Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group
European Parliament group
NameAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group
English abbr.ALDE Group
French abbr.ADLE Groupe
Formal nameGroup of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
IdeologyLiberalism[1]
Social liberalism[2]
Conservative liberalism[2]
Political positionCentre
European partiesALDE Party
EDP
Associated organisationsAlliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Liberal International
From20 July 2004[3]
ToJune 2019
Preceded byEuropean Liberal Democrat and Reform Party Group
Succeeded byRenew Europe
Websitealde.eu

The Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE Group) was the liberalcentrist[4][5] political group of the European Parliament from 2004 until 2019. It was made up of MEPs from two European political parties, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party and the European Democratic Party, which collectively form the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.

The ALDE Group traced its unofficial origin back to September 1952 and the first meeting of the Parliament's predecessor, the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. Founded as an explicitly liberal group, it expanded its remit to cover the different traditions of each new Member State as they acceded to the Union, progressively changing its name in the process. Its immediate predecessor was the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party Group (ELDR).

The ALDE Group was the fourth-largest group in the Eighth European Parliament term, and previously participated in an informal coalition with the EPP during the Sixth Parliament (2004–2009). The pro-European platform of ALDE was in support of free market economics and pushed for European integration and the European single market.[6]

On 12 June 2019, it was announced that the successor group in alliance with La République En Marche! would be named Renew Europe.[7][8]

History

Guy Verhofstadt

The ALDE Group traced its unofficial ancestry back to the Liberal members present at the first meeting of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (the Parliament's predecessor) on 10 September 1952,[9] but the Group was officially founded as the Group of Liberals and Allies[3] on 23 June 1953.[3]

As the Assembly grew into the Parliament, the French Gaullists split from the Group on 21 January 1965[10] and the Group started the process of changing its name to match the liberal/centrist traditions of the new member states, firstly to the Liberal and Democratic Group[3][11] in 1976,[3] then to the Liberal and Democratic Reformist Group[12] on 13 December 1985,[3] then to the Group of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party[3][11][13] on 19 July 1994[3] to match the European political party of the same name.

In 1999, the Group partnered with European People's Party–European Democrats (EPP-ED) group to form an informal coalition for the Fifth Parliament. This included supporting the EPP's candidate for President of the Parliament in 1999 and the ALDE candidate in 2002. This meant that the Group secured its first President of the European Parliament since Simone Veil, when Pat Cox was elected to the post to serve the latter half of the Parliament's five-year term. This arrangement was discontinued after the 2009 election, when the EPP and the socialist S&D Group formed an informal Grand Coalition.

On 13 July 2004, the Group approved a recommendation to unite with MEPs from the centrist political party at the European level called the European Democratic Party (EDP) founded by François Bayrou's Union for French Democracy, the Labour Party of Lithuania and Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy of Italy.

The Group accordingly became the Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe[3] (ALDE) on 20 July 2004,[3] to match the eponymous transnational political alliance, although the two European-level parties remained separate outside the European Parliament. The MEP Graham Watson of the British Liberal Democrats became the first chair of ALDE.

In May 2019, speaking at a debate leading up to the 2019 European Parliament election, ALDE President Guy Verhofstadt announced that following the election, the group would form a new, centrist alliance with Emmanuel Macron's "Renaissance" list and be renamed as Renew Europe.[14]

Membership

The ALDE has MEPs from 20 countries, including 14 with more than one MEP (in yellow) and six with one MEP each (light yellow).

Membership by party in Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Parliaments

The national parties that are members of ALDE are as follows:

