Venstre Delegation Visits DPP, Discusses Election and Gender-Equality Issues, and More
Henrik Bach Mortensen, vice chairman of Liberal International (LI), led senior officials and representatives of Denmark's Liberal Party (Venstre) to visit the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Deputy Secretary-General Andrea Yang, alongside colleagues from the International Affairs, Gender Equality and Youth Affairs Departments, jointly received the delegation. During the meeting, the group discussed the coming 2024 presidential election, gender-equality and youth issues, misinformation, and party politics.
In addition to Mr. Mortensen, the Venstre delegation also included Ms. Eva Kjer Hansen, vice president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE), as well as 14 other senior members of the Venstre party.
Venstre is Denmark's oldest and largest center-right political party and advocates for a robust free-market economy. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Venstre's former leader, was prime minister of Denmark (2001-09) and secretary-general of NATO (2009-14). He is also the founder and chairman of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation, as well as a long-time supporter of Taiwan. Earlier this year, Mr. Rasmussen personally visited Taiwan and met with President Tsai Ing-wen and Vice President Lai Ching-te.
During the meeting, Mr. Mortensen emphasized that Venstre and the DPP are both important members of Liberal International. Venstre is a sister party of the DPP, and Taiwan is the first Asian country that the party chose to lead a delegation to. The visit not only reflected the blossoming friendship between Denmark and Taiwan but underscored the mutual support between Venstre and the DPP.
Deputy Secretary-General Yang welcomed the delegation on behalf of the DPP, noting that Mr. Mortensen’s attendance at the 30th anniversary of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) this past September, along with this visit, signified Denmark’s support of Taiwan.
Regarding the coming elections, Yang discussed the detrimental economic impact of Covid-19 over the past few years, pointing out that the Tsai administration has responded by enacting an array of relief measures and other economic policies. To foster a bright future for the young, Yang stressed, the DPP will continue to propose and implement policies aimed at addressing their concerns.
Vice President Eva Hansen was a member of the European Parliament and the Danish Parliament for more than 30 years, having held several ministerial posts in the Danish government during that period. As the former minister of Social Affairs and Equality of Denmark, she expressed interest in Taiwan's gender-equality policies and countermeasures against the nation's declining birthrates. She shared insights on Denmark's governance and mentioned the importance of policies encouraging men to participate in household work.
On the topic of gender equality, Deputy Director of the Department of Gender Equality Tsai Yi-wen said that it was particularly meaningful to receive the delegation following Taipei's Gay Pride Parade. The deputy director shared about the emotions she felt witnessing Chairman Lai personally participating in the parade. She also mentioned that Taiwan’s pursuit of gender equality doesn't end with the legalization of same-sex marriage; we must constantly examine, reflect on and address the society’s fundamental structural issues.
Regarding the issue of low birthrates, Deputy Director of the Department of International Affairs Alysa Chiu introduced the delegation members to the Taiwan government's current policies. In addition to enacting maternity and childcare subsidies, Deputy Director Chiu emphasized the importance of alleviating the pressure on new parents and reducing the burden on working mothers. She pointed out that enhancing the overall workplace environment's friendliness and redefining traditional societal roles can have a significant impact on women's choices to have children.
On the issue of countering misinformation, colleagues from the Department of Youth Affairs explained their strategy to combat the proliferation of false information. To address the spread of misinformation among young people through various communication channels, they have specially designed and produced short videos in the form of "30-Second Quick Guides." These videos simplify complex policies into easily understandable content, providing instant clarification for false information circulating online. Deputy Secretary-General Yang also added that the youth is the primary target of CCP disinformation, which the DPP will redouble its efforts to counter.
The delegation members appreciated the active participation of the DPP's young colleagues and commended the proportion of women involved in its political work. Throughout the meeting, they noted, they experienced the party's vitality and efforts to promote progressive values. They expressed their optimism about the future of the DPP and wished it success in leading Taiwan toward a more democratic, progressive and prosperous future.
The delegation's visit lasted an hour and a half, and the exchange was cordial and lively. In appreciation of the Danish delegation's support of Taiwan, the DPP prepared Taiwan-themed gifts, including rainbow flags and towels, symbolizing shared values and beliefs. The guests also received a guided tour at the Lai campaign headquarters, where they experienced Taiwan's vibrant and creative election culture.