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National Liberal Party (Romania)

National Liberal Party
Romanian: Partidul Național Liberal
Abbreviation PNL
Founder Ion C. Brătianu
Co-Presidents Alina Gorghiu
Vasile Blaga
Honorary President Mircea Ionescu-Quintus
General Secretary Marian Petrache
Spokesperson Ionuț Stroe[1]
Slogan Prin noi înșine!
Founded May 24, 1875 (1875-05-24)[2]
January 15, 1990 (1990-01-15)[3][4]
October 6, 2014 (2014-10-06) (merger with PDL)[5]
Headquarters Aviatorilor Boulevard 86, Sector 1, Bucharest
Student wing Liberal Student Clubs (CSL)
Youth wing National Liberal Youth (TNL)
Women's wing Liberal Women National Organisation (ONFL)
Membership  (2014) 426,556[6]
Ideology Liberalism[7]
Conservative liberalism
Political position Centre-right[8]
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation European People's Party
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours Yellow
Anthem Verde-nrourat[9]
Seats in the Senate
73 / 176
Seats in the Chamber of Deputies
113 / 412
Seats in the European Parliament
11 / 32
County Council Presidents
15 / 41
Politics of Romania
Political parties

The National Liberal Party (Romanian: Partidul Național Liberal, PNL) is a liberal[11][12] political party in Romania. It was the first formally constituted political party in the country and the oldest party from the family of European liberal parties.[13]

It is the second-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 102 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 51 in the Senate, behind the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Until 2014, the PNL was a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).[14] 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 in the European Parliament. On 12 September 2014, it was admitted as a full member of the European People's Party,[15] and subsequently merged with the Democratic Liberal Party. The party is also a member of the Liberal International.[16]


  • Recent history 1
  • Ideology 2
  • Structure 3
    • Congress 3.1
    • Permanent Delegation 3.2
    • National Political Bureau 3.3
    • National Council 3.4
    • President 3.5
    • Secretary-General 3.6
    • Other national structures 3.7
    • Local leading structures 3.8
  • Symbol 4
  • Party leaders 5
  • Notable members 6
  • Electoral performance 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

Recent history

The PNL contested the 1996 general election as part of the successful Democratic Convention of Romania electoral alliance.[17]

The 2004 general election was fought by the PNL under the Justice and Truth Alliance (DA) banner,[17] allied with the Democratic Party (PD).

Until April 2007, the PNL was the largest member of the governing Justice and Truth Alliance, which enjoyed a parliamentary majority due to an alliance between the PNL, PD, Liberal Party and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR).[12] In April 2007, then Prime Minister Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who was also the party leader, formed a minority government only with the UDMR. After the 2008 legislative election the party entered into the opposition, winning 19.74% seats in the Parliament, while the new government coalition, formed by their former ally the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), had 69.9%. In the 2009 Romanian presidential elections its new leader, Crin Antonescu, finished third and the party remained in opposition.

On 5 February 2011, the PNL formed the Social Liberal Union (USL) political alliance with the PSD, National Union for the Progress of Romania and Conservative Party.[18][19] The PNL exited the USL on 25 February 2014, disbanding the alliance and returning to opposition.[20]

On 26 May 2014, following the 2014 European elections, PNL party president Crin Antonescu announced that he was seeking membership of the European People's Party (EPP).[21][22] At the beginning of the 8th European Parliament, 5 of the PNL MEPs sat with the EPP Group,[23] and 1 with the ALDE Group,[24] 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 submitting a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election.[25] The PNL-PDL presidential candidate was agreed to run under an electoral banner called the Christian Liberal Alliance (ACL).[26][27]

On 27 June 2014, former PNL leader 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.[28] The breakaway party, called the Liberal Reformist Party (PLR), was founded by Popescu-Tăriceanu on 3 July 2014.[29]

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.[30] On 26 July 2014, a joint party congress of the PNL and PDL approved the merger.[31]

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 runner-up.[32] Iohannis won the runoff election held on 16 November 2014 with 54.5% of the vote.[33][34]


The party adheres to the doctrine of liberalism, advocating both economic and social liberalization. In recent years, it has focused more on economic liberalism. For example, one of its main election promises for the 2004 legislative election was the introduction of a flat tax rate of 16% for personal income and corporate profits. Because the Liberal Party became part of the governing coalition, it managed to introduce this change, hence giving Romania one of the most liberal tax policies in Europe.

The National Liberal Party also supports the neutrality of 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.

Additionally, the party has also supported the introduction of a parliamentary system in which the president would be elected by the parliament rather than by the people to replace Romania's current semi-presidential system, which is based on the French model. 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:[35]


The Congress, or The General Assembly of the delegates of the party's members (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 last Congress took place between 5–6 March 2010, as both an Extraordinary and Ordinary Congress. The Extraordinary Congress took place on 5 March, because it was called three months earlier than the scheduled Ordinary Congress. It changed the Statute of the party. On 6 March the Congress was Ordinary, based on the new Statute.