Country National party National party in national language European party MEPs
2004–2009
MEPs
2009–2014
MEPs
2014–2019
 Austria NEOS – The New Austria and Liberal Forum Neos – Das Neue Österreich und Liberales Forum ALDE
1 / 18
1 / 18
 Belgium Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats Dutch: Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten ALDE
3 / 24
3 / 14
3 / 22
3 / 13
3 / 21
3 / 12
Reformist Movement French: Mouvement Réformateur ALDE
2 / 24
2 / 9
2 / 22
2 / 8
2 / 21
2 / 8
EDP[a]
1 / 24
1 / 9
1 / 21
1 / 8
 Bulgaria National Movement for Stability and Progress Национално движение за стабилност и възход
(Nacionalno Dviženie za Stabilnost i Văzhod)
ALDE
2 / 18
2 / 18
Movement for Rights and Freedoms Движение за права и свободи
(Dvizhenie za Prava i Svobodi)
ALDE
3 / 18
3 / 18
4 / 17
 Croatia Civic Liberal Alliance Građansko-liberalni savez ALDE
1 / 11
Istrian Democratic Assembly Istarski demokratski sabor - Dieta democratica istriana ALDE
1 / 11
 Cyprus Democratic Party Greek: Δημοκρατικό Κόμμα
(Dimokratikó Kómma)
Turkish: Demokrat Parti
ALDE [b]
1 / 6
 Czech Republic ANO 2011 ANO 2011 ALDE
2 / 21
Petr Ježek and Pavel Telička (Independent)[c]
2 / 21
 Denmark Venstre - Denmark's Liberal Party Venstre - Danmarks Liberale Parti ALDE
3 / 14
3 / 13
1 / 13
[d]
Danish Social Liberal Party Det Radikale Venstre ALDE
1 / 14
2 / 13
 Estonia Estonian Centre Party Eesti Keskerakond ALDE
1 / 6
2 / 6
1 / 6
Estonian Reform Party Eesti Reformierakond ALDE
1 / 6
1 / 6
2 / 6
 Finland Centre Party Finnish: Suomen Keskusta
Swedish: Centern i Finland
ALDE
4 / 14
3 / 13
3 / 13
Swedish People's Party Finnish: Suomen ruotsalainen kansanpuolue
Swedish: Svenska Folkpartiet i Finland
ALDE
1 / 14
1 / 13
1 / 13
 France Democratic Movement Mouvement Démocrate EDP
7 / 78
5 / 74
2 / 74
[e]
Cap21 Citoyenneté Action Participation Pour le XXIe Siècle None
1 / 74
Civic Alliance for Democracy in Europe Alliance Citoyenne pour la Démocratie en Europe ALDE
3 / 78
Génération citoyens none
1 / 74

Radical Movement Mouvement radical ALDE
2 / 74
Union of Democrats and Independents Union des démocrates et indépendants EDP (2014-2016)

ALDE (2016-2019)

