During the upcoming EU elections, Nicola Beer will be the lead candidate of the German Free Democratic Party (FDP). Our Individual Member Christoph Liesen interviewed her after the ALDE Council and campaign event in Berlin in February.
How can the member organizations of LYMEC increase their results in Brussels and in their capitals?
I believe that it’s key to motivate young voters to head to the polls and to become engaged in politics – not only in their home countries but also on European level. Your generation grew up in a peaceful Europe and the right to move freely around Europe. However, when we follow the news these days it becomes very clear that the Europe as we know it -based on the fundamental liberal principles of democracy, market economy, and the rule of law – cannot be taken for granted.
Therefore, LYMEC member organizations should focus on illustrating how the EU adds value to the daily life of its citizens, especially its youth. There are endless political topics that are relevant to our youth such as digitalization and innovation, climate change and the environment, the future of work and how to end youth unemployment. Political youth organizations have to find a way to communicate these topics and spread enthusiasm among potential voters by making abstract ideas tangible. I’m convinced that the generation of “digital natives” has the best prerequisites for spreading their message and motivating their peers to take action and shape their own future – not only during personal conversation but also online.
As liberal parties, LYMEC’s member organizations believe in the strength and capacity of the individual. The feeling that each and every young person has the power to shape their future at home and abroad has to be communicated with the goal to get more young people to the polling place, with the goal to get more young people elected.
Do you have any recommendations for the nearly 200.000 LYMEC members on how to make their home countries more liberal?
The biggest advantage that the 200.000 members of LYMEC have and should use is their access to a huge and very diverse pan-European network. Members do not only get together for events and congresses to discuss liberal values and their common agenda. They also have the chance to make new friends from all over Europe and learn about their unique and personal stories.
The life of a 20-year-old in Germany can be very different from the life of a 20-year-old in Bulgaria. Learning about the challenges and hopes of our friends and neighbors and bringing these unique stories back home can help us to understand the importance and benefits of the EU for our home country. It prompts us to reflect on our own goals and motivates us to become active.
Again, motivating friends and peers to vote and be politically active and getting young people elected is key. Communicating personal stories along with showing your own passion and commitment for liberal politics is a great way to start a conversation and spark someone’s interest.
Do you have any ideas for how cross-border campaigning support should be coordinated?
LYMEC’s pan-European network and structure provides a solid basis for cross-border campaign support. While a vast network of volunteers is crucial to get the message out, it is important that some people are responsible for coordinating and training the volunteers. This does not have to happen on the ground, but could be organized by using online tools.
And finally, in your opinion, the most important points of the ALDE Council in Berlin in February were…
The ALDE Council marked an important milestone in our common European campaign. Liberals and democrats from all across Europe came together to demonstrate our unity and reaffirm our common goals. The key moments of the council were the preparation of the election of the top team for Europe and the discussion of the details of our common campaign of ALDE.
Christoph Liesen is a member of JuLis (Junge Liberale) and FDP as well as an Individual Member of both LYMEC and ALDE. He looks forward to digitalization and is always ready for international relations and automobiles.