- Freedom Union (Poland)
The Freedom Union ("Unia Wolności", UW) was a liberal party in
Poland. It was founded on March 20, 1994out 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 Solidaritymovement. It represented European liberal tradition, i.e. it advocated free market economyand individual liberty, rejected all extremism and fanaticism and favoured European integration (in the form of European Unionmembership), rapid privatisationof the enterprises still owned by the Polish state and decentralisation of the government.
1991general 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.
2001some members of the party's right wingdecided to move to join the new Civic Platform("Platforma Obywatelska"), which got 12.7% of the votes 65 seats in the 2001 general elections whilst the Freedom Union failed to cross the 5% threshold required to gain entry to Parliament. The Freedom Union remained existent as a social-liberal party, but it lost some of its relevance in Polish politics. It consistently enjoys the support of approximately 3% of voters. 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 Parliamentas part of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party, of which it is a member.
The initiative by the Freedom Union leadership to found the Democratic Party ("Partia Demokratyczna - demokraci.pl") attracted a lot of attention. It was cofounded by
Władysław Frasyniukand economy minister Jerzy Hausner, joined by prime minister Marek Belka. Former Freedom Union member Tadeusz Mazowieckialso joined the inititiative. Legally the Democratic Party, founded May 9, 2005, is the successor of the Freedom Union.
Władysław Frasyniuk- Party chairman
Members of Polish Parliament (
*None in this term, since 2001
Members of Polish Senate of the former Freedom Union
Olga Teresa Krzyżanowska- caucus vicechairperson
Andrzej Jan Wielowieyski- caucus chairman
Grażyna Staniszewska(until June 13, 2004, elected to the European Parliament)
Members of the
European Parliamentof the former Freedom Union
Bronisław Geremek, historian and politician, ex-minister of foreign affairs
Jan Kułakowski, journalist, ex Poland-EU negotiator
Janusz Onyszkiewicz, mathematician and politician, vicepresident of the European Parliament
Grażyna Staniszewska, politician, senator
Former members of Freedom Union
Jan Rokita- now Civic Platform
Donald Tusk- now Civic Platform
Janusz Lewandowski- now Civic Platform
Jacek Kuroń- died June 17, 2004
Liberalism in Poland
Contributions to liberal theory
List of liberal parties
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