National Liberal Party (Romania)
The National Liberal Party (Romanian: Partidul Național Liberal, PNL) is the largest centre-right conservative-liberal and liberal-conservative political party in Romania. Refounded in mid January 1990, shortly after the Revolution of 1989 which culminated in the fall of communism in Romania, it claims the legacy of the major political party of the same name, active between 1875 and 1947 in the Kingdom of Romania. Based on this legacy, it often presents itself as the first formally constituted political party in the country and the oldest party from the family of European liberal parties.
Until 2014, the PNL was a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The party statutes adopted in June 2014 dropped any reference to international affiliation, consequently most of its MEPs joined the European People's Party Group (EPP) in the European Parliament.
On 12 September 2014, it was admitted as a full member of the European People's Party (EPP), and subsequently merged with the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL). The party was also a member of the Liberal International (LI) before switching to Centrist Democrat International (CDI). Currently, it is the second-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 93 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 41 in the Senate, behind the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD). Additionally, the party currently has the largest amount of MEPs in the European Parliament on behalf of Romania.
At local political level, the PNL has been very closely associated with either the Democratic Forum of Germans in Romania (FDGR/DFDR), more specifically in parts of Banat and Transylvania, or, formerly, with the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚ-CD), in southern Romania.
After it won the 2020 local elections, the PNL became the first political party in Transylvania, Banat, and Bukovina, establishing new political alliances at national level with, most notably, USR PLUS shortly thereafter. Moreover, as of 2021, the PNL also holds the largest amount of incumbent county councillors and local councillors nationwide, making it, in these regards, the most influential political party in Romania at local level. Nonetheless, concerning the total amount of mayors, the PNL comes second behind the PSD.
Re-foundation and first governing experiences after the 1989 Romanian Revolution (1990–2000)Edit
The National Liberal Party of Romania (PNL) was re-founded in January 1990, a few days after the end of the violent Romanian Revolution. During the early 1990s, the party primarily revolved around the presidencies of Radu Câmpeanu and Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, both former members of the historical PNL and liberal youth leaders during the interwar period as well as during and shortly after World War II.
At the 1990 general elections, the PNL became the third largest party in the Parliament of Romania and its then re-founding leader, Radu Câmpeanu, finished second in the same year's presidential elections, with 10.6% of the cast votes, behind Ion Iliescu. In December 1990, the Socialist Liberal Party (PSL) led by Niculae Cerveni established an alliance with the PNL and the latter became vice-president of the PNL led by Câmpeanu at that time.
Shortly afterwards, at the main request and most notably alongside the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNȚ-CD), but to a lesser extent also with other smaller center-right parties and NGOs, the PNL managed to form the Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR) in an effort to assemble a stronger collective opposition and alternative governing body to then ruling National Salvation Front (FSN), which was, in many ways, the heir of the Romanian Communist Party (PCR). However, prior to the 1992 general elections, Câmpeanu decided to withdraw the party from the CDR electoral alliance and instead compete as a stand-alone political force. One of the main reasons for doing so was Câmpeanu's reluctance for the PNL to run on common lists with the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).
This had ultimately proven to be an eventual major strategic error for the PNL, as the party did not manage to surpass the needed electoral threshold for parliamentary presence and as such was forced to enter extra-parliamentary opposition for the period 1992–1996. Furthermore, this political decision also resulted in several splinter factions leaving the main party, with some PNL deflecting groups opting to remain within the CDR while others still supporting Câmpeanu's side in a new party which was called PNL-C (Romanian: Partidul Național Liberal-Câmpeanu). Therefore, the factions which deflected from the main PNL and aligned themselves with the CDR were PNL-CD (led by Niculae Cerveni), PNL-AT, and PL '93. Other minor liberal political parties such as PAC and UFD (which later merged into the main PNL) were also part of the CDR throughout the late 1990s.