1 / 74
 Germany Free Democratic Party Freie Demokratische Partei ALDE
7 / 99
12 / 99
3 / 96
Free Voters Freie Wähler EDP
1 / 96
 Greece Drassi Δράση
Drassi
none
1 / 22
 Hungary Alliance of Free Democrats Szabad Demokraták Szövetsége - A Magyar Liberális Párt ALDE
2 / 24
Hungarian Liberal Party Magyar Liberális Párt - Liberálisok
Momentum Movement Momentum Mozgalom
 Ireland Fianna Fáil ALDE [f]
3 / 12
- [g]
Marian Harkin (Independent) EDP
1 / 13
1 / 12
1 / 11
 Italy Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy (note: merged into PD in 2007) Democrazia è Libertà - La Margherita EDP
9 / 78
Italy of Values Italia dei Valori ALDE
1 / 78
5 / 73
Alliance for Italy Alleanza per l'Italia EDP
1 / 78
1 / 73
Italian Radicals Radicali Italiani ALDE
2 / 78
 Latvia Latvia's First Party/Latvian Way Latvijas Pirmā Partija / Latvijas Ceļš ALDE
1 / 9
1 / 9
Union of Greens and Farmers Zaļo un Zemnieku savienība EGP (LZP)
1 / 8
 Lithuania Labour Party Darbo Partija ALDE
5 / 13
[h]
1 / 12
2 / 11
Liberal and Centre Union Liberalų ir Centro Sąjunga ALDE
2 / 13
Liberal Movement Liberalų Saįūdis ALDE
1 / 12
1 / 11
 Luxembourg Democratic Party Luxembourgish: Demokratesch Partei
French: Parti Démocratique
German: Demokratische Partei
ALDE
1 / 6
1 / 6
1 / 6
 Netherlands People's Party for Freedom and Democracy Volkspartij Voor Vrijheid en Democratie ALDE
4 / 27
3 / 26
3 / 26
Democrats 66 Democraten 66 ALDE
1 / 27
3 / 26
4 / 26
 Poland Democratic Party – demokraci.pl Partia Demokratyczna - Demokraci.pl ALDE
4 / 54
Paweł Piskorski (Independent) none
1 / 54
Marek Czarnecki (Independent) none
1 / 54
 Portugal Liberal Initiative Iniciativa Liberal ALDE
Democratic Republican Party Partido Democrático Republicano EDP
1 / 21
 Romania National Liberal Party Partidul Național Liberal ALDE[i]
6 / 35
5 / 33
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (formerly PNL and Independent) Alianța Liberalilor și Democraților ALDE
1 / 32
Renate Weber (formerly PNL) ALDE[i]
1 / 32
Mircea Diaconu (Independent) ALDE
1 / 32
 Slovakia People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia Ľudová Strana - Hnutie Za Demokratické Slovensko EDP
1 / 13
 Slovenia Liberal Democracy of Slovenia Liberalna Demokracija Slovenije ALDE
2 / 7
1 / 8
Zares – Social Liberals Zares - Socialno-Liberalni ALDE
1 / 8
Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia Demokratična stranka upokojencev Slovenije EDP
1 / 8
List of Marjan Sarec Lista Marjana Šarca, LMŠ ALDE
 Spain Basque Nationalist Party Basque: Euzko Alderdi Jeltzalea EDP
1 / 54
1 / 54
1 / 54
Catalan European Democratic Party Catalan: Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català ALDE
1 / 54
1 / 54
1 / 54
Union, Progress and Democracy Spanish: Unión, Progreso y Democracia None
1 / 54
4 / 54
Citizens Spanish: Ciudadanos – Partido de la Ciudadanía ALDE
2 / 54
 Sweden Liberals Liberalerna ALDE
1 / 19
3 / 20
2 / 20
Centre Party Centerpartiet ALDE
1 / 19
1 / 20
1 / 20
 United Kingdom Liberal Democrats Welsh: Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol ALDE
11 / 78
12 / 73
1 / 73
Total ALDE Party 70 74 56
Total EDP 26 10 8
Total Other 4 1 4
Total 100 85 68
  1. ^ Gérard Deprez as EDP individual member
  2. ^ The Democratic Party left the ALDE for S&D in 2009.
  3. ^ They were elected as ANO 2011
  4. ^ Jens Rhode was originally also elected for Ventre, but left to join Danish Social Liberal Party in December 2015.
  5. ^ 4 MoDem MEPs were elected in 2014
  6. ^ Fianna Fáil was then a member of Union for Europe of the Nations.
  7. ^ The sole Fianna Fáil member sat with the European Conservatives and Reformists.
  8. ^ EDP member until 2012
  9. ^ a b Following the 2014 European Parliament election, the National Liberal Party (PNL) left ALDE to join the European People's Party. Reelected MEPs Norica Nicolai and Renate Weber rejoined the ALDE group later and were subsequently expelled from their party.

Membership at formation

In September 1952, the third-largest grouping in the Common Assembly was the Liberal grouping with 11 members.[15] The Group of Liberals and Allies was officially founded on 23 June 1953.[3] By mid-September 1953, it was again the third-largest Group with 10 members.[16]

Structure

Subgroups

ALDE was a coalition of liberal and centrist MEPs. It did not have formal subgroups, although the MEPs fell naturally into two informal subgroups, depending on whether they associated with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party or the European Democratic Party.

Organisation

The Bureau was the main decision making body of the ALDE Group and is composed of the leaders of the delegations from each member state that elects ALDE MEPs.[17] The Bureau oversaw the ALDE Group's main strategy and policies and was headed by a chair (referred to as the Leader). The day-to-day running of the Group was performed by its secretariat, led by its Secretary-General.

