Most participants arrived at the venue during 17th April, where we began the event by having dinner together. This began one of the goals of the event: to provide a platform for the participants to network with their European partners and build stronger ties between liberals across Europe. On April 18th the programme of the event began more formally. We had keynote speeches from the party secretary of the Centre Party, and also by Olle Schmidt from ELF. We then continued to our workshops, where the journalist Anna-Lena Lodenius gave a very interesting lecture on the language and rhetoric of European populist parties. We then continued with a workshop by Marc Thiessen, who continued this by talking about the importance of emotions in political communication. Finally, Claes de Vreese gave a lecture on political communication. After each lecture, the participants were divided into smaller groups and were given a specific case or assignment to discuss, related to the lecture’s content. The discussions were very fruitful, and the participants had the opportunity to share their different perspectives and points of view on the current political situation in their country, and Europe as a whole.
The day ended with a dinner, and further opportunities for the participants to network and socialise.
On the second day of the event, Mark Thiessen continued his workshop with a more interactive session where the participants were asked to formulate a liberal European campaign message of their own. The day was then ended by presentations by Polish Nowoczesna and Bosnian Nasa Stranka, who presented very interesting perspectives from their own struggles against populism.
On the whole, the event was very successful and several participants expressed great satisfaction with what they took with them from the discussions.