National Liberal Party (Romania)

National Liberal Party (Romania)
National Liberal Party
Partidul Naţional Liberal
President Crin Antonescu
Secretary-General Eduard Hellvig
Spokesperson Mihai Voicu
Founder Ion C. Brătianu
Leader in the Senate Puiu Haşotti
Leader in the Chamber of Deputies Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
Leader in the European Parliament Renate Weber
Slogan Prin noi înşine!
Founded January–March 1875[1]
re-founded in January 1990[2]
Headquarters Bd. Aviatorilor nr. 86
011866 Bucharest
Student wing Liberal Student Clubs – CSL
Youth wing National Liberal Youth – TNL
Women's wing Liberal Women National Organisation – ONFL
Ideology Liberalism[3]
Conservative liberalism
Political position Centre-right
National affiliation Social Liberal Union
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
European Parliament Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Official colors Yellow
24 / 137
Chamber of Deputies
55 / 334
European Parliament
5 / 33
County Council Presidents
6 / 41
County Councils
297 / 1,393
Politics of Romania
Political parties
in 1947–1948 the communist authorities disbanded all political parties, including the PNŢ, and the PSDR

The National Liberal Party (Romanian: Partidul Naţional Liberal), abbreviated to PNL, is a centre-right liberal party in Romania. It is the third-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 in the Senate: behind the centre-right Democratic Liberal Party and the centre-left Social Democratic Party.

Until April 2007, it was the largest member of the governing Justice and Truth alliance, which enjoyed a parliamentary majority due to an alliance between the Liberal Party, the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania. In April 2007, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the party leader, formed a minority government only with Democratic Union of Hungarians. After the 2008 legislative election it has entered opposition, winning 19.74% seats in the Parliament, while the new government coalition, formed by their former ally Democratic Liberal Party, and the Social Democratic Party, had 69.85%. In the 2009 Romanian presidential elections its new leader, Crin Antonescu, finished third and the party remained in opposition.

The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.

On 5 February 2011, the PNL formed the Social Liberal Union political alliance along with the Social Democratic Party and Conservative Party.[4][5]



The party adheres to the doctrine of classical liberalism, advocating both economic and social liberalisation. In recent years, it has focussed more on economic liberalism. For example, one of its main election promises for the 2004 legislative election was the introduction of a flat tax rate of 16% for personal income and corporate profits. Because the Liberal Party became part of the governing coalition, it managed to introduce this change, hence giving Romania one of the most liberal tax policies in Europe.[citation needed]

The National Liberal Party also supports the neutrality of the state in moral and religious issues, as well as the privatisation and denationalisation of the economy, a trend which is currently taking place quite rapidly in Romania, as in other post-communist economies.

Additionally, the party supports the introduction of a parliamentary system (where the president would be elected by the parliament rather than by the people) to replace Romania's current semi-presidential system, which is based on the French model. It also advocates a decentralisation of Romania's political structure, with greater autonomy given to the eight development regions.

With regard to EU politics, the National Liberal Party has adopted the following stances:

  • Supports EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
  • Supports EU membership for Turkey, as long as it satisfies membership criteria
  • Supports the accession of Moldova to the EU, in the same wave as the Western Balkans
  • Supports a reformed European Constitution
  • Supports reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
  • Opposes a common EU tax policy
  • Opposes a common EU social policy
  • Supports a common EU migration policy
  • Supports a common EU defence and security policy
  • Supports a partnership between the US and the EU, where the EU is an "equal and critical" partner.


According to the Statute, the leading organisms of the party are the following:[6]


The Congress, or The General Assembly of the delegates of the party's members (Romanian: Congresul; Adunarea Generală a delegaţilor membrilor partidului) is the supreme authority in the party. It leads the party and takes decisions at national level. Its members are elected by the local (territorial) organizations, and The National Consillium. The Congress meets every four years, after the parliamentary elections, or at anytime needed. The Congress is convoked either by the Permanent Delegation (see bellow), at the request of the Central Political Bureau, or at the request of at least half of the Territorial Permanent Delegations. The Congress elects the President of the National Liberal Party, the 15 vice-presidents of the Central Standing Bureau (7 with specific attributions and 8 responsible for the development regions, 23 judges of The Honor and Referee Court (Romanian: Curtea de Onoare şi Arbitraj), 7 members of The Central Committee of Censors (Romanian: Comisia Centrală de Cenzori).

The last Congress took place between 5–6 March 2010, as both an Extraordinary and Ordinary Congress. The Extraordinary Congress took place on 5 March, because it was called three months earlier than the scheduled Ordinary Congress. It changed the Statute of the party. On 6 March the Congress was Ordinary, based on the new Statute.

