Country Contacts

With members across most countries in Europe, we have a network of National Coordinators in some, and branches in others. Find your National Coordinator or branch below, and drop them a line.

Austria

National Coordinator: Owen Williams

I became a member of the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 general election when it seems the liberal voice in the UK was already being drowned out by Austerity and Nationalism. I was happy to step up and help the fight back against Brexit and the tone of the UK debate in March 2016 and became the National coordinator for Austria.

I was born in North Wales and lived there until I left to study Biology at Imperial college London. While I was there I also joined the Royal Navy Reserves for 3 years. After this I moved to Vienna with , like most of the Expat community here, the plan to stay a year or so and return to the UK. That was 6 years ago and have worked in a pathology lab before starting and completing a Masters in Microbiology here. My political interests are therefore, Brexit, the Military, climate change and Science communication.

I look forward to meeting the new members in Austria in addition to the good friends I have made here through the Liberal Democrats.

Contact Owen


Belgium 

Branch Chair: Deborah Griffiths

I have been living in Brussels for 25 years and joined the Lib Dems in 2016. After 20 years working for the European Commission, I now hope to bring the expertise and experience of other British EU officials into the party. However, whilst Brussels is important for the Lib Dems, the Belgian branch will ensure that UK citizens all over Belgium will be motivated to join the party and bring their talents to the table. Now, more than ever Liberal voices need to be heard all over Europe.

Contact Deborah


Bulgaria

National Coordinator: Andrew Houseley

I am a recent arrival from the UK but go back a long way in the Liberal Democrats and one of its predecessors. With the party, I remain on the approved parliamentary candidates' list. I last stood in the European Elections in 2009 on the East of England list. Prior to that, I fought Central Suffolk & North Ipswich in the 2005 General Election. In between those I worked briefly as the full-time Organiser with Colchester Liberal Democrats supporting their councillors and Sir Bob Russell MP, but nearly all of my other roles have been unpaid. In the past I have chaired my local party in Suffolk and am the veteran of several parliamentary by-elections. Not that one needs any of that experience to be a national co-ordinator!

I moved to southwest Bulgaria in October 2014 and have two properties here, one apartment and a farm house in the Maleshevo mountains in need of renovation. I spend most of my time running my publishing company, which produces travel guides to places of pilgrimage. In recent times I have become one of the company's authors and currently have two projects on the go. I also have over 15 years' experience as a Human Resources Manager, having spent much of that time as a freelance interim.

Our number of members in Bulgaria is so far small. But that shouldn't stop us joining in as much as we are able the activities of LibDems in Europe and some local initiatives, in particular:-

  • On better overseas representation such as ending the 15-year rule and campaigning for overseas constituencies
  • Trying to stop this terrible Brexit juggernaut that is without a credible mandate
    • Writing to the MPs in the constituencies where we last lived in the UK
    • Lobbying the Bulgarian government especially in the event of Brexit on our current rights, and options for residency, single citizenship, and dual nationality.
  • Establishing contacts with Liberal parties in Bulgaria

We are small enough not to set up a formal branch of Liberal Democrats in Europe, and so we are able to meet informally - as much for socialising as for politics. I would like to do this for all members and also anyone who supports the positions the Liberal Democrats are currently taking. These are difficult, worrying times, but here in Bulgaria we have good food, a variety of beverages, shared experiences and good company to help ease our way through them!

Please don't hesitate to e-mail, phone or text - I would love to hear from you.

Contact Andrew by email or phone: (+359) 0-877749121


Czech Republic

National Coordinator: Max Marioni

I moved from the UK to the Czech Republic in 2015, and live in Prague with my wife, Kristina. Previously I lived in Germany; I am half Italian by my father and was schooled at a European school in Italy. As a consequence I have been always been very pro-European in outlook, and I am a liberal at heart. The Liberal Democrats were a natural fit for my values, and I joined the party in 2011. I have found the Lib Dems the most progressive party in Britain, the only party that fights against a hard Brexit, and they are the ones that speak up for British citizens living abroad.

