National Union for the Progress of Romania
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The National Union for the Progress of Romania (Romanian: Uniunea Națională pentru Progresul României, UNPR) is a political party in Romania. The party was formed in March 2010 by independents who had broken away from the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and National Liberal Party (PNL) to support President Traian Băsescu. Tension began soon after the party's formation between former PSD and PNL members over the distribution of leadership positions and the political direction of the new party, with former PSD members dominating. The first party congress to elect its leaders was on 1 May 2010.
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On 12 July 2016, former President Traian Băsescu announced that UNPR would merge with his People's Movement Party on 20 July 2016, but the process failed and Gabriel Oprea reorganised the party in June 2018.
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In 2009, parliamentarians from PSD, PNL, and other organizations left their political parties to support President Traian Băsescu. They formed the parliamentary group of independents, led by Senator Gabriel Oprea. Afterward, Oprea was named Minister of Administration and Interior.
In 2010, the majority of the group formed UNPR. On 1 May 2010, the new party elected its leaders, by Congress. Allied with the PDL and UDMR, UNPR participated in government until 2012. At the first party congress held in May 2010, Marian Sârbu was elected president. In 2011, the National Initiative Party (PIN) merged into the Union. PIN's president, Lavinia Șandru, became UNPR's vice-president but later resigned from the party citing its lack of support for her ecologist policies.
In 2012, the government led by Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu was dismissed by motion of censure and UNPR passed in opposition. On 28 May 2012, Sârbu stepped down as party leader. Following Sârbu's resignation, Gabriel Oprea was elected UNPR president. UNPR later formed with PSD, with the Center-Left Alliance (ACS) included in the Social Liberal Union.
Cristian Diaconescu, a founding member of UNPR, honorary president and former Minister of External Affairs, resigned from the union after the party changed sides and entered the Social Liberal Union. He is an independent with close ties to the right-wing conservative former President of Romania, Traian Băsescu, who appointed him as leader of the Presidential Chancellery in March 2012.
In the Romanian Parliamentary elections of December 2012, UNPR won in alliance with PSD, PNL, and PC with 10 seats in the House of Deputies and five in the Senate. Because the party lacks the necessary number of seats to form a distinct parliamentary group (12 deputies, seven senators), their parliamentarians joined the group of the Social Democratic Party (PSD). They voted for the government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta. Oprea has served as deputy prime minister since 2013.
UNPR's doctrine is social-democratic with shades of progressivism. The union is against right wing policies, conservative and neo-conservative. The union's self reported doctrine is "progressive left-wing" with social-democratic orientation. UNPR believes in a new political and economic order, based on consolidation of the market economy, in an "active state" that protects citizens and human rights. The union considers itself a progressive party. UNPR strongly supports significant wealth tax and fair taxes. UNPR's platform also includes the decentralization of Romania. The union supports public order.
The president acts as the union's governing body; he represents the party in political conversations and parliament. The president has large powers in the union and is helped by the standing Bureau of the Union.
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1 USL was an alliance of two smaller alliances: Centre Left Alliance and Centre Right Alliance. Centre Left Alliance members: PSD (58 senators and 149 deputies) and UNPR (5 senators and 10 deputies). Centre Right Alliance members: PNL (51 senators and 101 deputies) and PC (8 senators and 13 deputies).
2 In July 2016 UNPR merged with PMP. The merger was revoked in June 2018.
3 After the merger with PMP was revoked and the party was reinstated.
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- "New Romanian party elects leaders", SETimes, 2 May 2010, retrieved 6 November 2012
- "Cati membri au partidele din Romania. Ce partid a pierdut din adepti". Retrieved 18 November 2014.
- Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Romania". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016.
- Dąborowski, Tomasz (23 May 2012), "A majority electoral system is introduced in Romania", CeWeekly, OSW Centre for Eastern Studies, retrieved 6 November 2012
- Structuri parlamentare Legislatura 2016-prezent
- "UNPR fuzionează prin absorbţie cu PMP/ Băsescu: Gabriel Oprea rămâne doar cu onoarea, partidul nu mai e după fuziune. Partidul se va numi Partidul Mişcarea Populară" (in Romanian). Mediafax. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- Gabriel Oprea revine pe scena politică, UNPR se reorganizează
- "Oprea: Am încheiat o fuziune prin absobţie cu PP-DD. Suntem un partid al uşilor deschise". Mediafax.ro. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
- Official Website of the National Union for the Progress of Romania
- Câmpanu: The National Union for the Advancement of Romania will enter the court next week
- Gabriel Oprea - UNPR pornește de la seven la sută
- Tension among independents