Freedom Union (Poland)

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Freedom Union
Unia Wolności
Chairman Władysław Frasyniuk (1999-2005)
Founded 20 March 1994
Dissolved 9 May 2005
Merger of Democratic Union
Liberal Democratic Congress
Succeeded by Democratic Party
Ideology Liberalism,
Conservative liberalism,
Christian democracy
Political position Centre to centre-right
European affiliation European Democrat Union
Politics of Poland
Political parties
Elections

The Freedom Union (Polish: Unia Wolności, UW) was a liberal[1] democratic political party in Poland. It was founded on 20 March 1994 out of the merger of the Democratic Union (Unia Demokratyczna, UD) and the Liberal Democratic Congress (Kongres Liberalno-Demokratyczny, KLD). Both of these parties had roots in the Solidarity trade union movement. It represented European democratic and liberal tradition, i.e., it advocated free market economy and individual liberty, rejected extremism and fanaticism, favoured European integration (in the form of European Union membership), rapid privatisation of the enterprises still owned by the Polish state and decentralisation of the government.

Timeline of Polish liberal parties after 1989
Citizens' Movement for Democratic Action /ROAD (1990-1991)
Liberal Democratic Congress /KLD (1990-1994)
Democratic Union /UD (1991-1994)
Freedom Union /UW (1994-2005)
Democratic Party /PD (2005- )
Palikot's Movement /RP (2011-2013)
Your Movement /TR (2013- )

In the 1991 general elections, the KLD received 7.5% of the vote and 37 seats in the Sejm (out of 460 seats) and the UD got 12.3% of the votes and 62 seats. In 1993 the KLD got 4.0% of the votes and was left without seats; the UD got 10.6% of the votes and 74 seats. In 1997 the UW got 13.4% of the votes and 60 seats. In 2001 it got 3.1% of the votes and was left without seats.

In January 2001 some members of the party's conservative right wing decided to move to join the new socially conservative Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), which got 12.7% of the votes 65 seats in the 2001 general elections whilst the more moderate Christian-democratic Freedom Union failed to cross the 5% threshold required to gain entry to Parliament. Surprisingly, the party managed to cross the required 5% threshold in the 2004 European Parliament elections, receiving 7% of votes and 4 of 54 seats reserved for Poland in the European Parliament as part of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, of which it was a member.

The initiative by the Freedom Union leadership to found the centre/social-liberal Democratic Party (Partia Demokratyczna - demokraci.pl) attracted a lot of attention. It was cofounded by Władysław Frasyniuk and economy minister Jerzy Hausner, joined by prime minister Marek Belka. Former Freedom Union member Tadeusz Mazowiecki also joined the initiative. Legally the centrist Democratic Party, founded May 9, 2005, is the successor of the Freedom Union.

Former leader[edit]

Members of Polish Parliament (Sejm)[edit]

  • None since 2001

Former Members of Polish Senate[edit]

Members of the European Parliament of the former Freedom Union[edit]

Other prominent members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul G. Lewis (2000). Political Parties in Post-Communist Eastern Europe. Routledge. pp. 51–. ISBN 978-0-415-20182-7. Retrieved 6 February 2013.