I have decided to step up and help out my fellow expats because I have a lot of experience with living outside of Britain, and I know the challenges British expats face when moving to a foreign country. I have also some experience in European institutions and policy-making, having studied politics and international relations, with a focus on European politics, and having worked for the EU Commission in its representative office in Rome. Currently I am working as a market analyst for a management consultancy in Prague. Aside from campaigning for Europe and the rights of British citizens living in the EU, I am currently working in my spare time on my first novel.

Contact Max


Finland

National Coordinator: Darren Trofimczuk

My name is Darren Trofimczuk and I am a British citizen living in Finland 30km north of Helsinki, in a town called Järvenpää. I have lived in Finland since July 2011. I became a member of the Liberal Democrat party in the year 2000, but withdrew my membership in 2009 when the party changed its policy for student tuition fees. I decided to re-join the Liberal Democrats party in the last UK election as I'm very pro-EU and I felt the party was the only political party in the UK that could represent my views. During my university internship I also worked with Simon Hughes at his Bermondsey constituency for six months.

After graduating from Middlesex University with a degree in ICT and Political & International Studies in 2001, I went on to train as a teacher and gained qualified teacher status (QTS) in 2003. Since then I have enjoyed a very successful career as a teacher and ICT coordinator in both the UK and Finland. I now work as a lecturer at Haaga-Helia University in Porvoo. I also have a strong entrepreneurial mind-set after starting a small educational consultancy business and presently act as mentor for other educational start-ups at a Helsinki growth accelerator.


Contact Darren


France

France has its own Local Party, whose website is libdemsinfrance.org.


Germany

National Coordinator: Steve Bourne

I have lived in Germany for a total of ten years and am now resident in Ost Friesland. I have recently married my German partner Katharina and we are expecting our first child in mid-January 2018. I speak fluent (if not perfect) German.

I was a Lib Dem councillor on two councils in Shropshire for 6 years. During this time, I produced and printed all the local election material for the Party and ran several successful local by-election campaigns and normal elections (much to the annoyance of the local Tories!). I have also stood twice for the Party as a Parliamentary Candidate. I have undertaken most of the training that was available at that time to candidates, though I am probably a little out of date having lived in France for 8 years.

It seems the usual event of getting sucked in to help organise things that comes with being a Lib Dem is happening! I am happy to keep the ball rolling now as national coordinator and glad to be on board in getting the Lib Dems more organised in the EU.

Contact Steve


Luxembourg

Chair: Chris Garrett

I joined the Lib Dems following the Brexit referendum, a refugee from the Conservative Party, where I was the Chair of Conservatives Abroad in Luxembourg.

Born in Oxford in 1942, I spent my formative years living in Yorkshire. Nine years’ service in the Royal Signals was followed by a career in industry where I worked designing control rooms and computers for nuclear power stations until recruited to work with US data comms companies. I ended my career as the General Manager Global Large Enterprise Projects for a large US Corporation.

A scout since the age of 9, I have enjoyed various senior voluntary positions in British Scouts Overseas and am still active supporting the Northern Europe District of BSO.

A convinced European, I must fight with all my might against the insane idea of Brexit and, in my opinion, the Lib Dems is the very best way to do this.

Contact Chris


The Netherlands

National Coordinators: Nathan and Elena Goodearl

Nathan is an experienced IT consultant specialising in niche computer software for over ten years. He implements budget and forecasting systems for reporting financial data. His role is both functional and technical. Elena is a linguist who speaks English, Italian and French. She works in conference interpreting and translation in national markets and is currently working on editing and website content.

Both of us are driven to rise to the challenge of post Brexit referendum reality. It is indeed after the European referendum on the 23rd of June that we both joined the LibDems Party. Since moving to the Netherlands we have become national coordinators. We intend to galvanise members and to liaise with national politicians to make the needs of British expats living in the Netherlands understood and foster goodwill by building relationships which could help minimise Brexit fallout. We aim to establish a Netherlands branch of the LibDems party.

