector 2, Hungary), Fintan Phelan (Mayor of Carlow, Ireland), Dovydas Kaminskas (Mayor of Taurage, Lithuania), Karolina Zdrodowska (Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, Poland), Clotilde Armand (Mayor of Bucharest Sector 1, Romania), Matus Vallo (Mayor of Bratislava, Slovakia) and Jan Jonsson (Vice Mayor Stockholm City Council).

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