How to Formulate Liberal Answers (“Progressive Liberal Policy Lab”)

In the run-up to the 2019 EP elections, developing skills and knowledge to strengthen the understanding of the liberal philosophy – and to be able to communicate it effectively to the public – is increasingly important. To further that goal, a select group of European Liberals share their insights, facilitated by 3 experts, in a Policy Lab with three interconnected topics: 1) the pillars of progressive liberalism 2) developing policies based on your parties philosophy 3) how to effectively  communicate this to the public.

Party Philosopy: Facilitated by Daniel Boomsma (VSM). In this first part of the Lab, participants reflected in pairs on the concepts of Liberalism and of Progressive, before discussing it as a group. In a very short summary, consensus was on liberalism being a ‘what’ and progressive being a ‘how’. One notion that was not mentioned during the brainstorm was the concept of Democracy, therefore the group took time to reflect on why it was not mentioned and what they perceive it to be.

Facilitated by Dieter Feierabend (NEOS Lab). The second part of the Lab took the party philosophy a step further into policy design. After a warming up exercise in which all participants wrote their thoughts on ‘policy design’ on large sheets, Dieter took the group though the theory of policy design (Steenhuizen, 2012), and shared examples of the process of devising a immigration policy from NEOS. With this knowledge, the group split in two to work out a policy design process on integration. Central to both group results was the incorporation of the core values (for example openness).

Communication:  Facilitated by Jorge San Miguel (Ciudadanos). On the second day, the Lab focussed on communication a parties values and policies to the public. With lively examples, Jorge took the group trough the context of Spain and Ciudadanos. Armed with the theory and examples, smaller groups then set to work to design a framing strategy for a case.


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