Nevertheless, after a change of leadership that saw Ionescu-Quintus as the new party leader elected in 1995, the PNL contested the 1996 general election once again as part of the CDR. The 1996 general elections represented the first peaceful transition of power in post-1989 Romania, with the PNL, PNȚ-CD, Democratic Party (PD), and the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) forming a grand coalition that pushed the PDSR (formerly the FSN and FDSN) in opposition for the period 1996–2000. Furthermore, the presidency was also won by the CDR's common candidate, more specifically Emil Constantinescu, who received support on behalf of all of the alliance's constituent parties (including the PNL political groups therein).
Opposition and second governing experiences (2000–2010)Edit
Between 1996 and 2000, because of the lack of political coherence within the parties of the governing CDR coalition and the multiple changes of cabinets that followed throughout this entire period of time, the PNL decided once more to withdraw from the alliance just before the 2000 general election and, consequently, to compete alone instead. This time, the party managed to gain parliamentary presence but failed to form another centre-right government, finishing fourth in the legislative elections and third in the presidential election. However, a splinter group founded by Dan Amedeo Lăzărescu and led by Decebal Traian Remeș which was called PNL-T (Romanian: PNL Tradițional) decided to remain within CDR 2000 and contest that year's general election by supporting Mugur Isărescu as presidential candidate.
Therefore, during the mid 2000s, the PNL joined forces with the PD in order to form the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA) so as to compete in the 2004 general election as an alternative to the then ruling PSD (formerly PDSR) government. The alliance managed to finish second by popular vote in the Parliament, subsequently form a centre-right cabinet, and also win the presidency during the same year.
Until April 2007, the PNL was the largest member of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance (DA), which enjoyed a parliamentary majority due to an alliance between the PNL, PD, the Conservative Party (PC), and the UDMR. In April 2007, then PNL Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the party president, formed a minority government solely with the UDMR and the remainder PD ministers were reshuffled. This caused internal opposition within the party and led to the scission of a splinter group which turned into a political party under Theodor Stolojan, more specifically the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD), eventually merging with the PD to form the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).
After the 2008 legislative election, the party placed third and entered official opposition, winning 19.74% seats in the Parliament, while the new grand coalition, formed by their former enlarged ally, the Democrat Liberals (PDL) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), obtained roughly 70% together. At the 2009 presidential election, the National Liberal Party's then newly elected leader, Crin Antonescu, finished third in the first round and the party would still find itself in parliamentary opposition for the three next years to come up until the accession of the Social Liberal Union (USL) to governance in mid 2012.
At the same time, Klaus Iohannis, at that time solely FDGR/DFDR president, was nominated twice by the PNL (along with their most sturdy and powerful allies, the PSD and the PC) in 2009, but was rejected by then state president Traian Băsescu.
Transition from USL to ACL and third governing experiences (2010–2020)Edit
On 5 February 2011, the PNL formed the Social Liberal Union (USL) political alliance with the PSD, the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR), and the Conservative Party (PC). The PNL subsequently exited the USL on 25 February 2014, disbanding the alliance and returning to opposition. On 26 May 2014, following the 2014 European elections, then PNL party president Crin Antonescu announced he was seeking membership within the European People's Party (EPP). At the beginning of the 8th European Parliament, 5 of the PNL MEPs sat with the EPP Group, and 1 with the ALDE Group, who later became an independent MEP within ALDE. In late May 2014 the party agreed to a future merger with the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), with the two parties main short-time goal being to submit a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election. The PNL-PDL presidential candidate was agreed to run under an electoral banner called the Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL).
On 27 June 2014, former PNL chairman Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu announced his intention to found a separate liberal party to run for president, stating opposition to the upcoming merger with the PDL. The breakaway party, called the Liberal Reformist Party (PLR), was founded by Popescu-Tăriceanu on 3 July 2014. On 17 July 2014, it was announced that the future merger of the PNL and PDL would retain the National Liberal Party name, while being situated in the PDL's existing headquarters in Bucharest, and would be legally registered by the end of 2014. On 26 July 2014, a joint party congress of the PNL and PDL approved the merger.
In the first round of the 2014 presidential election on 2 November 2014, ACL presidential candidate Klaus Iohannis, PNL party president and Mayor of Sibiu was the runner-up. Iohannis won the runoff election held on 16 November 2014 with 54.5% of the total number of votes. At the 2016 local elections and legislative elections, the PNL managed to finish second, behind the PSD, and consequently in continuous opposition until 2019 when it regained executive power.
