- Liberal International , donderdag 28 januari 2016
At a special reception in Brussels, Sir Graham Watson (LibDems - UK) officially handed over the last of his political responsibilities as President of the ALDE Party (LI Cooperating Organisation) to his successor, Hans van Baalen MEP of the VVD (Netherlands - LI full member).
Van Baalen, who is also the President of Honour of Liberal International, was elected President of the ALDE Party at their recent Congress in Hungary in November 2015.
During the ceremony he thanked Sir Graham for his outstanding service as President of the ALDE Party and called on him “to continue with his good work to keep Britain in.” Outgoing President Watson is returning from Brussels to join the #StrongerIn campaign to keep the United Kingdom from leaving the European Union.
Less than two months since the ALDE Party's Congress in Budapest Van Baalen is off to a flying start. Less than a month after his election Van Baalen convened the liberal heads of state and government of the European Union ahead of December’s European Council Meeting. Van Baalen included the Leaders Meetings as one of the main priorities during his election campaign. In his first month as ALDE Party President he also brought a strategic visit to Georgia in support of the Republican Party (LI full member), and called for the ratification of comprehensive Free Trade Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine in the European Parliament. Liberal international will organise its 196th LI Executive Committee Meeting together with the Republican Party in Tblisi, Georgia, on 20-22 May this year.