A general overview and comprehensive discussion of this topic may be found in the article Liberalism.

In general, liberalism in Europe is a political movement that supports a broad tradition of individual liberties and constitutionally-limited and democratically accountable government. These European derivatives of classical liberalism are found in centrist movements and parties as well as some parties on the centre-right and the centre-left.

Liberalism in Europe has a different meaning from the signification it has in contemporary politics in the US.[1] In America, liberals might be confused with leftists which advocate for a larger government, some forms of protectionism and more economic interventionism;[2] whereas European liberals usually favor limited government, free trade and adhere to economic liberalism.[1]

European liberals also usually support the federalisation of the EU.[3]

Liberal practices

Emmanuel Macron, President of France, is often described as the strongest advocate for liberalism in Europe[4]
Emmanuel Macron, President of France, is often described as the strongest advocate for liberalism in Europe[4]

Liberal political parties have specific policies, which the social scientist can either read from party manifestos, or infer from actual actions and laws passed by ostensibly liberal parties. The sources listed below serve to illustrate some of the current liberal attitudes in Europe.

Additionally, liberal value preferences can be inferred from the liberalisation programmes and policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The liberalism visible in these sources emphasizes in comparison with other ideologies more belief in individual development as a motor for society and the state providing a social safety net. The liberal policies differ from country to country and from party to party.

Ideology

European Union

European liberalists tend to support the European Union[11][12][13][14][15][16] such as Emmanuel Macron, President of France who campaigned against Marine Le Pen a National Rally candidate a far right nationalist anti EU party.[17][18][19] Some European liberalists support Federalisation of the European Union such as prominent European Liberalist politicians such as Guy Verhofstadt (Prime Minister of Belgium 1999 to 2008)[20][21] , Viviane Reading (Vice-President of the European Commission),[22] and Matteo Renzi (Prime Minister of Italy 2014 to 2016).[23]

Social Issues

Parties

Government

Country Symbol Parties Head of State/Head of Government Upper/ Lower House Founded Leader/Founder Former Party Eupoean/ International Affliction Ideology/ Political Position
 Belgium

Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats

Flemish

Open Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten

Prime Minister

Alexander De Croo

Chamber of Representatives (Lower House)
12 / 87
Senate (Upper House)
5 / 60

Coalition

1992 (VLD)

2007 (Open VLD)

Leader

Egbert Lachaert

Preceded By

Party for Freedom and Progress

Eupoean

Renew Europe

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

International

Liberal International (LI)

Ideology

Liberalism[24][25]

Conservative liberalism[26][27]

Social liberalism[11]

Pro-Europeanism[11]

Political Position

Centre

Reformist Movement

French

Mouvement Réformateur

N/A

Chamber of Representatives (Lower House)

14 / 87
Senate (Upper House)
8 / 60

Coalition

21 March 2002 Leader

Georges-Louis Bouchez

Preceded By

Liberal Reformist Party

Citizens' Movement for Change

Eupoean

Renew Europe

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

International

Liberal International (LI)

Ideology

Liberalism[25][28]

Conservative liberalism[26][27]

Social liberalism[29]

Pro-Europeanism

Political Position

Centre-right[30][31]

 Croatia Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS – LD)

Croatian

Hrvatska narodna stranka – Liberalni demokrati (HNS – LD)

N/A Sabor
1 / 151
Coalition

Croatian Democratic Union

Independent Democratic Serb Party

with support from HSLS, HDS, HDSSB, HNS, Reformists, Democratic Union of Hungarians, Kali Sara, Union of Albanians and Independents

13 October 1990 Leader

Predrag Štromar

Founder

Savka Dabčević-Kučar

Preceded By

Coalition of People's Accord

Regional

Liberal South East European Network

Eupoean

Renew Europe

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

Ideology

Social liberalism[32]

Pro-Europeanism[12]

Political Position

Centre[33] to centre-left[34]