Regarding the 2019 presidential election, the party previously announced its formal support for a second term of incumbent state president Klaus Iohannis in March 2018 along with an official designation of Ludovic Orban, current party president, for the position of Prime Minister should the PNL win the 2020 legislative elections. In June 2018, at an open air press conference in his native Sibiu, Iohannis publicly announced his intention to run for a second presidential term.
The year 2019 saw two minor parties adhering to the PNL, namely the PND (led by Daniel Fenechiu) and PACT (led by Sebastian Burduja), thereby increasing its total number of members. In late 2019, the National Liberal Party acceded to governance under a minority stand-alone government led by Orban which was voted twice by the Parliament (under, most notably, a confidence and supply agreement with USR and PMP as well as most ethnic minority parties, including most importantly the FDGR/DFDR). At national level, the greatest two challenges that the Orban cabinet tried to monitor, control, and solve are the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as its affiliated recession.
Brief alliance with USR PLUS and fourth governing experiences (2020–present)Edit
The PNL ran in several electoral alliances with the 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance for the 2020 Romanian local elections, winning the mayor of Bucharest (along with several of the capital's sectors) as well as many other municipalities throughout the countryside. Shortly thereafter, the PNL decided to form local alliances with, most notably, USR PLUS, PMP, and FDGR/DFDR (as well as with two local branches of the PNȚ-CD and UDMR in Hunedoara County). After the 2020 Romanian legislative election, the party agreed to form a coalition government alongside USR PLUS and UDMR in order to reportedly provide a stable governance for the next 4 years in Romania.
Furthermore, incumbent party president Ludovic Orban decided to step down as Prime Minister in early December 2020, letting Nicolae Ciucă acting until the new coalition received the confidence vote in the Parliament after the 2020 legislative elections concluded with concrete, positive results on behalf of a future center-right government. Subsequently, the newly proposed Prime Minister on behalf of the PNL was Florin Cîțu, who previously served as the Minister of Public Finance in both Orban cabinets between 2019 and 2020. Therefore, Cîțu took office on 23 December 2020, after an overwhelming confidence vote in the Parliament (260 for in counterpart to 186 against).
In the meantime, it has been announced that a new party congress will take place on 25 September 2021 with 5,000 delegates. At the forthcoming congress, incumbent party president Ludovic Orban will face incumbent Prime Minister Florin Cîțu for the leadership of the party during the upcoming years (although it has been rumoured that Dan Motreanu, former Minister for Agriculture in the First Tăriceanu Cabinet between 2006 and 2007, would also announce his candidacy at a later point during 2021 but the latter eventually declined it). Furthermore, this new congress will also determine the leadership of PNL at each and every level within the party nationwide. Nonetheless, up until the date of the congress, Orban will still remain party president. At the same time, the struggle for power within the PNL between Cîțu and Orban (each one along with their respective teams of supporters) considerably bogged down the pace of reforms applied by the government.
Involvement in the 2021 Romanian political crisisEdit
During early September 2021, several weeks prior to the new congress of the party, USR PLUS decided to exit the Cîțu Cabinet in protest to Cîțu's dismissal of the Minister of Justice; the initial coalition consisting of three centre-right parties was thereby disbanded and reduced to two, with the USR PLUS officially entering parliamentary opposition and even publicly declaring that they will support any motion of no confidence against Cîțu in the future, deeming him responsible for creating a major governmental crisis in the process.
Moreover, according to USR PLUS, Cîțu is also responsible for legalizing massive theft from public procurement money with the approval of PNDL3 (overtaking, in this regard, even convicted former PSD leader Liviu Dragnea) in the prospect of bribing PNL mayors to side with him for the upcoming party congress on 25 September.
In response, Cîțu stated: 'only this [three-party] coalition is feasible for Romania. It's that political setup that can handle European Union's recovery plan, our local development, and make use of EU money,' after an emergency meeting of the party. He also stated that 'this is my message for the coalition talks later today, we have all promised Romania's investments.'
