How LIBG works

LIBG's role within Liberal International

LIBG is part of the world federation of liberal political parties - Liberal International. Founded in 1947, Liberal International has become the pre-eminent network for liberal parties and for the strengthening of liberal democracy around the world. There are a number of common principles which unite all liberal parties from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe; human rights, free and fair elections and multi-party democracy, social justice, tolerance, social market economy, free trade, environmental sustainability and a strong sense of international solidarity. Naturally in the application of these principles in different national circumstances there is diversity among liberal parties.

The British Group of Liberal International publicises the work of Liberal International, arranges overseas visits, provides hospitality for visiting liberals and keeps Liberal Democrats informed of liberal activities world-wide. It also arranges meetings and seminars, produces regular newsletters and raises funds for Liberal International's work. The British Group is represented at Congresses and Executive meetings of the Liberal International.

LIBERALISM

Liberals are committed to build and safeguard free, fair and open societies, in which they seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one is enslaved by poverty, ignorance and conformity. Liberals champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals. We acknowledge and respect the right to freedom of conscience and the right of everyone to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. The freedom to be creative and innovative can only be sustained by a market economy, but it must be one offering people real choices. This means that we want neither a market where freedom is limited by monopolies or an economy disassociated from the interests of the poor and the community as a whole. Liberals are optimistic at heart and trust the people while recognising the need to always be vigilant of those in power.

Welcome to the website of the Liberal International British Group.

It is a great honour to be elected chair of the Liberal International British Group. Stepping into Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett's shoes is not easy, and I owe him a huge 'thank you' for all his work as LIBG chair since July 2018.

So much has happened since, and Adrian steered this group through a perfect storm: Brexit, Covid, populist forces fed by increasingly sophisticated disinformation, and a dismal government descending into chaos and corruption.

LIBG is affiliated to Liberal International - the global federation of liberal parties.

Its aims are to keep liberal values - human rights, social justice, democracy and rule of law - alive in the face of adversity.

Working with like-minded parties across the globe, we want to keep Britain's pro-European, internationalist voice audible loud and clear across the globe. I am convinced that Britain still is the open, tolerant and welcoming society I encountered when I arrived in this country in 1996, and I will always fight to keep it that way.

My grandmother and father fled political persecution in Russia and Germany. As a lawyer and volunteer, I have sought to help refugees and migrants in the UK.

In 2019 I was incredibly honoured to be elected to the European Parliament and serve as vice-chair of the Human Rights Subcommittee.

Post-Brexit, I continue to work on human rights issues advising businesses on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Modern slavery and forced labour, inhumane working conditions and child labour still lurk in forgotten corners of our cities and at the bottom of many company supply chains. Only in cooperation with our sister parties around the world can we tackle these problems.

I was also privileged to serve on the board of the European Endowment for Democracy, an EU organisation promoting liberal democracy in the 'eastern neighbourhood', North Africa, the Middle East and beyond. Civil society engagement plays a huge role in this endeavour, and LIBG supports sister parties who channel these efforts.

Finally, it is vital that we keep defending diversity, inclusion and intersectionality in Europe and beyond. Adrian's achievements in this respect, notably in support of LGBT+ communities in Poland and Hungary, but also in bringing together people from different backgrounds here in the UK, need no further explanation. Sadly, the situation in many countries makes this work more urgent than ever, and LIBG will continue to raise awareness and tackle these issues.

You can follow our work via this website, but also on social media @LibIntBg where we will be tweeting regularly on international issues, events, and meetings of informative discussion and debate.

Irian von Wiese
Message from Irina von Wiese, Chair, LIBG