Permanent Delegation

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The Permanent Delegation (Romanian: Delegaţia Permanentă – DP) is the structure that leads the party between two Congresses. It meets monthly, or at anytime needed. Its members are the following; the President of the National Liberal Party, the members of the Central Political Bureau, the President of the Senate of the party, the Secretary General of the National Liberal Party, the presidents of the two Chambers of the Parliament (if the officeholders are members of the PNL), the leaders of the National liberal Party's parliamentary groups, the Senators and Deputies, the MEPs, the Ministers, the President of the National Liberal Youth (TNL), the President of the Liberal Women Organisation (OFL), the President of the Liberal Student Clubs (CSL), the President of the League of the Local Elected Officeholders of the National Liberal Party (LAL PNL), the President of the Coordinating Council of the Municipality of Bucharest, the European Commissioner (if the officeholder is member of the PNL).

Central Political Bureau

The Central Political Bureau (Romanian: Biroul Politic Central – BPC) of the National Liberal Party proposes the party's politics and coordinates its application. It ensures the party's day-to-day leadership, and it is composed by the following: the President of the party, the 15 Vice-Presidents (7 with specific charges, and 8 responsible for the development regions). At the BPC's meetings can assist, with consultative vote, the president of the Senate of the PNL, the Secretary-General of the PNL, the Presidents of the two Chambers of the Parliament (if the officeholders are members of the PNL), the leaders of the National liberal Party's parliamentary groups, the President of the TNL, the President of the OFL, the President of the CSL, the President of the League of the LAL, and the Ministers. The BPC meets weekley, or at anytime needed, convoked by the president of the PNL.

According to Article 70 of the PNL Statute, the BPC coordinates and evaluates the objectives of the territorial branches, of the parliamentary groups; it negotiates political agreements (within the limits established by the DP); it coordinates the elections campaign; proposes sanctions according to the Statute; proposes to the DP the political strategy of the party; proposes the candidates for the central executive or public offices; for certain territorial units, proposes to the DP the candidates for the parliamentary elections; proposes to the DP the candidates for the European Parliament elections; proposes the DP to dissolve or dismiss, for exceptional reasons, the territorial branch, or the branch's president; convokes the DP; coordinates the activity of the permanent committees of the National Council, validates or invalidates the results of the elections for the territorial branches; appoints the Secretary-Executive, the Foreign Secretary, and Deputy-Secretaries-General.

The BPC is assisted, in the organizing activity by the Secretary-General of the PNL. This office ensures the communication between the central organisms and the territorial branches, ensures the management of the party's assets, is responsible for the informational system. The Secretary-General is assisted by the Deputy-Secretaries-General, appointed by the BPC at the suggestion of the Secretary-General.

The members of the Central Political Bureau[7]

  • Participants with consulting vote:

In normal conditions, the term of the BPC members ends during the Party's Congress, when the president leaves the presidium of the Congress. The president of the Standing Bureau of the Congress is, formally, the acting president of the party until the new president is elected. The last acting president of the National Liberal Party was Mircea Ionescu-Quintus on 20 March 2009, when Crin Antonescu succeeded Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu.

National Council

The National Council (Romanian: Consiliul Naţional – CN) is the debate forum of the National Liberal Party between two Congresses. It reunites twice a year, or at anytime necessary, convoked by the president, by the BPC, or at the request of at least half of its members. Its members are: DP, including the members with consultative vote; the Secretaries of State and the equivalent officeholders; the Prefects and Deputy-Prefects; Presidents and Vice-Presidents of the County Councils; Mayors and Deputy-Mayors of the county capitals, of the sectors of Bucharest, the General Mayor and General Deputy-Mayors of Bucharest; the Vice-Presidents and Secretaries-General of TNL, OFL, CSL, the Senate of the Party, LAL; honorary members of the party; the President of the structures that deal with specific issues; the Presidents of the CN.

The CN has the following competences: acts to fulfill the decisions of the Congress; adopts the Governing Program; adopts the programs and sectorial politics of the party; approves the reports of the specialty committees; names the candidate of the National Liberal Party for the Romanian Presidency; gives and retracts the quality of honorary member of the party.

According to Article 65 of the Statute, the CN is organized and functions through its permanent specialty committees, constituted on social and professional criteria. The committees constituted on social criteria promote the interests of the correspondent social category. The committees constituted on professional criteria state the sectorial politics and the public politics in major fields, to express the options and solutions proposed by the National Liberal Party.