Additionally, in response to sacking the Justice Minister, Cîțu mentioned in a late night news briefing the following: 'I will not accept ministers in the Romanian government who oppose the modernisation of Romania. Blocking the activity of the government only because you do not agree to develop the communities, means violating the mandate given to you by the parliament through the governing programme.', referring to a 50 billion lei ($12 billion) local development infrastructure financing scheme aimed at modernizing decrepit infrastructure in the countryside and the plan which needed the justice ministry's seal of approval.
Eventually, the PNL was helped to maintain a minority cabinet along with the UDMR after they boycotted the no confidence motion initiated by the USR PLUS and AUR, with the help of both PSD and UDMR parliamentary groups. In the meantime, Cîțu posted a video portraying himself as Superman on Instagram. In response, the Romanian internet community made a video in which he was portrayed as the psychopathic supervillain Joker. Moreover, Ludovic Orban hinted a psychiatric consultation for Cîțu, in reaction to the Instagram videoclip.
In addition, it was also in 2021 that, at local political level, the PNL lost other former allies, more specifically the PMP, who veered towards PSD and PRO Romania, establishing new political alliances in some counties (most notably Caraș-Severin) with the two centre-left political parties. In the meantime, former Deputy Prime Minister Dan Barna said that 'if USR PLUS will remain in opposition, it will win the electorate of the right [in 2024]'. Additionally, Marcel Ciolacu, the incumbent president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and thereby the leader of the largest oppositional party, stated on 20 September 2021 that PSD will vote for the no confidence motion initiated by the USR PLUS and AUR. In the meantime, PNL president Ludovic Orban clearly stated that 'Cîțu could only remain Prime Minister with the support of PSD which would be a catastrophe for both Romania and the PNL. In stark contrast to Orban's statement, Iohannis declared that he still supports Cîțu and that he has no reasons whatsoever for resigning or for being ousted. Nonetheless, in late September 2021, DNA officially started the criminal investigation in Florin Cîțu's case on the grounds of abuse of office and incitement to abuse of office as Prime Minister.
Several noteworthy Romanian journalists such as Cristian Tudor Popescu, Lucian Mîndruță, and Ramona Ursu have also criticized Cîțu and his actions as Prime Minister and have described themselves totally revolted with respect to why would he still be left to serve as Prime Minister.
All throughout this period of time, the political crisis had severe results in the economy of the country, with the euro rising consistently above the leu, as reported by the National Bank of Romania (BNR) in the beginning of the autumn of 2021. Furthermore, during late September 2021, the USD had also risen consistently above the RON, as the political crisis kept on lingering. In addition, the finance department of Bloomberg also noted the record inflation levels which rose to the highest charting positions in the last three years in Romania in early September 2021.
As of 12 September 2021, most of the initial PNL-USR PLUS local alliances established after the 2020 local elections have been disbanded, with the USR PLUS entering official opposition at all local levels towards the PNL. The PNL also has a local governing alliance with the PSD in Ialomița.
On 25 September 2021, at the PNL congress held at Romexpo in Bucharest, Florin Cîțu was elected the 10th post-1989 president of the PNL with 2,878 votes out of 4,848 total delegates, amidst fraud allegations claimed by previous PNL president Ludovic Orban and subsequently by Adrian Veștea. Nonetheless, Orban congratulated Cîțu but also said that he no longer has a partnership with Iohannis. Furthermore, he also stated that he resigns from the office of the President of the Chamber of Deputies. The Romanian press had also cited Cîțu's triumph as a Pyrrhic victory as, on the one hand, PSD announced that they will vote the no confidence motion initiated by USR PLUS and AUR and, on the other hand, USR PLUS also stated that they will no longer want to govern under Cîțu.
