Volya Movement (Bulgarian: Движение Воля, romanizedDvizhenie Volya, lit.'Will Movement')[11][12] is a right-wing populist[2] political party in Bulgaria. Before 2016, it was known variously as Today and Liberal Alliance. The party was established by Bulgarian businessman Veselin Mareshki, ostensibly on principles of anti-corruption and anti-elitism.

Volya Movement
Движение Воля
LeaderVeselin Mareshki
Founded15 July 2007; 15 years ago (2007-07-15) (Liberal Alliance)
4 November 2012 (2012-11-04) (Today)
28 November 2016 (2016-11-28) (Volya)
Split fromOrder, Law and Justice
Preceded byNational Movement for Freedom and Democracy
HeadquartersVarna, Bulgaria
IdeologyBulgarian nationalism[1]
Right-wing populism[2][3][4][5]
Political positionRight-wing[8][9] to far-right[10]
National affiliationBulgarian Patriots
European affiliationIdentity and Democracy Party
Colours    Teal and white
  Light blue (former)
National Assembly
0 / 240
European Parliament
0 / 17


Volya was originally founded by Veselin Mareshki on July 15, 2007, under the name Liberal Alliance. Following a brief stint as the Dnes party, the name was changed on November 28, 2016, to Volya.[13][14]

In the 2017 Bulgarian parliamentary elections, Volya won 12 seats in the National Assembly.[15] After negotiations, Volya agreed to support a coalition government between GERB and United Patriots.

In 2018, Volya joined the Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom, now referred to as the Identity and Democracy Party.[16] The European political party organizes nationalist parties across Europe and includes the French National Rally, Italian League, and Freedom Party of Austria.[16]

Volya took part in the 2019 European Parliament election in Bulgaria as a member of the Volya-The Bulgarian Patriots coalition.[17] The coalition also included the Agrarian Union "Aleksandar Stamboliyski", the People's Party for Freedom and Dignity, and the United Social Democrats. Mareshki topped the coalition list and stated he would decide whether to keep his seat if elected. The coalition hoped to gain two seats but failed to gain any, finishing in 6th place.[18]

Ahead of the second 2021 Bulgarian parliamentary election, Volya formed an electoral alliance with the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria.[19] and the IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement.[20]

Political viewsEdit

The Volya party advocates populist and reform policies, promoting patriotism, strict immigration controls, friendlier relations with Moscow, and the need to "sweep away the garbage" of a corrupt political establishment.[6] Volya advocates for Bulgarian withdrawal from NATO, which it views as being economically draining on the Bulgarian people whilst providing no benefits to national security.[21] Despite Veselin Mareshki's calls for a "strong united Europe," the party has been described as generally Eurosceptic.[22]

The Volya party supports promoting business in Bulgaria, with Mareshki stating, "Small and medium businesses are also in our focus. We want less bureaucracy, more opportunities for development, more investment, and job creation. There must be strong support from the state, not limitations."[23] The party recognizes Bulgaria's decreasing birth rate, but it opposes increasing immigration into Bulgaria, favoring instead state programs that will promote young families to have more children.[23]

Election resultsEdit


Bulgarian National Assembly
Election # of Seats Won # of Total Votes % of Popular Vote Rank Status
0 / 240
- - - Did not contest
0 / 240
8,873 0.25% 19th Extra-parliamentary
0 / 240
- - - Did not contest
12 / 240
145,637 4.15% 5th Supply and support
April 2021
0 / 240
75,921 2.33% 10th[a] Extra-parliamentary
July 2021
0 / 240
85,795 3.10% 7th[b] Extra-parliamentary
November 2021
0 / 240
7,081 0.27% 16th Extra-parliamentary
European Parliament
Election # of Seats Won # of Total Votes % of Popular Vote Rank
0 / 17
70,830 3.62% 6th
  1. ^ Results of the alliance Patriotic Coalition Volya–NFSB.
  2. ^ Results of the Bulgarian Patriots alliance.


  1. ^ "Bulgaria's government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time". Washington Post. 25 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b Zulianello, Mattia (2019). "Varieties of Populist Parties and Party Systems in Europe: From State-of-the-Art to the Application of a Novel Classification Scheme to 66 Parties in 33 Countries" (PDF). Government and Opposition: 4.
  3. ^ https://www.feps-europe.eu/attachments/publications/web_state%20of%20populism%20in%20europe%202018.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "Marine le Pen's man in Bulgaria staged a stress test for Borissov". 16 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Europe's far-right populists eye EU elections at Nice rally | DW | 02.05.2018". Deutsche Welle.
  6. ^ a b Lyman, Rick (24 February 2017). "In Bulgaria, a Businessman Who Talks (and Acts) Like Trump". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Bulgarian elections – a pro-western party may have won, but the European idea seems to have lost". 9 April 2017.
  8. ^ Boros, Tamás (2018). The State of Populism in Europe 2017. Friedrich Ebert Foundation. p. 148.
  9. ^ "Bulgaria – Europe Elects".
  10. ^ "2017 was a good year for Europe's extremists". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 22 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Новата партия на Марешки ще се казва "Воля" - Mediapool.bg".
  12. ^ news.bg (28 November 2016). ""Воля" - новата партия на Марешки".
  13. ^ "Новата партия на Марешки ще се казва "Воля"". Mediapool.bg.
  14. ^ ""Воля" - новата партия на Марешки". news.bg. 28 November 2016.
  15. ^ Nina Barzachka (7 December 2021) [2017-04-25]. "Bulgaria's government will include far-right nationalist parties for the first time". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.[please check these dates]
  16. ^ a b "Le Pen seeks to rally far-right allies for European elections". 2 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Volya party will contest in the European elections in a coalition - Българска национална телевизия".
  18. ^ "Volya Leads New Patriotic Coalition for European Elections".
  19. ^ "Volya, National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria Form Patriotic Coalition".
  20. ^ "Ultra-nationalists, populists form 'Bulgarian Patriots' alliance for July elections". The Sofia Globe. 20 May 2021.
  21. ^ "Bulgarian Volya Party to call for referendum on leaving NATO".
  22. ^ "The smokescreen of euroscepticism". 15 May 2019.
  23. ^ a b https://voiceofeurope.com/2018/10/interview-with-the-bulgarian-trump-we-have-to-unite-to-save-our-countries-from-the-madness-of-current-eu-leaders/