Amsterdam, 4 mei 2019 – In 2018 heeft het bestuur van de LP met afgevaardigden uit heel de wereld van onze libertaire broeder- & zusterpartijen in Praag vergaderd. Ten tijde van dit congres hebben wij besloten de internationale banden aan te halen. Onze ontmoeting in Nederland met UP! Schweiz is hier een uitkomst van.

Onze penningmeester sprak vanwege de komst van deze buitenlandse delegatie een avondspeech uit die verwees met meer en minder bekende overeenkomsten en verwijzingen de gezamenlijke geschiedenis tussen Nederland en Zwitserland.

The River Rhine: An intimate commitment between our countries, a cross-pollination of great ideals and an opportunity to learn from each other. Now more than ever.

A warm welcome to all of you, gathered here tonight in Amsterdam, in freedom. And Freedom certainly matters to us, even more so on a day like today. This day, the fourth of May, the day that the Netherlands commemorates the victims of the Second World War. A moment when public life will stop for two minutes of silence at eight o’clock.

There are fewer and fewer people who can tell us what it is like to live at a time when every step you took and every word you uttered could endanger you. For our generations it seems that freedom is self-evident.

That this is not the reality, is – to all of us – the core message of my humble speech tonight.

Freedom is, as philosophers would argue, a struggle in itself, freedom needs maintenance. But the blessings are numerous. Although much water still needs to flow through the river Rhine, we have already taken a clear first step in the right direction. We both support freedom and that is a clear signal.

In 2019, the world is fortunately slightly different than it was 75 years ago. We have come together and keep the freedom torch high. We have a major task to perform and to deliver an equally great message.

Freedom is worth it, but remember that it requires a lot. In energy, time, money, full attention to the many terribly bad counter-arguments of ideological opponents. The independence party in Switzerland and the libertarian party in the Netherlands are on the eve of a major and lasting mission.

The Low Countries by the Sea and the Swiss Confederation share the fact that we are a melting pot. Both countries had an intense internal struggle on a religious, linguistic and political level. Our shared history was also not easy. We both fought the Habsburgian Austria, and John Calvin did not go unnoticed.

We have never lost sight of Switzerland as a nation full of inspiration. And tastefully, our history has something fruity in common. It started with a nice story in Switzerland about Wilhelm Tell and an apple, and the Netherlands also had something similar, a close bond with orange(s).

We have a lot to defend together in our countries along the immense river, called the Rhine.

Certainly now that politics is fragmenting due to the diversity in the Low Countries and the Alpine region. This is nothing new. The alternative is to create a little more self-ownership for the Netherlands through decentralization, and in this context, the Netherlands has recently become a little bit more like Switzerland. Our youthcare has recently been decentralized.

Our good but very expensive health care is a big pain, and there is much to learn from Switzerland on this point too. According to my latest information, only three percent of the Swiss state budget goes to care. I would like to hear how you perform so efficiently and effectively on the theme of care.

We look forward to the moment to meet in Switzerland in the near future. Because I am not a fan of long speeches, I like to finish with a toast.

On the beauty of the shared glory of the Rhine and on our shared value that we like to uphold, freedom.

Uitgesproken ter gelegenheid van het bezoek van UP! Zwitserland aan Nederland op 4 mei 2019