On 26 September 2021, the party's new leadership team under Cîțu has been voted, validated, and consequently established as well. Shortly after the congress, on 27 September, former president Ludovic Orban stated that Cîțu became persona non grata for a huge number of Romanian citizens and that he doesn't understand he will no longer be PM for too long, only with the mercy of PSD. In the meantime, the PNRR (part of the Next Generation EU package and short for Romanian: Planul Național de Redresare și Reziliență) was signed and adopted in Bucharest on the occasion of Ursula von der Leyen's visit, mandated by the European Commission. The Romanian PNRR is the 5th Next Generation EU plan adopted by volume of funds and most of the work and successful negations on it were carried out by USR PLUS ministers, in particular Cristian Ghinea. Most opinion polls conducted so far register a significant drop of trust both in Cîțu as PM and in the PNL in the perspective of the next Romanian legislative election. In the meantime, PSD initiated its own motion of no confidence which is scheduled to be debated on 30 September and voted on 5 October. In addition, former party president Valeriu Stoica accused the recent political behaviour of PNL in the following manner: 'PNL acts like PSD', further stating that the party is operating on a catch all ideology and consistent party switching as well as currently defying and breaching the constitution.
On 5 October 2021, the Cîțu cabinet was ousted by an overwhelming vote stemming from the PSD, AUR, and USR at the no confidence motion debated and voted that day. The no confidence motion was voted by 281 MPs, the largest number of votes to dismiss a government in Romania's post-1989 history. Nevertheless, Cîțu will still serve as acting Prime Minister until a new government will be validated by vote in the Parliament and then subsequently sworn in (i.e. for at least one week from October 5 until still incumbent President Klaus Iohannis will call for party consultations). In the meantime, former PNL president Valeriu Stoica heavily criticized Iohannis for allowing 'mediocre people at the leadership of the party' since 2014 onwards. He previously also stated that the PNL would demonstrate lack of political maturity if they will still propose Cîțu as Prime Minister at future party consultations scheduled to take place at the Cotroceni Palace. At the same time, he mentioned that Iohannis should have that the political status quo imposed his resignation, avoiding as such the motion of no confidence.
Scissions and mergersEdit
Parties seceded from PNLEdit
- National Liberal Party - Youth Wing (1990);
- Liberal Union–Bratiănu (1990);
- National Liberal Party - Democratic Convention (1991);
- National Liberal Party-Câmpeanu (1995);
- Liberal Democratic Party (2006);
- Liberal Reformist Party (2014).
Parties absorbed by PNLEdit
- Socialist Liberal Party (1990);
- Progressive Peasant Party (1993);
- New Liberal Party (1993);
- Liberal Party '93/Liberal Party (1998);
- Civic Alliance Party (1998);
- Alliance for Romania (2002);
- Union of Right-Wing Forces (2003);
- National Liberal Party-Câmpeanu (2003);
- People's Action (2008);
- Democratic Force (2012);
- Democratic Liberal Party (2014);
- Popular Party (2015);
- National Democratic Party (2019);
- Youth Civic Action Platform (2019).
The party adheres to the doctrine of liberalism in the form of conservative liberalism and national liberalism, advocating both economic and social liberalization. In recent years, it has focused more on economic liberalism. The National Liberal Party (PNL) also supports conservative initiatives and policies and the state in moral and religious issues, as well as the privatization and denationalization of the economy, a trend which is currently taking place quite rapidly in Romania, as in other post-communist economies in Central and Eastern Europe.
In economic regards, it deems significant the fact that taxes must be lowered and that the private sector of the national economy must be expanded and helped by a series of new laws in order to generate more value. It also advocates a decentralization of Romania's political structure, with greater autonomy given to the eight development regions.
According to the statute, the leading organs of the party are the following:
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 any time needed. The Congress is convoked either by the Permanent Delegation (see below), 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 Permanent Delegation (Romanian: Delegaţia Permanentă – DP) is the structure that leads the party between two Congresses. It meets monthly, or at any time 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).
National Political BureauEdit
This section needs to be updated.(October 2021)
The National Political Bureau (Romanian: Biroul Politic Național – BPN) of the National Liberal Party (PNL) 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 weekly, or at any time needed, convoked by the president of the PNL.
According to Article 70 of the PNL Statute, the BPN 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 BPN 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.
