Liberal Conservative Reformers

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Liberal Conservative Reformers
Liberal-konservative Reformer
ChairmanJürgen Joost
Founded19 July 2015
Split fromAlternative for Germany
Membership (2015)2,000
Political positionCentre-right to right-wing
European affiliationAlliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe
0 / 735
State Parliaments
4 / 1,855
European Parliament
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The Liberal Conservative Reformers (German: Liberal-konservative Reformer, LKR) is a centre-right political party in Germany which was known from July 2015 to November 2016 as ALFA.

The party was established in July 2015 as a split from the Alternative for Germany (AfD) led by former AfD spokesman Bernd Lucke.[3][4][5] It was founded as the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (Allianz für Fortschritt und Aufbruch, ALFA), but changed its name in November 2016 after litigation with the pro-life movement "Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle" (Action Right to Live for Everybody) which uses the same acronym.[6]

The party was initially represented by five MEPs in the European Parliament (as members of the European Conservatives and Reformists group) and three members of the Bürgerschaft of Bremen due to their formal withdrawal from the AfD. In September 2018, all its MEPs but Lucke left the party.[7] In the 2019 European Elections and the Bremen state election on the same day, LKR lost all its remaining seats in the European Parliament and Bremen.


The party founding was preceded by months of power struggle between Bernd Lucke and Frauke Petry for AfD party leadership, the latter being leader of the party's national-conservative wing.[8] In the course of the dispute Lucke and leading AfD members with liberal-conservative and economic liberal orientations founded the association Weckruf 2015 (wake-up call 2015) out of concern for a perceived right-wing populist tendency in the AfD.

At an extraordinary party convention in Essen on 4 July 2015, Lucke was defeated in the election for chairman by his opponent Petry, who received 60% of the vote.[9] The following week, 5 AfD MEPs exited the party on 7 July 2015, and Lucke announced his resignation from the party on 8 July,[10][11] leading to the formation of the ALFA party.

Bernd Lucke and Frauke Petry at the 2015 AfD convention in Essen.

ALFA was formally founded on 19 July 2015 at a closed inaugural meeting of 70 people in Kassel, Hesse where statutes and a party platform were approved and Bernd Lucke MEP was elected chairman.[4][12] Also selected as its foundation were its deputy chairmen was Bernd Kölmel MEP, Gunther Nickel and Reiner Rohlje, and the general secretary Ulrike Trebesius MEP.[13]

It has been estimated that 20% percent of the then AfD membership moved to ALFA with Lucke.[14]

On 18 March 2016, ALFA was admitted into the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists.[15]

The party met on 4 June 2016 for its second convention, at which Ulrike Trebesius, member of the European Parliament, was elected party chairwoman. On her side her fellow MEP Bernd Kölmel, Ulrich van Suntum, professor of economics at Münster University and chairman of the party at state level in Northrhine-Westphalia, and Christian Schäfer, chair of the ALFA caucus in the state parliament of Bremen, were elected vice chairmen. Bernd Lucke was instead elected almost unanimously the party's number one candidate for the next general election in Germany, that will be held in 2017.[16] Later that year Trebesius resigned from office. Thus Christian Kott from Bremen was elected chairman on 12 November 2016, in Frankfurt. On the same convention party delegates also changed the party's name to Liberal-Conservative Reformers. Since then the party name is often abbreviated LKR.

On 17 September 2017, a new party executive committee was elected, with Bernd Kölmel as party chairman.[17] Other members of the executive committee include Bernd Lucke, Ulrike Trebesius and Hans-Olaf Henkel.

In September 2018, Joachim Starbatty was the first member to leave the party.

Henkel stated that since the party split from the AfD in July 2015 that the media no longer took notice of the party, stating it would be a "challenge" for the five LKR MEPs to be re-elected in 2019.[18] Henkel, who would be 79 in 2019, did not plan to stand for election again.[18] In the 2019 European Parliament election, LKR lost all its remaining seats in the European Parliament.

In autumn 2020 MPs Uwe Kamann and Mario Mieruch left Alternative for Germany and joined LKR; therefore, the party regained a representation in the Bundestag.

In the 2021 German federal election, the party ran 52 direct candidates in eleven states. It polled less than 11,000 constituency votes (30th in rank) and less than 12,000 party votes, and thus won no seats in the Bundestag.