Contact Nathan and Elena


Norway

National Coordinator: David Nikel

I moved to Norway in 2011 but have been a member of the Liberal Democrats since the early 2000s. I helped the organisation in Birmingham with membership growth and election campaigns, and worked for the national party as Membership Development Officer in the run-up to the landmark 2010 General Election. Now I work in beautiful Trondheim, Norway, as an author, podcaster and freelance writer. Being a Brit living in Norway with a Mexican partner has given me a unique perspective on the world in which we live, and merely confirmed that the Liberal Democrats are a natural home for me

Contact David


Poland

National Coordinator: John Bason

I moved to Poland 14 years ago and live with my wife and small daughter in Warsaw, after having been educated at Oxford and Cambridge and having spent ten years in Medical Research. I am now busy in Warsaw in the communication industry representing a Polish company in their overseas activities.

I am against Brexit as I believe that Europe is stronger and more together when we work in partnership. The negative impacts of Brexit will seriously impact opportunity and freedoms for every British citizen. Only the Lib Dems have been brave enough to stand against Brexit and this drove me to join the party, having always been a Lib Dem voter.

I am a classic Liberal believing in an open and tolerant society, free from an over bearing government in surveillance, the economy and life choices. My favourite Liberal leader is David Lloyd George.

Contact John


Portugal

National Coordinator: Sylvia Gallagher

I have been a member of LibDems/Liberals since the day I was able to vote. I helped Lord Avebury take Orpington for the Liberals for the first time. I worked for many years in Islington helping the Liberals to eventually take control of the council and stood as a local candidate for the Islington Council elections against Jeremy Corbyn.

I have always been a member of LDEG (LibDem Europe group) when living in London and attended many conferences of ALDE in Europe as well as giving presentations in several European cities so know many of our MEPs.

I moved to Portugal 10 years ago in order to have easier contact with our European colleagues. In Lisbon I am helping also groups of young Portuguese politicians who are anxious to develop more Liberal politics in their own country. Please will you get in touch with me so we can arrange a venue for meeting up. It would be good to fix a time and place where we can discuss possibilities in Portugal and LibDem politics in general.

I live in Caldas da Rainha and would be happy to meet either there or in Lisbon although I am open to other suggestions.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Contact Sylvia


Spain

National Coordinator: Tim Young

I joined the Liberal Democrats after the 2016 EU referendum as they alone stood up for the values of a centrist, open and liberal democracy in an increasingly polarised and divided United Kingdom. I am proud to consider myself both British and European and want to work actively to promote those cultures and liberal values at a grass roots level.

I am from West Sussex originally and moved to Barcelona two years ago with my French wife and our young son. We met in Paris, where I have lived for eight years in total, prior to that having lived and studied in London and Cambridge. I work for a small real estate investment business and have the opportunity to travel extensively around Spain, Portugal and France.

I look forward to meeting fellow Liberal Democrats from Spain and further afield, to help communicate the views and values of liberal minded expats within British and European politics

Contact Tim


Sweden

National Coordinator: James Savage

I have lived in Sweden since 2003, and have previously spent a year living in Paris. My background is as a journalist, and I am co-founder of European English-language news network The Local. I am hoping that the Lib Dems in Sweden will give a voice to the thousands of Brits here who are worried about what Brexit will mean for their future, and who want to contribute to a constructive grass-roots cooperation between liberals in both countries.

Contact James


Switzerland

National Coordinator: Tom McAdam

Tom joined the Lib Dems in the UK in early 2015 and helped in Vince Cable's 2015 General Election campaign. After getting more involved locally he was looking to run as a local councillor before upping sticks and moving to Switzerland in late 2016. Instead he now hopes to rally other Lib Dems in Switzerland to help make their pro-European liberal voices heard from abroad, especially important in light of the General Election.

Having moved to London to study Computing at Imperial College, Tom worked in IT in the City for a decade before joining a tech startup, and now works for a multinational in Zürich.

Contact Tom

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