As of 2018, the National Political Bureau is composed of the following members:
- President: Ludovic Orban;
- Secretary General: Robert Sighiartău;
- Vice-presidents: Ilie Bolojan, Raluca Turcan, Iulian Dumitrescu, Mircea Hava, Vlad Nistor, Laurențiu Leoreanu, Ben-Oni Ardelean, Florin Cîțu, Dan Motreanu, Nechita-Adrian Oros, Virgil Guran, Ioan Bălan, Victor Paul Dobre, Răducu Filipescu, Gigel Știrbu, Gheorghe Falcă, Lucian Bode, Florin Roman, Marian Petrache, Cristian Bușoi;
- Leader of the PNL Parliamentary Group in the Senate: Iulian Dumitrescu;
- Leader of the PNL Parliamentary Group in the Chamber of Deputies: Raluca Turcan.
In normal conditions, the term of the BPN 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 (PNL) was Mircea Ionescu-Quintus on 20 March 2009, when Crin Antonescu succeeded Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu.
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 any time 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 (PNL) is the guardian of the political programme of the party, of the respect of the statute, and the keeper 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 structuresEdit
- 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 – analyzes the candidates proposed for the legislative elections and for the offices in the Government as well as other central offices;
- National Liberal Youth – coordinates the activity specific to the youth structures in the territory;
- League of the Local Elected Officeholders – coordinates the activity of the PNL members 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 students.
Local leading structuresEdit
The local leading structures of the National Liberal Party (PNL) are the following:
- 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.
Romanian law 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 below.
Born - Died
|Portrait||Term start||Term end||Duration|
|15 January 1990||28 February 1993||3 years, 1 month and 13 days|
|28 February 1993||18 February 2001||7 years, 11 months and 21 days|
|18 February 2001||24 August 2002||1 year, 6 months and 6 days|
|24 August 2002||2 October 2004||2 years, 1 month and 8 days|
|2 October 2004||20 March 2009||4 years, 5 months and 18 days|
|20 March 2009||2 June 2014||5 years, 2 months and 13 days|
|28 June 2014||18 December 2014||6 months and 16 days|
|18 December 2014||28 September 2016||1 year, 9 months and 10 days|
|18 December 2014||12 December 2016||1 year, 11 months and 24 days|
|13 December 2016||17 June 2017||6 months and 4 days|
|17 June 2017||25 September 2021||4 years, 3 months and 8 days|
|25 September 2021||Incumbent||22 days|
1 Câmpeanu also subsequently served as Honorary Founding President within the party.
2 Ionescu-Quintus also subsequently served as Honorary President of the party.
3 Co-president along with Alina Gorghiu until 28 September 2016 when he resigned from this dignity.
4 Co-president along with Vasile Blaga until 28 September 2016. Afterwards, sole party leader until the end of her term.
5 Orban has also served as Chamber President between December 2020 and October 2021.
Presidency span (1990–present)Edit
Current notable membersEdit
- Dinu Zamfirescu, one of the 12 founding members of the PNL in January 1990, former BBC reporter, and human rights activist;
- Florin Cîțu, current party president since 25 September 2021 and current Prime Minister since December 2020, former Minister of Public Finance between 2019 and 2020;
- Nicolae Ciucă, current Minister of National Defense, former acting Prime Minister in December 2020;
- Ludovic Orban, former party president and former Prime Minister of Romania between 2019 and 2020, former Minister of Transport between 2007 and 2008;
- Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca, former Prime Minister of Romania (2008–2012);
- Cătălin Predoiu, former Minister of Justice and acting Prime Minister of Romania (2012);
- Leonard Orban, economist, former European Commissioner on multilingualism;
- Crin Antonescu, leader of the party between 2009 and 2014, former Minister of Youth and Sports, President of the Senate and Acting President of Romania (July–August 2012);
- Vasile Blaga, former co-president of the party between 2014 and 2016, former President of the Senate of Romania between 2011 and 2012;
