The EDP Convention in Florence - 8 March 2024 - Website of the European Democrats
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The EDP Convention in Florence – 8 March 2024

After months of preparation, the time had finally come: on 8 March, our EDP Convention took place at Stazione Leopolda in Florence, where we were finally able to share our eagerly awaited manifesto with the world. With over 1000 guests in attendance, the event was a resounding success. During the statutory part of the Congress, delegates engaged in a lively debate on each member party’s political priorities for the European election campaign.

After a coffee break, the doors were finally opened to the public. After an opening speech by Nicola Danti, MEP, and a keynote address by Jean-Noël Barrot, French Minister for Europe, our panels began, focusing on four main themes of our manifesto.

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

The first panel, “A Sovereign Europe“, focused on the urgent need to reform the institutions of the European Union. Among other things, the EDP manifesto calls for the abolition of the right of veto in the Council, the election of the President of the European Commission based on transnational lists, the merging of the functions of the Presidents of the Commission and the Council and the strengthening of the powers of the European Parliament. What reforms are needed to make the European Union work better and more efficiently? How can the relationship between citizens and Europe be improved? And what distinguishes the EDP and Renew Europe Now from other political proposals in the European elections? These and other questions were addressed by Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (French MEP), Enrico Borghi (Senator of the Italian Republic), Imanol Pradales (EAJ-PNV candidate to Basque Country) and Gerrit Jan van Otterloo (former MP of 50PLUS party).

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

The second panel, “A Secure Europe“, focused on the political measures, especially territorial measures, that have been taken to ensure the security of European citizens. We talked about crime, especially petty crime, real and perceived security, how our cities are changing with population growth and how this is changing citizens’ perceptions, also fuelled by right-wing xenophobic propaganda. Inevitably, we will also have to talk about the orderly management of migration and the paths to legalisation and social integration. What role can local authorities (regions, municipalities, etc.) play to ensure security for all? Is security really a “right-wing” issue?

The panelists were François Decoster (President of Renew Europe in the EU Committee of the Regions), Max Orville (French MEP), Istvan Serto-Radics (Deputy Secretary General of the EDP) and Alejandro Narvay Quintero Castañeda (Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food Sovereignty in Canary islands).

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

We had also the pleasure and honor to witness the interview with Belarusian politician Sviatlana Tsihanouskaya. She ran against Lukashenko in the 2020 presidential elections. In her touching speech she reiterated several times how “Belarus does not want to live in dictatorship and they don’t want to live in the shadow of Russia”, marking the fact that she represents the last fortress of democracy in Minsk.

8 March was not only the date of our Congress but also International Women’s Day. The aim of the “An Inclusive Europe” panel was to take stock of what is being done to close the gender gap in the workplace, in society at large and in politics. The EDP manifesto sets out equal pay for men and women as a basic requirement, stresses that equality is also a factor for competitiveness, guarantees sexual and reproductive rights throughout the EU and commits to eliminating gender-based violence. What role can and should the EU play? What are the differences between Member States and how can they be bridged? What legislative and financial instruments can the EU use?

Speakers: Oihane Agirregoitia (leading PNV candidate for the EU elections), Sylvie Brunet (French MEP), Veronika Fajmonova (SEN 21 candidate from the Czech Republic), Teresa Bellanova (Italia Viva).

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

The last panel “A Green Europe” focused on our environment. The Green Deal is one of the most famous measures of the last European legislature. It is also one of the most controversial, rightly or wrongly. A compromise can be found between those who deny climate change or do not see the need for Europe to lead the green transition in the world, and those who have a very ideological approach to the issue and want to pass all the costs of the transition on to citizens and businesses. The EDP manifesto takes a very pragmatic and non-ideological approach. How should the Green Deal be tackled in the new legislature? Who should pay for it? And also, should investment in renewables and nuclear energy be prioritised?

This was discussed by Christophe Grudler (French MEP), Alenka Košiša Čičin-Šain (NS-Reformisti, Croatia), Gabi Schmidt (Freie Wähler MRP and Bavarian Commissioner for Volunteering) and Maria Chiara Gadda (Italian MP).

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

Last but not least, our EDP Congress was rounded off by the closing speeches of our President Francois Bayrou and our Secretary General Sandro Gozi.

In their closing speeches, Sandro Gozi reiterated the fact that we are in difficult times and we have to choose the European way, so we have to wake up now and act before it is too late. Following his speech, President Bayrou focused on the danger of Putin and the consequences of a defeated Ukraine. He reiterated the importance of having a united and strong centre in which pro-European parties can position themselves for the next EU elections.

Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu
Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

Related member(s)

François<br>Bayrou
François
Bayrou
President

France
MoDem

Sandro<br>Gozi
Sandro
Gozi
Secretary General

France

Marie-Pierre<br>Vedrenne
Marie-Pierre
Vedrenne
.

France
MoDem

Laurence<br>Farreng
Laurence
Farreng
.

France
MoDem

Max <br>Orville
Max
Orville
.

France
MoDem

Sylvie<br>Brunet
Sylvie
Brunet
Member of the Presidency

France
MoDem

Christophe <br>Grudler
Christophe
Grudler
.

France
MoDem

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Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

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Website of the European Democrats - https://democrats.eu

The EDP Convention in Florence – 8 March 2024

After months of preparation, the time had finally come: on 8 March, our EDP Convention took place at Stazione Leopolda in Florence, where we were finally able to share our eagerly awaited manifesto with the world. With over 1000 guests in attendance, the event was a resounding success.

Read more »

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