It is that time in the political cycle when the various European political groupings come together to decide upon a platform for the approaching European Parliamentary elections. And, this time, the Liberal manifesto is being debated, amended and, hopefully, agreed in London - this weekend, to be precise.
As an elected member of ALDE's Council, I will be there, naturally, although my role will probably not be entirely policy-focused, given the size of our delegation. Indeed, given the number of delegates we will be sending, I'm unlikely to get a word in edgeways.
So, what am I hoping for from the manifesto?
I'd like to see some action on the following;
- meaningful political reform of the way Europe does business - more transparency, better accountability to its citizens
- efforts to enable citizens to take advantage of the opportunities that Europe potentially offers - free movement of labour, educational exchanges, trade etc.
- support for innovation - we have no future in labour intensive mass production as developing countries can undercut us with drastically lower labour costs, so must be cleverer instead
- a Europe that speaks with one voice when, and only when, it is best placed to speak for us all
- real subsidiarity, not a 'land grab' for power by the European Parliament
There's more, but that's enough to be going on with for the time being.
As time permits, I'll be covering the event for Liberal Democrat Voice, so watch out for reports there...