- Alina Gorghiu, lawyer, former co-president of the party (2014–2016), member of Chamber of Deputies (2008–2016) and former member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, currently senator of Timiș;
- Nicolae Robu, the Mayor of Timișoara between 2012 and 2020, former senator in Romanian Parliament (2008–2012), member of the Central Bureau and the National Executive Council of the party and former rector of the Politechnic Institute of Timișoara (2004–2012), currently university professor;
- Mircea Hava, former mayor of Alba Iulia and current MEP since 2019;
- Gheorghe Falcă, former mayor of Arad and current MEP since 2019;
- Raluca Turcan, former acting president of the party in 2017;
- Theodor Stolojan, former president of the party between 2002 and 2004, former Prime Minister of Romania (1991–1992), and MEP;
- Andrei Chiliman, former mayor of Sector 1 in Bucharest;
- Crin Halaicu, former mayor of Bucharest (1992–1996) and businessman;
- Gheorghe Flutur, President of the Suceava County Council, former Minister of Agriculture;
- Teodor Atanasiu, former Minister of National Defence;
- Eugen Nicolăescu, former Minister of Health;
- Daniel Dăianu, MEP, former Minister of Finance, and member of the Romanian Academy;
- Siegfried Mureșan, MEP, spokesman and vice-president of the European People's Party;
- Andrei Marga, former Minister of Education, Minister of External Affairs and rector of the Babeș-Bolyai University;
- Hermann Fabini, architect, art historian, and former senator;
- Roberta Anastase, former President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania (2008–2012);
- Adrian Cioroianu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, historian and journalist;
- Ovidiu Raețchi, political analyst;
- Adriana Săftoiu, spokeswoman and political advisor;
- Sorin Cîmpeanu, former and current Minister of National Education;
- Daniel Constantin, former Deputy Prime Minister of Romania, former Minister of Environment, and former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Former notable membersEdit
- Klaus Iohannis, 5th and incumbent President of Romania;
- Eduard Hellvig, Member of the European Parliament and current Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI);
- Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu, former Prime Minister of Romania (February–May, 2012) and Head of the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE);
- Sorin Frunzăverde, former President of the Caraș-Severin County Council, former MEP, former Minister of Environment, former Minister of Tourism, and former Minister of Defence;
- Radu Câmpeanu, first president of the party after the 1989 Revolution;
- Mircea Ionescu-Quintus, second president of the party after the Romanian Revolution, serving between 1993 and 2001, former President of the Senate, and former Minister of Justice;
- Alexandru Paleologu, essayist, literary critic, and diplomat;
- Theodor Paleologu, historian and diplomat;
- Sorin Bottez, former vice-president of the National Liberal Youth, honorary founding member of PNL and former Minister-Delegate of Public Information in the Ciorbea Cabinet;
- Neagu Djuvara, historian and diplomat;
- Petre Țuțea, philosopher;
- Nicolae Manolescu, literary critic;
- Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, former Prime Minister and former President of the Senate;
- Bogdan Olteanu, former President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania;
- Teodor Meleșcanu, former Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Foreign Minister and Minister of National Defence;
- Mircea Diaconu, former Minister of Culture and member of the European Parliament, actor;
- Mihai Stănișoară, former Minister of National Defence;
- Norica Nicolai, former MEP;
- Renate Weber, former MEP, former ombudsman between 2019 and 2021, jurist;
- Victor Ciorbea, former Prime Minister between 1996 and 1998 and former ombudsman between 2014 and 2019;
- Ramona Mănescu, former MEP and former Minister of Transport;
- Ovidiu Silaghi, former Minister for Small and Medium Enterprises and former Minister of Transport;
- Radu Stroe, former Minister of Interior;
- Viorel Cataramă, businessman and former senator.
