"Dear Mr. Nyrup Rasmussen, dear European Socialists,
Thank you for your letter.
You are surprised about our commitment to the Single Market. You should not be.
Liberals believe that Europeans benefit from the Single Market. It gives European
consumers more choice and better products. It gives European companies opportunities
to grow and create jobs.
Do you believe that Denmark would be better off without the opportunities it offers?
Would Danish consumers want to live without French cheese, Italian shoes, German
technology or Finnish phones? Do you believe Danish companies would want to stop
exporting their goods to the rest of Europe, thus risking their employees' jobs?
The Single Market is not an end in itself for Liberals, but rather serves as the
most efficient means to meet the citizens' demands.
We believe in a universal service obligation and we are proud of our commitment to
open postal services. Do you really want to go back to a world of postal monopolies?
Don't you remember the queues? Competition forces monopolies to give better service
to their users, creates more choice and lower prices and benefits society in general
by "increasing the overall cake" to be shared amongst all. Did state monopolies ever
deliver better outcomes to consumers?
Public health care systems all over the EU have shown to be falling short of
patients' demands. Socialists regard patients as recipients; Liberals regard
patients as consumers who demand the best possible service. Patients want choice,
and competition will lead to better health coverage for all Europeans. 12 years of
Socialist government in the UK did not help to remedy the failures of the British
National Health Service. Aren't the months-long waiting lists for a surgery the best
arguments to open up borders for treatment?
Successful cross border projects such as the Thalys or the Eurostar project have
served the European consumers while German state-owned railway services become
constantly more expensive. If you compare the market services with state services
you will easily find out that the forces of markets satisfy the demands of citizens
much better and create growth, jobs and opportunities. States can guarantee rules
but do not create wealth and jobs.
The Manifesto of European Liberal Democrats leaves no room for doubt that we remain
committed to the prosperity and well being of European citizens.
A few weeks ago, you questioned our liberal commitment to equal opportunities.
Actions speak louder than words!
The ELDR President is a woman. What about the PES President? The ELDR Secretary
General is a woman. What about the PES Secretary General? 5 out of 7 ELDR Vice
Presidents are women. How many women serve in the PES board? 42% of Liberal MEPs are
women and they hold positions of real power within our Parliamentary Group. What
about your Parliamentary Group?
You find female heads of lists for the European elections in liberal parties in
Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Austria and England while
Socialists seem to remain committed to patriarchal party structures.
So does the voting record of Socialists in the European Parliament. Only a few weeks
ago the Socialist Group voted against or abstained when the European Parliament
voted in favor of a Tibetan-Chinese dialogue. Why?
The Socialists group didn't back the Parliament's report on a new EU-Russia
cooperation agreement to raise the Human Rights situation in Russia. Why?
Is it maybe because the patterns of alliances of old-time communism matter more to
Socialists than the universal achievements of civil liberties?
While Socialists live off fear, uncertainty and insecurity, Liberals live off hope,
trust and optimism. Others worry, we provide the answers. "