Permanent Delegation

Coat of arms of Romania
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Permanent Delegation (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 Bureau

The National Political Bureau (Romanian: Biroul Politic Național – BPN) of the National Liberal Party 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 weekley, or at anytime 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.

The National Political Bureau is composed of:[36]

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 was Mircea Ionescu-Quintus on 20 March 2009, when Crin Antonescu succeeded Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu.

National Council

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 anytime 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 is the guardian of the political Program of the party, of the respect to the Statute and the keeping 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 structures

  • 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 – anallizes the candidates proposed for Parliamentary elections, and for the offices in the Government and other central offices;
  • National Liberal Youth – coortinatesa the activity specific to the youth structures in the territory;
  • League of the Local Elected Officeholders – coordinates the activity of the PNL mambers 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 student.

Local leading structures

The local leading structures of the National Liberal Party 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. Also one should note that the color scheme of both signs can be reversed from yellow-blue to blue-yellow, depending on the background it is placed on.

Party leaders

No. Name
Born - Died
Portrait Term start Term end Duration
1 Ion Brătianu
1821 - 1891
24 May 1875 4 May 1891 15 years, 11 months and 10 days
2 Dumitru Brătianu
1818 - 1892
21 May 1891 8 June 1892 1 year and 18 days
3 Dimitrie Sturdza
1833 - 1914
20 November 1892 10 January 1909 16 years, 1 month and 21 days
4 Ion I. C. Brătianu
1864 - 1927
11 January 1909 24 November 1927 18 years, 10 months and 13 days
5 Vintilă Brătianu
1867 - 1930
24 November 1927 21 December 1930 3 years and 27 days
6 Ion Duca
1879 - 1933
28 December 1930 29 December 1933 3 years and 1 day
7 Dinu Brătianu
1866 - 1950
4 January 1934 November 1947 13 years, 314 days
(party dissolved) 1947 1990
8 Radu Câmpeanu
1922 -
15 January 1990 28 February 1993 3 years, 1 month and 13 days
9 Mircea Ionescu Quintus
1917 -
28 February 1993 18 February 2001 7 years, 11 months and 21 days
10 Valeriu Stoica
1953 -
18 February 2001 24 August 2002 1 year, 6 months and 6 days
11 Theodor Stolojan
1943 -
24 August 2002 2 October 2004 2 years, 1 month and 8 days
12 Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu
1952 -
2 October 2004 20 March 2009 4 years, 5 months and 18 days
13 Crin Antonescu
1959 -
20 March 2009 2 June 2014 5 years, 2 months and 13 days
14 Klaus Iohannis
1959 -
28 June 2014 18 December 2014 6 months and 16 days
15 Alina Gorghiu
1978 -
18 December 2014 incumbent 1 year, 6 months and 26 days

Notable members

Former members before November 1947, when the party dissolved itself:

Former members after 1989:

Current members:

Electoral performance

Election Votes % Chamber Senate Position Government
103 / 568
54 / 216
2nd Opposition
16 / 366
1 / 166
3rd Opposition
222 / 372
111 / 148
1st Majority
1926 192,399 7.5
16 / 387
0 / 115
3rd Opposition
1927 1,704,435 62.7
318 / 387
92 / 113
1st Majority
1928 185,939 6.7
13 / 387
0 / 110
2nd Opposition
1931 1,389,901 48.9
289 / 387
108 / 113
1st Coalition
1932 407,023 14
28 / 387
1 / 113
2nd Opposition
1933 1,518,864 52
300 / 387
105 / 108
1st Majority
1937 1,103,353 36.5
152 / 387
97 / 112
1st Opposition
1946 259,068 3.8
3 / 414
4th Opposition
1948 212,438 2.8
7 / 414
2nd Opposition
1990 985,094 7.06
29 / 395
10 / 119
3rd Opposition
1992 2,210,722 20.16
82 / 341
34 / 143
2nd Opposition
1996 3,772,084 30.7
122 / 343
53 / 143
1st Coalition
2000 814,381 7.48
30 / 345
13 / 140
4th Opposition
2004 3,250,663 31.8
112 / 332
49 / 137
2nd Coalition
2008 1,291,029 18.74
65 / 334
28 / 137
3rd Opposition
2012 4,457,526 60.1
273 / 412
122 / 176
1st Coalition (in opposition since 2014)