29 / 395
10 / 119
|3rd||Opposition to FSN government (1990–1991)|
|FSN-PNL-MER-PDAR government (1991–1992)|
0 / 341
0 / 143
|9th||Extra-parliamentary opposition to PDSR-PUNR-PRM-PSM government (1992–1996)|
28 / 343
22 / 143
|CDR-USD-UDMR government (1996–2000)|
30 / 345
13 / 140
|4th||Opposition to PDSR minority government (2000–2004)|
64 / 332
28 / 137
|DA-PUR-UDMR government (2004–2007)|
|PNL-UDMR minority government (2007–2008)|
65 / 334
28 / 137
|3rd||Opposition to PDL-PSD government (2008–2009)|
|Opposition to PDL-UNPR-UDMR government (2009–2012)|
|USL government (2012)|
100 / 412
50 / 176
|USL government (2012–2014)|
|Opposition to PSD-UNPR-UDMR-PC government (2014)|
|Opposition to PSD-UNPR-ALDE government (2014–2015)|
|Supporting the technocratic Cioloș Cabinet (2015–2017)|
69 / 329
30 / 136
|2nd||Opposition to PSD-ALDE government (2017–2019)|
|Opposition to PSD minority government (2019)|
|PNL minority government (2019–2020)|
93 / 330
41 / 136
|2nd||PNL-USR PLUS-UDMR government (2020–2021)|
|PNL-UDMR minority government (2021)|
1 The members of the CDR were the PNȚ-CD (with 25 senators and 81 deputies), the PNL, the PNL-CD (with 1 senator and 4 deputies), the PAR (with 3 senators and 3 deputies), the PER (with 1 senator and 5 deputies), and the Ecologist Federation of Romania (FER - with 1 senator and 1 deputy).
2 The members of the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA) alliance were the PNL and the PD (with 21 senators and 48 deputies).
3 De facto, the PNL became the 2nd largest political party in the Romanian Parliament in the wake of the 2012 Romanian legislative election.
4 The Social Liberal Union (USL) was a larger political alliance comprising two other smaller political alliances as follows: the Centre Left Alliance (ACS) and the Centre Right Alliance (ACD). The Centre Left Alliance (ACS) members were the PSD and the UNPR (with 5 senators and 10 deputies). The members of the Centre Right Alliance (ACD) were the PNL (with 51 senators and 101 deputies) and the PC (with 8 senators and 13 deputies).
|Election||County Councilors (CJ)||Mayors||Local Councilors (CL)||Popular vote||%||Position|
297 / 1,393
706 / 3,179
8,529 / 40,297
723 / 1,338
1,292 / 3,121
12,668 / 39,121
|N/A||N/A|| 1st |
504 / 1,434
1,081 / 3,186
13,198 / 40,067
474 / 1,340
1,232 / 3,176
14,182 / 39,900
|Election||County Presidents (PCJ)||Position|
1 / 41
6 / 41
5 / 41
15 / 41
| 1st |
8 / 41
17 / 41
Mayor of BucharestEdit
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (October 2021)
19 / 32
17 / 32
11 / 34
8 / 36
22 / 34
12 / 30
12 / 32
10 / 32
16 / 34
12 / 55
7 / 32
9 / 30
16 / 34
19 / 36
15 / 36
3 / 31
13 / 34
13 / 36
12 / 34
18 / 30
11 / 32
2 / 30
6 / 32
10 / 31
17 / 36
16 / 32
13 / 34
11 / 30
9 / 34
11 / 34
11 / 32
8 / 36
11 / 30
10 / 32
18 / 31
18 / 36
17 / 32
16 / 36
13 / 30
13 / 32
12 / 34
15 / 32
|Election||Candidate||First round||Second round|
|2000||Theodor Stolojan||1,321,420||3rd||not qualified|
|2009||Crin Antonescu||1,945,831||3rd||not qualified|
1 Emil Constantinescu was the common centre-right candidate that was endorsed by the PNL in both 1992 and 1996 as part of the larger Romanian Democratic Convention (CDR).
2 Traian Băsescu was the common centre-right candidate that was endorsed by the PNL in 2004 as part of the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA) alongside the now defunct Democratic Party (PD).
3 Although Klaus Iohannis was a member of the PNL, he was the common centre-right candidate that was endorsed by the party in 2014 as part of the Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL) alongside the now longtime defunct Democratic Liberal Party (PDL).
European Parliament electionsEdit
|Election||Votes||Percentage||MEPs||Position||EU Party||EP Group|
7 / 35
6 / 35
5 / 33
6 / 32
10 / 32
1 During the 2004–09 EU parliament session, the Parliament of Romania sent 7 delegates on behalf of the PNL to Brussels, Belgium.
2 Subsequently, sought permission to adhere to the European People's Party (EPP) and had been accepted in the meantime.
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