The Liberal Democrat International Office was established over twenty years ago. The office has multiple roles and responsibilities, ranging form strategic research and election support to the Liberal Democrats in UK, through liaison and representation in the European Parliament via the ALDE Party in Brussels, to its work on the international level providing party political assistance in developing democracies and building relationships with key international stakeholders.
The Liberal Democrat International Office receives funding from the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) to undertake democratic development work with sister parties around the world. The Office undertakes “core” work with their partners in three regions: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The International Office works to promote liberal democracy through direct work with political parties. This involves:
- Strengthening and encouraging development of liberal democratic parties - undertaken though political support, technical support and skills exchange.
- Supporting the development of active international and regional networks of liberal parties. This facilitates exchange and promotion of common ideas, skills, and policy solutions among those in similar circumstance, and encourages regional and international promotion of democracy and human rights.
Party political support ranges from needs assessment visits, to technical (operational) support, training projects, and campaign support. These projects form part of longer-term programmes, usually designed around election cycles. The criteria for work remain strategic relevance, need and the effectiveness of partner, and potential impact.
In addition, the International Office supports the development of the Africa Liberal Network (ALN), a network of liberal democratic parties from around Africa, and of the more recently established network of Arab liberal parties called Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AAFD).
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