 Finland Centre Party

Finnish

Suomen Keskusta, Kesk

Swedish

Centern i Finland

Deputy Prime Minister

Annika Saarikko

Parliament
31 / 200
European Parliament
2 / 14
Coalition

Social Democratic Party

Centre Party

Green League

Left Alliance

Swedish People's Party

1906 Leader

Annika Saarikko

Preceded by

Annika Saarikko

Eupoean

Renew Europe

International

Liberal International (LI)

Ideology

Agrarianism[35]
Liberal conservatism[36]
Social liberalism[37]

Political Position

Centre[35][36][38][39]

Swedish People's Party of Finland

Swedish

Svenska folkpartiet i Finland

Finnish

Suomen ruotsalainen kansanpuolue

N/A Parliament
10 / 200
European Parliament
1 / 14
Coalition

Social Democratic Party

Centre Party

Green League

Left Alliance

Swedish People's Party

1906 Leader

Anna-Maja Henriksson

Founder

Axel Lille

Axel Olof Freudenthal

Preceded by

Svecoman movement

Eupoean

Renew Europe

Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE)

International

Liberal International (LI)

Ideology

Swedish-speaking minority interests[40]

Social liberalism[40][41]

Pro-Europeanism[13]

Political Position

Centre[42]

 France
La République En Marche! President

Emmanuel Macron

Prime Minister

Jean Castex

National Assembly (Lower House)
280 / 577

Senate (Upper House)

23 / 348
European Parliament
11 / 79
Coalition

LREM

MoDem

MR

Agir

TDP

6 April 2016 Leader

Stanislas Guerini

Founder

Emmanuel Macron

Eupoean

Renew Europe

Ideology

Liberalism[43]

Pro-Europeanism[14]

