The Conservative Group for Europe AGM took place at the splendid Council Room of One Great George Street - right across from the Houses of Parliament. The room was full, with extra chairs at the back and a number of participants standing. The atmosphere was very positive, upbeat and optimistic with inspiring speeches, convivial discussions and many plans for the future.
Our President, the Rt Hon Ken Clarke CH QC MP opened proceedings and chaired the event, while our Chair, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP and Lord Heseltine recapped our work and the many successes of the past year, some of which include:
- A growing membership and an increased level of activity.
- Significant growth and excellent management of the CGE's finances.
- The creation of a new website, as well as new donation and membership joining options.
- The creation of a new full-time paid position of a Campaign Executive.
- The continued fantastic work of our Secretaryand of our full-time Parliamentary Researcher.
- Delivery of research and insight with renowned research agencies.
- Increased activity of the Young CGE, including over dozen events, an international conference in London and many collaborations with centre-right partners in the UK and in many other European countries.
We were thrilled to elect our new team and are honored to have the support of many Parliamentarians, including a large number which are part of our executive team, Council,Vice-Presidents and patrons. Key names include (in alphabetical order), Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Antoinette Sandbach MP, Baroness Altmann, Rt Hon Caroline Spelman MP, Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP, Ian Taylor OBE, John Bowis OBE, Sir John Major, Rt Hon Ken Clarke QC MP, Lord Inglewood, Lord Deben, Lord Heseltine, Lord Hunt, Lord Hurd, Lord Kirkhope, Lord Plumb, Richard Harrington MP.
Following the election of the new board, the CGE Treasurer, Mark Leverton spoke about the CGE's finances, which have increased significantly and which have allowed for new projects and investments. These include:
- A new position for a Campaign Executive, responsible for media relations, campaigns management, research, content creation and project management.
- A new, modern website, with advanced features and tools.
- A large number of events, including an international conference which hosted 10 centre-right partners in London.
- Voter research and insight commissioned by the CGE.
- Membership of Europe's largest student political organisations - European Democrat Students and the Nordic Conservative Student Union.
The final speech was by Ivan Botoucharov, who spoke about the activities of the Young Conservative Group for Europe, which include,
- Over a dozen events organised by YCGE during the past year.
- A 3-day International Conference in London.
- Collaboration with all University CAs in and around London, most prominently with UCL CA, KCL CA and Oxford University CA.
- Doubling of the number of YCGE members.
- Delivery of the CGE website, creation of regular new content and ongoing management of the website.
- Participation in many international events, including the EPP Congress.
- Guest speeches in Finland, Norway, Italy, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Spain.
The AGM was followed by a drinks and canapes reception where the high-profile speakers mingled with all attendees and discussed many ideas for the coming year.
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