Former party acronym ALFA[edit]

The association "Action right to live for all" (Aktion Lebensrecht für Alle), shortened Alfa in German, took legal action against the party because of the usage of the same acronym. The pro-life movement won at the Augsburg regional court. If the party was to disobey, it would be subject to a fine of 250,000 euros.[19] Consequently, the party changed its name to "Liberal-Konservative Reformer" (Liberal-Conservative Reformers).[6]

Separately, the German subsidiary of Alfa Romeo, the Italian car manufacturer, was reported as considering taking legal action against the party over the use of the acronym ALFA.[20]

Party platform[edit]

Bernd Lucke at the LKR's federal convention in Siegen, 2017.

The party criticises the low-, zero- and negative-interest policies of the European Central Bank.[21] It also emphasises Western alignment with NATO and the EU as the foundation of a transatlantic security structure. LKR favors free trade in general and under certain conditions the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It supports immigration of suitably qualified candidates on the Canadian model and is opposed to illegal immigration. The party rejects a minimum wage, but prefers a so-called activating minimum income for every citizen. The party describes itself as morally conservative, economically liberal and as an advocate of technological progress. The party fully rejects extremism of every kind. The party calls for fundamental reform of the European Union and the Eurozone, arguing it should go back to its "core competencies" with less political interference in member states, an end to migration quotas and no more bailouts for Eurozone members.[22]

Party structure[edit]

The party has a branch organisation in each of the sixteen German states. In many states there are also regional organisations. Additionally there is a Youth Organisation, Junge Reformer (Young Reformers), shortened jure. Jure's chairman was also elected vice chairman of the European Young Conservatives. There are also a club of women within the party and an official group for small and medium-sized firm owners.


  1. ^ Steven, Martin (2 May 2018). "Eurorealist or Eurosceptic? Assessing the future of the European Conservatives and Reformists after 2019". EUROPP. London School of Economics.
  2. ^ Markus Wehner, Berlin. "Kleinstpartei LKR: Da waren es plötzlich acht". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. FAZ.NET. ISSN 0174-4909. Retrieved 2020-09-04.
  3. ^ "Ex-chief of German anti-euro party starts new eurosceptic group". Yahoo News. Agence France-Presse. 19 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Germany's ex-AfD leader sets up new eurosceptic party". Reuters UK. 19 July 2015.
  5. ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (19 July 2015). "ALFA: AfD-Gründer Bernd Lucke gründet neue Partei". SPIEGEL ONLINE.
  6. ^ a b GmbH, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2016-11-13). "Partei um Bernd Lucke: Alfa findet einen neuen Namen". FAZ.NET (in German). Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  7. ^ "LKR-Europaabgeordnete treten wegen Lucke aus Partei aus (LKR MEPs leave party due to Lucke)". Junge Freiheit (in German).
  8. ^ "Ousted chief of Germany′s euroskeptic AfD sets up new political party - News - DW.COM - 19.07.2015". DW.COM.
  9. ^ "Germany's euroskeptic AfD elects conservative leader Petry". Deutsche Welle. 4 July 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Nach "Richtungsentscheidung" AfD meldet Hunderte Austritte" (in German). N-TV. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  11. ^ Barkin, Noah (8 July 2015). "German AfD founder leaves party decrying xenophobic shift". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  12. ^ "German Eurosceptic leader Lucke sets up Alfa party". BBC News. 20 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Bernd Lucke als Chef: AfD-Abtrünnige gründen neue Partei "Alfa"".
  14. ^ Scholz, KayAlexander (28 November 2015). "AfD upbraids Merkel, migrants at Hanover party congress". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  15. ^ "ACRE - EUROPE'S FASTEST GROWING POLITICAL MOVEMENT". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-09. Retrieved 2016-07-11.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Liberal-Konservative Reformer(LKR) wählen neuen Bundesvorstand". 17 September 2017. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.
  18. ^ a b Teffer, Peter (30 October 2015). "Germany's anti-euro party which became two". euobserver. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  19. ^ KG, STADTZEITUNG Werbeverlag und Reisebüro GmbH & Co. "Gericht verbietet Name "Alfa": Augsburger Verein kontra Bernd Lucke". Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  20. ^ Hill, Jenny (21 July 2015). "What next for Germany's Eurosceptic AfD party?". BBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  21. ^ Party program (in German) [1] retrieved on 20 July 2015
  22. ^ "Programm der Liberal-Konservativen Reformer".

External links[edit]