Liberalism in Poland
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This article gives an overview of liberalism in Poland. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme. Parties included in this scheme do not necessarily label themselves as "liberal". Current the Civic Platform is the largest conservative liberal political party in Poland.
Liberalism in Poland gained on significance during Polish Renaissance, but subsequently it lost its followers in the era of counterreformation, which in Poland was not free of violence. Since then, it remained a minor political force.
Liberalism in Poland is often connected with conservative politics and is reduced to economic policy. Classical liberals, liberal both on social and economic issues, exist in Poland in dispersed small groups.
From Union of Real Politics to Coalition for the Renewal of the Republic–Liberty and Hope
- 1990: In 1979 Janusz Korwin-Mikke activist of official Democratic Party published his political agenda. His main idea was to introduce laissez-faire market economy in Poland. The proposed solution was to sign a deal with class of ruling communists, transforming their share in power into share in business. In 1990 new party Union of Real Politics (Unia Polityki Realnej) was officially proclaimed.
- 2005: Janusz Korwin-Mikke founded another party: Freedom and Rule of Law (Wolność i Praworządność), which was connected with strong conservative social stance.
- 2011: WiP merged with the part of Union of Real Politics to form Congress of the New Right (Kongres Nowej Prawicy).
- 2012: Union of Real Politics with nationalist associations formed far-right National Movement (Ruch Narodowy)
- 2015: After the leadership change in Congress of the New Right, Janusz Korwin-Mikke founded a right-libertarian KORWiN. National Movement, Union of Real Politics and a part of the Congress of the New Right got involved into right-wing populist Paweł Kukiz's movement (Kukiz'15), proclaiming economic liberalism and protection of civil liberties.
- 2016: National Movement left Kukiz'15 and ended cooperation with Union of Real Politics.
Citizens's Movement-Democratic Action
- 1990: Liberals supporters of the Solidarity Trade Union around Zbigniew Bujak, Władysław Frasyniuk, and Adam Michnik founded the Citizens' Movement for Democratic Action (Ruch Obywatelski Akcja Demokratyczna/ROAD).
- 1991: A left-wing faction led by Bujak forms the Democratic Social Movement (Ruch Demokratyczno Społeczny) and the rest of the party merged into the Democratic Union (Unia Demokratyczna/UD).
From Democratic Union to Modern
- 1991: Liberal and catholic intellectuals founded the Democratic Union (Unia Demokratyczna), absorbing later that year the Forum of Democratic Right and the ⇒ Citizens Movement-Democratic Action. The party is led by Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Bronisław Geremek
- 1994: The party merged with the Liberal Democratic Congress into the Freedom Union (Unia Wolności)
- 2001: A right-wing faction created the conservative liberal Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), which was led by Donald Tusk
- 2005: On the basis of the Freedom Union the Democratic Party (Partia Demokratyczna) is formed.
- 2006: Democratic Party formed a coalition Left and Democrats (Lewica i Demokraci) with the leftist parties: Democratic Left Alliance, Social Democracy of Poland and Labour Union. Opponents of the centre-left coalition split into defunct Forum Liberalne.
- 2008: Democratic Party left the centre-left coalition.
- 2015: Liberal economist Ryszard Petru founded centrist and pro-European Modern (Nowoczesna), organizing mainly nonpartisans and former activists of Freedom Union, Democratic Party and Civic Platform.
- 2016: A part of a centrist and social liberal faction of the Civic Platform split into association European Democrats, which merged itself with Democratic Party and formed a new pro-European and liberal party Union of European Democrats.