See also


  1. ^ Manciu, Andi (23 January 2015). "Ionuț Stroe este noul purtător de cuvânt al PNL". (in Romanian). 
  2. ^ Scurtu, Ioan (2003). Enciclopedia partidelor politice din România, 1859-2003 (in Romanian). Bucharest: Meronia. 
  3. ^ Iván Zoltán Dénes (2006). Liberty and the Search for Identity: Liberal Nationalisms and the Legacy of Empires. Central European University Press. p. 383.  
  4. ^ "Scurt istoric". PNL (in Romanian). 
  5. ^ Neagu, Alina (6 October 2014). "Tribunalul București a admis fuziunea prin contopire dintre PNL și PDL". (in Romanian). 
  6. ^ Miron, Denisa (10 September 2014). "Precizare ACL privind numărul de membri". Știri pe surse (in Romanian). 
  7. ^ "National Liberal Party". Visegrad+. 15 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Lavinia Stan; Rodica Zaharia (2012). "Romania". In Donnacha Ó Beacháin; Vera Sheridan; Sabina Stan. Life in Post-communist Eastern Europe After EU Membership: Happy Ever After?. Routledge. p. 188.  
  9. ^ """Înțelegere politică pentru noul partid de dreapta. PNL și PDL vor cânta de acum "Verde-nrourat. Digi24 (in Romanian). 17 August 2014. 
  10. ^ "Grupurile parlamentare". Chamber of Deputies (in Romanian). 
  11. ^ Elizabeth Bakke (2010). "Central and Eastern European party systems since 1989". In Sabrina P. Ramet. Central and Southeast European Politics since 1989. Cambridge University Press. p. 78.  
  12. ^ a b Villy Tsakona; Diana Elena Popa, eds. (2011). Studies in Political Humour: In Between Political Critique and Public Entertainment. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 162.  
  13. ^ "Antonescu: La 138 de ani de la înființarea sa destinul PNL este strâns legat de evoluția României și de parcursul european". Agerpres (in Romanian). 24 May 2013. 
  14. ^ Donatella M. Viola (2015). Routledge Handbook of European Elections. Routledge. p. 665.  
  15. ^ "EPP concerned over actions of radical Islamic militant groups and over latest political developments in Romania; welcomes five new member parties". European People's Party. 12 September 2014. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b Richard Rose; Neil Munro (2009). Parties and Elections in New European Democracies. ECPR Press. pp. 215–216.  
  18. ^ "Romanian Oppositions Form Alliance". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  19. ^ "FOCUS Information Agency". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  20. ^ "Romania’s Liberals to leave ruling coalition, government". The Sofia Globe. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  21. ^ EurActiv (2014-05-26). "Romanian liberals seek EPP affiliation". EurActiv. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  22. ^ "Antonescu: I’ll have talks with EPP in June". 2014-05-28. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  23. ^țional-Liberal-(RO)
  24. ^ "ALDE MEP details". Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  25. ^ "Romania’s largest rightist parties agree on presidential candidate, fusion | Independent Balkan News Agency". 2014-05-29. Retrieved 2014-07-16. 
  26. ^ "SIGLA ACL a intrat în producţie". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  27. ^ "Ion Dumitrel, Florin Roman, Adrian Teban și Marius Ceteraș, prim-vicepreședinții Alianței Creștin Liberale Alba (ACL)". Ziarul Unirea. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  28. ^ Newsroom. "Calin Popescu Tariceanu will run for president". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  29. ^ ACTMedia - Romanian Business News. "Tariceanu: The Liberal Reforming Party is advancing Liberalism". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  30. ^ "Name of new party from PDL-PNL merger is PNL". Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  31. ^ "Merger protocol between PNL-PDL, new party statute, approved by joint congress". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  32. ^ "Romania's PM Ponta wins first round of presidential election". Reuters. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  33. ^ "Romania election surprise as Klaus Iohannis wins presidency". BBC News. Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "Romanians elected Klaus Iohannis their new president for the next five years". Retrieved 10 June 2015. 
  35. ^ (Romanian) The structure of the Party
  36. ^ "Biroul Politic Național". PNL. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  • PNL website retrieved 8 September 2012
  • Cliveti, Gheorghe, Liberalismul românesc. Eseu istoriografic, Editura Fundației "AXIS", Iași, 1996;
  • Istoricul PNL de la 1848 până astăzi, București, 1923;
  • Rădulescu – Zoner, Șerban (coord.), Cliveti, Gheorghe, Stan, Apostol, Onişoru, Gheorghe, Șandru, Dumitru, Istoria Partidului Național Liberal, Editura All, București, 2000;
  • Stan, Apostol, Iosa, Mircea, Liberalismul politic în România. De la origini până la 1918, Editura Enciclopedică, București, 1996;
  • Naumescu, Valentin,Despre liberalism în România.Realităţi,dileme, perspective, EFES, Cluj-Napoca, 2001;
  • Șomlea, Vasile-Florin, Mișcarea liberală din România post'1989, Editura Ecumenica Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2006;

External links

  • Official website
  • National Liberal Youth official site
  • Liberal Students Clubs official site
  • Organization of Liberal Women official site
  • League of the Local Representatives of the National Liberal Party official site
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