Liberal Dialogue for Europe: Let’s Talk about Europe.

The meeting that took place in Warsaw on 25 and 26th of November, 2018, and it was the last workshop of a series called “Let’s Talk About Europe” of the “Liberal Dialogue for Europe” project that will be developed in Poland in 2018. The main aim of this project is to facilitate a dialogue with ordinary citizens, through a series of public consultations/workshops, about the main challenges the European Union in currently facing. This will result in a widely informed road which liberals in Poland (and the broader ALDE party) can follow towards determining their strategy for the European elections of 2019. Seven members of liberal think tank and leaderships of liberal parties participated in the event: from Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Romania. The event started with a dinner on Sunday, 25th of November. On Monday morning participants started with updating each other on the political situation in their respective countries and parties, including strategies for 2019 European Parliament elections. George Gima gave a longer presentation of Romania Together, new liberal movement in Romania (an organization first time presented in this project). Later participants went to the Sejm where they met with Marek Szolc, member of Warsaw City Council (Nowoczesna) who gave a short presentation of most important topics in the recent local and regional election in Poland. The participants were offered a tour in the parliament building by Mirosław Suchoń MP (Nowoczesna) that ended with lunch in the parliament canteen.

In the afternoon Anna Makówka-Kwapisiewicz from the National Democratic Institute (Cracow branch) gave a presentation on the NDI’s study on Central European youth’s attitude towards politics and society. It was an outcome of a long-term study in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary that showed many interesting similarities between the youth in region but also key differences that may be useful for creating party manifestos for 2019. The presentation was followed by a discussion on most important topics for the liberals to win 2019 elections led by Michał Kolanko, Poland’s top political commentator and columnist of “Rzeczpospolita” daily newspaper. Kolanko was trying to find universal issues that would make a common campaign in the region possible. The most visible one is using anti “Polexit”, “Czeck out” rhetoric and presenting liberals as the most pro-European force. Otherwise, all participants stated that the campaign will be based on their domestic issues.

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