The President of the National Liberal Party is the guardian of the political Program of the party, of the respect to the Statute and the keeping of the unity and prestige of the party.


The Secretary-General ensures the communication between the central leading structures and the territorial ones, ensures the management of the assets of the party, is responsible for the informational system. The Secretary-General is helped in its activity by Deputy-Secretaries-General appointed by the BPC, upon the suggestion of the Secretary-General.

Other national structures

  • The Senate of the party – consulting organism for the president regarding the continuity and development of the liberal traditions and concepts;
  • Court of Honor and Arbitration – the supreme court of the party;
  • Central Committee of Censors – checks the management of the party;
  • Ethics Commission – anallizes the candidates proposed for Parliamentary elections, and for the offices in the Government and other central offices;
  • National Liberal Youth – coortinatesa the activity specific to the youth structures in the territory;
  • League of the Local Elected Officeholders – coordinates the activity of the PNL mambers in the local public administration (mayors and deputy-mayors, local councilors, county councilors, county council presidents and deputy-presidents);
  • Liberal Women Organisation – coordinates the activity of the territorial women organizations;
  • Liberal Student Clubs – promotes the liberal ideas and political program of the PNL through the student.

Local leading structures

The local leading structures of the National Liberal Party are the following:

Organizatiile locale ale Partidul National Liberal au urmatoarele organisme de conducere:

  • the General Assembly of the Members (Romanian: Adunarea Generală a membrilor – AG) – applies at local level the necessary measures for fulfilling the Program and Strategy.
  • the Standing Bureau of the organization (Romanian: Biroul Permanent – BP) – leads the organization between two General Assemblies.


The Romanian Law of Parties requires all parties to present a permanent sign and a permanent electoral sign. The former is used to identify the party's buildings and press releases, and the latter to identify the party's electoral materials and the candidates on the elections ballot. Usually they differ slightly.

The main element of the party is a blue arrow pointing to the upper right corner of a yellow square, and the letters P, N, and L in blue, tilted to the right. The position of the PNL with respect to the arrow depends on the type of symbol, as shown bellow. Also one should note that the color scheme of both signs can be reversed from yellow-blue to blue-yellow, depending on the background it is placed on.[citation needed]

Party leaders

No. Name Term start Term end Duration
1 Ion Brătianu 1875 1891 16
2 Dumitru Brătianu 1891 1892 1
3 Dimitrie Sturdza 1892 1908 16
4 Ion I. C. Brătianu 1908 24 November 1927 19
5 Vintilă Brătianu November/December 1927 1930 3
6 Ion Duca 1930 30 December 1933 3
7 Dinu Brătianu December 1933 1948 15
none (party abolished by the new communist government) 1948 1990
8 Radu Câmpeanu 1990 1993 3
9 Mircea Ionescu Quintus 1993 2001 8
10 Valeriu Stoica 2001 2002 1
11 Theodor Stolojan 2002 October 2004 2
12 Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu October 2004 March 2009 5
13 Crin Antonescu March 2009 present

Notable members

Former members before November 1947, when the Romanian Communists dissolved the party:

Former members after 1989:

Current members:

See also


  1. ^ (Romanian) Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România, 1859–2003, Editura Meronia, Bucharest 2003, ISBN 973-8200-54-7.
  2. ^ Paul G. Nixon, Rachel Kay Gibson, Stephen J Ward, Political Parties and the Internet, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 041528273X, p. 166.
  3. ^ Wolfram Nordsieck. "Parties and Elections in Europe". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  4. ^ "Romanian Oppositions Form Alliance". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  5. ^ "FOCUS Information Agency". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  6. ^ (Romanian) The structure of the Party
  7. ^ PNL website
  • Cliveti, Gheorghe, Liberalismul românesc. Eseu istoriografic, Editura Fundaţiei “AXIS”, Iaşi, 1996;
  • Istoricul PNL de la 1848 până astăzi, Bucureşti, 1923;
  • Rădulescu – Zoner, Şerban (coord.), Cliveti, Gheorghe, Stan, Apostol, Onişoru, Gheorghe, Şandru, Dumitru, Istoria Partidului Naţional Liberal, Editura All, Bucureşti, 2000;
  • Stan, Apostol, Iosa, Mircea, Liberalismul politic în România. De la origini până la 1918, Editura Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1996;
  • Naumescu, Valentin,Despre liberalism în România.Realităţi,dileme, perspective, EFES, Cluj-Napoca, 2001;
  • Şomlea,Vasile-Florin, Mişcarea liberală din România post'1989,Editura Ecumenica Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2006.

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