Citizens' Union for South Tyrol
The Citizens' Union for South Tyrol (German: BürgerUnion für Südtirol, BUfS), formerly Union for South Tyrol (Union für Südtirol, UfS), is a national-conservative political party active in South Tyrol, Italy.
|Founded||2 October 1989|
|Merger of||South Tyrolean Homeland Fed.|
Freedom Party of South Tyrol
|Headquarters||via Garibaldi, 6|
|Chamber of Deputies|
0 / 630
0 / 315
0 / 72
0 / 35
The party is committed to the German-speaking minority and its right to self-determination. Recently, the party re-branded itself as a centrist party and distanced from the separatism of other German-speaking parties.
Its long-time leader has been Andreas Pöder.
The Union for South Tyrol was founded on 2 October 1989 by the merger of the nationalist South Tyrolean Homeland Federation of Eva Klotz (2.3% in the 1988 provincial election), the national-liberal Freedom Party of South Tyrol led by Gerold Meraner and right-wing splinters from the South Tyrolean People's Party led by Alfons Benedikter.
In the 1993 provincial election the party won 4.8% of the vote and gained two seats in the Provincial Council, one for Klotz and one for Benedikter. In the 1996 general election the party had its best result ever (7.7% for party list and 19.2% in single-seat constituencies), because the South Tyrolean People's Party had formed an alliance with some Italian parties.
In the 1998 provincial election the UfS won 5.5% and Andreas Pöder, party secretary since 1994, was elected for the first time to the Council, along with Klotz. This was a turning point for the party as Pöder started to gain influence over Klotz.
In the 2003 provincial election, the UfS won 6.8% of the vote and gained two seats in the Provincial Council.
In May 2007, during a heated party congress, Pöder was re-elected party president with 76 votes in favour and 70 against. This led to a split led by Kloz, who launched a new strictly separatist movement named South Tyrolean Freedom (STF).
In the 2008 general election, severely damaged by the split and by the competition of Die Freiheitlichen (9.4%), the UfS gained only 4.2% of the vote in the Province. In the 2008 provincial election the party got only 2.3% of the vote and one elect in the Provincial Council, while STF and Die Freiheitlichen won the 14.3% and the 4.9% of the vote, respectively.
The UfS renamed itself to Citizens' Union for South Tyrol (BUfS) on 12 May 2011.
In the forthcoming 2013 provincial election the BUfS will run as part of a three-party list, along with Ladins Dolomites, a centre-left outfit, and We South Tyroleans, a left-wing split from Die Freiheitlichen. The joint list won 2.1% of the vote and Pöder was re-elected to the Provincial Council.
In the 2018 general election was League supported by BUfS. In the 2018 provincial election the party won barely 1.3% and no seats. Thus, Pöder was not elected to the Provincial Council, after 20 consecutive years of elective service. Consequently, BUfS' future and prospects look uncertain.
Since the exit of Eva Klotz, the UfS tried to renew its image and to present itself as a centrist-conservative party. The 2008 party programme included defense of family values, protection of the environment, and a moderately liberal economic policy, along with the historic goal of separating South Tyrol from Italy in order to re-unify it with old historic Tyrol composed from South, North and East Tyrol, founding the Europaregion Tirol (North-and East-Tyrol are actually parts of Austria).
More recently, the party re-branded itself as a centrist, to some extent centre-left, party and distanced from its original separatism and the parties of the "German right". In 2011 Pöder said that, were he a German citizen, he would be a Social Democrat and in 2013 declared: "Don't call us German right, we are a centrist movement".
The electoral results of the UfS in the Province of Bolzano since 1992 are shown in the table below.
|1992 general||1993 provinc.||1994 general||1994 European||1996 general||1998 provinc.||1999 European||2001 general||2003 provinc.||2004 European|
|2006 general||2008 general||2008 provinc.||2009 European||2013 general||2013 provinc.||2014 European||2018 general||2018 provinc.|
- In list with the Valdostan Union of Aosta Valley.
- This result refers to single-seat constituencies; the party list of the UfS won 19.2% for proportional representation, because the South Tyrolean People's Party had formed an alliance with some Italian parties.
- In list with the Liga Veneta Repubblica of Veneto.
- In list with the Lega Autonomia Lombarda of Lombardy and the Liga Veneta Repubblica of Veneto.
- In list with We South Tyroleans and Ladins Dolomites.
- President/Secretary:[a] Alfons Benedikter (1989–1991), Martin Wenter (1991–1993), Karl Augusten (1993–1994), Andreas Pöder (1994–present)
- The president (Obmann) was replaced by the figure of the secretary (Landessekretär) from 1994 to 2007, when the title Obmann was reintroduced. Thus, Pöder served as secretary from 1994 to 2007, the he has served as president since 2007.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2018). "South Tyrol/Italy". Parties and Elections in Europe.
- "Streit um den Doppelpass", Tagesspiegel (in German), 19 October 2018
- "Südtirol: Die kleine Welt in der die große Probe hält", EURACTIV (in German), 19 October 2018
- Andrea Carla (2016). "Tensions and Challenges between New and Old minorities: Political Party Discourses on Migration in South Tyrol". In Roberta Medda-Windischer; Patricia Popelier (eds.). Pro-independence Movements and Immigration: Discourse, Policy and Practice. BRILL. p. 70. ISBN 978-90-04-29439-4.
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- Pallaver, Günther (2007), "Südtirols politische Parteien 1945-2005" (PDF), Die Region Trentino-Südtirol im 20. Jahrhundert — 1: Politik und Institutionen (in German), p. 613
or Pallaver, Günther (2007), "I partiti politici in Alto Adige dal 1945 al 2005" (PDF), La Regione Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol nel XX secolo — I: Politica e Istituzioni (in Italian), p. 583
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- d: SüdtirolNews - News aus Südtirol Archived March 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Landtagswahlen 2013: Endgültige Ergebnisse". Autonome Provinz Bozen Südtirol. Retrieved 14 February 2015.
- "Pöder empfiehlt die Lega". 28 February 2018.
- "Pöder wählt Salvini – Die Neue Südtiroler Tageszeitung". www.tageszeitung.it.
- ""Sozialdemokrat" Andreas Pöder: Neustart mit BürgerUnion". Stol.it. 12 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14.