Political Position

Centre[44]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Goldfarb, Michael (2010-07-20). "Liberal? Are we talking about the same thing?". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  2. ^ Greenberg, David (September 12, 2019). "The danger of confusing liberals and leftists". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-08-06.
  3. ^ "Our Policies". Volt Europa. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  4. ^ "Emmanuel Macron, the resolutely modern philosopher king". The Economist. 2018-06-13. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2019-03-21.
  5. ^ ALDE Group in the European Parliament : Home[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party Manifestos
  7. ^ "FDP :: FDP Bundesverband". Forum.fdp-bundesverband.de. Archived from the original on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  8. ^ "Liberal Democrats : Home". Libdems.org.uk. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  9. ^ "democrats.nl". democrats.nl. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  10. ^ "Liberales". Liberales.be. 2004-12-01. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  11. ^ a b c Almeida, Dimitri (2012-04-27). The Impact of European Integration on Political Parties. Routledge. doi:10.4324/9780203123621. ISBN 978-0-203-12362-1.
  12. ^ a b Gladoic, Andrea. "Croatia's Largest Political Parties". Expat in Croatia. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  13. ^ a b RKP, SFP (2019). "SFP:s Riksdag ValsProgram 2019". SFP. Retrieved 18 April 2019.
  14. ^ a b "Emmanuel Macron a Berlin pour se donner une stature européenne". Le Monde. 10 January 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  15. ^ Edwards, Maxim (13 December 2018). "Armenia's Revolution Will Not be Monopolized". Foreign Policy. Bright Armenia is an avowedly pro-EU and classical liberal political party...
  16. ^ "Fayrer, Sir John (Lang Macpherson), (18 Oct. 1944–9 March 2017)", Who's Who, Oxford University Press, 2007-12-01, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u15557, retrieved 2020-10-15
  17. ^ Macron, Emmanuel (2018). "Discours du Président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, à l'occasion de la remise du Prix Charlemagne de la ville d'Aix-la-Chapelle le 10 mai 2018". Allemagne d'aujourd'hui. 224 (2): 17. doi:10.3917/all.224.0017. ISSN 0002-5712.
  18. ^ Le Breton, Morgane (2017). "Ce qui est bon pour Enron est bon pour le climat". Entreprises et histoire. 86 (1): 151. doi:10.3917/eh.086.0151. ISSN 1161-2770.
  19. ^ "Graphique 4.2. Une consolidation budgétaire plus ambitieuse accroît la croissance potentielle". dx.doi.org. doi:10.1787/888932612306. Retrieved 2020-10-15.
  20. ^ Bruno Waterfield in Brussels (18 February 2009). "Blueprint for EU army to be agreed". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  21. ^ "International news - euronews, latest international news". Archived from the original on 6 February 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  22. ^ EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Why we need a United States of Europe now
  23. ^ "Italy to push for 'United States of Europe' when it holds the EU presidency". Telegraph.co.uk. 22 June 2014. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  24. ^ Bartley, Robert L. (2019-06-10), "Liberalism 1976: A Conservative Critique", The Relevance of Liberalism, Routledge, pp. 61–96, doi:10.4324/9780429304316-3, ISBN 978-0-429-30431-6, retrieved 2020-10-13
  25. ^ a b Close, Caroline; Delwit, Pascal (2019-02-12), "Liberal parties and elections", Liberal Parties in Europe, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2019. | Series: Party families in Europe: Routledge, pp. 281–309, doi:10.4324/9781351245500-15, ISBN 978-1-351-24550-0, retrieved 2020-10-13CS1 maint: location (link)
  26. ^ a b Slomp, Hans, 1945- (2011). Europe, a political profile : an American companion to European politics. Volume 1. Slomp, Hans, 1945-. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-39182-8. OCLC 759986337.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  27. ^ a b Starke, Peter, 1977- (2013). The welfare state as crisis manager : explaining the diversity of policy responses to economic crisis. Kaasch, Alexandra, 1977-, Hooren, Franca van, 1983-. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-31484-0. OCLC 844063308.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  28. ^ European politics. Hay, Colin, 1968-, Menon, Anand, 1965-. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-19-928428-3. OCLC 71541592.CS1 maint: others (link)
  29. ^ Almeida, Dimitri, 1981- (2012). The impact of European integration on political parties : beyond the permissive consensus. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-69374-5. OCLC 731925262.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ Comparative European politics. Colomer, Josep Maria. (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. 2008. ISBN 978-0-415-43755-4. OCLC 182716576.CS1 maint: others (link)
  31. ^ Neo-nationalism in Europe and beyond : perspectives from social anthropology. Gingrich, André., Banks, Marcus. New York: Berghahn Books. 2006. ISBN 978-1-78238-611-7. OCLC 607904369.CS1 maint: others (link)
  32. ^ Close, Caroline (12 February 2019). "The liberal party family ideology: Distinct, but diverse". In Close, Caroline; van Haute, Emilie (eds.). Liberal Parties in Europe. Routledge. p. 339. ISBN 9781351245487.
  33. ^ Gladoic, Andrea. "Croatia's Largest Political Parties". Expat in Croatia. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  34. ^ "Key Political Parties in Croatia". Balkan Insight. 27 September 2010.
  35. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Finland". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 22 February 2014.
  36. ^ a b "Finland—Political parties". Norwegian Centre for Research Data. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Finland's largest political parties". Europarlamentti.info.
  38. ^ Josep M. Colomer (2008). Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
  39. ^ Andrews Nordlund (2007). "Nordic social politics in the late twentieth century: An analysis of the political reform agenda". In Nanna Kildal; Stein Kuhnle (eds.). Normative Foundations of the Welfare State: The Nordic Experience. Routledge. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-134-27283-9.
  40. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Finland". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  41. ^ Vít Hloušek; Lubomír Kopeček (2010). Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties: East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-7546-7840-3.
  42. ^ Lane, Jan-Erik; Ersson, Svante (2008). Josep M. Colomer (ed.). The Nordic Countries: Compromise and Corporatism in the Welfare State. Political Institutions in Europe. Routledge. p. 260. ISBN 978-1-134-07354-2.
  43. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2017). "France". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  44. ^ Milner, Susan (6 February 2017). "Emmanuel Macron and the building of a new liberal-centrist movement". EUROPP. London School of Economics. Retrieved 25 April 2017.