The senior staff of ALDE as of July 2012 were as follows:[17]


Member

Position

Nation
Guy Verhofstadt President Belgium
Sophia in 't Veld Vice-President Netherlands
Pavel Telička Vice-President Czech Republic
Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz Vice-President Spain
Andrus Ansip Vice-President Estonia
Filiz Hyusmenova Vice-President Bulgaria
Marielle de Sarnez Vice-President France
Izaskun Bilbao Barandica Vice-President Spain
Norica Nicolai Vice-President Romania
Petras Auštrevičius Member Lithuania
Catherine Bearder Member United Kingdom
Philippe De Backer Member Belgium
Mircea Diaconu Member Romania
José Inácio Faria Member Portugal
Fredrick Federley Member Sweden
Charles Goerens Member Luxembourg
Marian Harkin Member Ireland
Ivan Jakovčić Member Croatia
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff Member Germany
António Marinho e Pinto Member Portugal
Louis Michel Member Belgium
Angelika Mlinar Member Austria
Ulrike Müller Member Germany
Javier Nart Member Spain
Maite Pagazaurtundúa Member Spain
Morten Helveg Petersen Member Denmark
Jozo Radoš Member Croatia
Olli Rehn Member Finland
Yana Toom Member Estonia
Nils Torvalds Member Finland
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells Member Spain
Ulla Tørnæs Member Denmark
Viktor Uspaskich Member Lithuania
Ivo Vajgl Member Slovenia
Johannes Cornelis van Baalen Member Netherlands
Cecilia Wikström Member Sweden

The chairs of ALDE and its predecessors from 1953 to 2019 are as follows:

Chair Took office Left office Country
(Constituency)
Party
Yvon Delbos 1953 1956  France
Radical Party
René Pleven 1957 1968  France Democratic and Socialist Union of the Resistance
Cornelis Berkhouwer 1970 1973  Netherlands
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Jean-François Pintat 1978 1979  France
Union for French Democracy
Martin Bangemann 1979 1984  West Germany
Free Democratic Party
Simone Veil 1984 1989  France
Union for French Democracy
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing 1989 1991  France
Union for French Democracy
Yves Galland 1992 1994  France
Union for French Democracy
Gijs de Vries 1994 1998  Netherlands
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
Pat Cox 1998 2002  Ireland
(Munster)
Independent
Graham Watson 2002 2009  United Kingdom
(South West England)

Liberal Democrats
Guy Verhofstadt 2009 2019  Belgium
(Dutch)

Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats

Academic analysis

Along with the other political groups, ALDE has been analysed by academics on its positions regarding various issues. In short, it's a group of cohesive, gender-balanced centrist Euroneutrals that cooperate most closely with the EPP, are ambiguous on hypothetical EU taxes and supportive of eventual full Turkish accession to the European Union.

References

  1. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "European Union". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 2017-06-08. Retrieved 2019-05-30.
  2. ^ a b Slomp, Hans (2011-09-26). Europe, A Political Profile: An American Companion to European Politics. ABC-CLIO. p. 245. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. Retrieved 2018-09-20.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "ALDE on Europe Politique". Europe-politique.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  4. ^ Andreas Staab (2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  5. ^ Tapio Raunio (2012). "Political Interests: The European Parliament's Party Groups". In John Peterson; Michael Shackleton (eds.). The Institutions of the European Union. Oxford University Press. p. 341. ISBN 978-0-19-957498-8.
  6. ^ David Phinnemore; Lee McGowan (2013). A Dictionary of the European Union. Routledge. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-135-08127-0. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  7. ^ Baume, Maïa de La (2019-06-12). "Macron-Liberal alliance to be named Renew Europe". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-06-12.
  8. ^ "[Ticker] Liberal Alde rename themselves 'Renew Europe'". 12 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Composition of the Common Assembly (10–13 September 1952)". CVCE. Retrieved 2013-04-28.
  10. ^ "UFE on Europe Politique". Europe-politique.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  11. ^ a b "Political Groups of the European Parliament". Kas.de. Archived from the original on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  12. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Simone Veil (incl. Membership)
  13. ^ "Group names 1999". Europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  14. ^ "Frenzy in Firenze: 4 takeaways from EU lead candidate debate". Politico. 2019-05-03. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  15. ^ "Directorate-General for the Presidency - CARDOC unit and archives - Description of the main holdings and collections" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  16. ^ "Position of the political groups in mid-September 1953". CVCE. Retrieved 2013-05-28.
  17. ^ a b "ALDE website article "Bureau"". Alde.eu. Retrieved 2010-06-18.