Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats
VLD Party logo
AbbreviationOpen Vld
President
Reformist Movement
Germanophone counterpartParty for Freedom and Progress
Colours  Blue
Chamber of Representatives
12 / 87
(Flemish seats)
Senate
5 / 35
(Flemish seats)
Flemish Parliament
16 / 124
Brussels Parliament
3 / 17
(Flemish seats)
European Parliament
2 / 12
(Flemish seats)
Flemish Provincial Councils
23 / 175
Website
www.openvld.be
  • Elections
  • The Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats

    conservative-liberal political party in Belgium.[4][5]

    The party was created in 1992 from the former bilingual

    Reformist Movement (MR) in Wallonia. The party led the government for three cabinets under Guy Verhofstadt from 1999 until March 2008. Open VLD then formed the Federal Government (the so-called "Swedish government") with N-VA, CD&V
    and Mouvement Réformateur.

    In the

    Van Rompuy I Government formed on 2 January 2009, the Leterme II Government formed on 24 November 2009 and the Di Rupo Government
    formed on 6 December 2011.

    Ideologically, Open VLD started as an economically liberal[11] and somewhat libertarian Thatcherite party under its founder, Guy Verhofstadt which mirrored some of the original ideology of the PVV. The VLD rapidly became more centrist and gave up much of its free market approach, partly under the influence of Verhofstadt's political scientist brother Dirk Verhofstadt, although the VLD continued to contain conservative-libertarian and classical liberal wings with ties to think-tanks like Nova Civitas. Party chairman Bart Somers called in November 2006 for a "revolution" within the party, saying that "a liberal party", like the VLD, "can be only progressive and social".[12]

    From 2000 to 2004, during the second period of its participation in the Belgian federal government and under

    Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the VLD allegedly lost most of its ideological appeal. Several of its thinkers such as (former member) Boudewijn Bouckaert, president of Nova Civitas, heavily criticised the party. Many others, particularly from the party's conservative and Flemish autonomist wing, resented the priority it placed on the 'Belgian compromise', which enabled the French Community
    's Socialist Party to gain a dominant position in the formulation of Belgian federal government policy.

    In 2004, the VLD teamed up with the minority social-liberal party

    European elections. VLD-Vivant lost the elections to arch rivals CD&V and the Flemish Bloc. The VLD fell from second to third place among the Flemish political parties, slipping narrowly behind the sp.a-Spirit cartel. Internal feuds, the support for electoral rights for immigrants and an unsuccessful economic policy were seen as the main reasons for its election defeat. From 2007 the party kept having electoral difficulties, first due to competition from split-off List Dedecker and after 2010 from the liberal-conservative Flemish-nationalist party N-VA
    .

    History

    The VLD has its origins in the Party for Freedom and Progress (which in turn was a successor to the Liberal Party), a bilingual party which stood in both the Flemish and Walloon regions of Belgium. As such the liberal party is the oldest political party of Belgium. In 1846, Walthère Frère-Orban succeeded in creating a political program which could unite several liberal groups into one party. Before 1960, the Liberal Party of Belgium was barely organised. The school pact of 1958, as a result of which the most important argument for the traditional anti-clericalism was removed, gave the necessary impetus for a thorough renewal. During the liberal party congress of 1961, the Liberal Party was reformed into the bilingual Party for Freedom and Progress (PVV-PLP), and Omer Vanaudenhove became the chairman of the new party. The new liberal party, which struggled with an anti-clerical image, opened its doors for believers, but wasn't too concerned about the situation of workers and primarily defended the interests of employers. It is a central principle of Classical Liberalism that employers and employees do NOT have opposed long term interests.

    In the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the tensions between the different communities in Belgium rose and there were disagreements within the liberal movement as well. In 1972, the unitary PVV-PLP was split into separate a Flemish and a Francophone parties. On Flemish side, under the guidance of Frans Grootjans, Herman Vanderpoorten and Willy De Clercq, the PVV was created, on Walloon side Milou Jeunehomme became the head of the PLP and Brussels got its own but totally disintegrated liberal party landscape. Willy De Clercq became the first chairman of the independent Party of Freedom and Progress (Dutch: Partij voor Vrijheid en Vooruitgang, PVV). De Clercq, together with Frans Grootjans and Herman Vanderpoorten, set out the lines for the new party. This reform was coupled an Ethical Congress, on which the PVV adopted very progressive and tolerant stances regarding abortion, euthanasia, adultery, homosexuality and gender equality.

    In 1982, the 29-year-old reformer

    Christian People's Party
    (CVP) in 1987.

    In 1992, the PVV was reformed into the Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Vlaamse Liberalen en Democraten, VLD) under the impulse of Verhofstadt. Although the VLD was the successor of the PVV, many politicians with democratic nationalist or socialist roots joined the new party. Notable examples are

    Minister-President of Flanders. They were both at the head of a coalition of liberals, social democrats and greens
    .

    2007 elections

    Before the

    Senate
    .

    2010 elections

    In the

    was formed, with Open VLD one of the six constituent parties.

    Ideology and support

    At its inception, the Open VLD was a

    LDD drew some of the party's conservative leaning voters away and contributed to a decline in votes. Ideological disputes also caused some of the party's more conservative and traditionalist libertarian wing such as Boudewijn Bouckaert, Jean-Marie Dedecker and Hugo Coveliers to leave the party. Dedecker later founded the LDD and Coveliers VLOTT while others joined the N-VA.[11]

    Representation in EU institutions

    The party is fairly pro-European, and sits in the Renew Europe group with two MEPs.[14][15]

    Then-Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (VLD) was rejected as a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission in June 2004.

    In the European Committee of the Regions, Open VLD sits in the Renew Europe CoR group, with one full and two alternate members for the 2020-2025 mandate.[16][17] Jean-Luc Vanraes is Coordinator in the CIVEX Commission.[18]

    Members holding notable public offices

    European politics

    European Parliament
    Name Committees
    Guy Verhofstadt Constitutional Affairs [19]
    Hilde Vautmans Foreign Affairs
    Women’s Rights and Gender Equality [20]

    Federal politics

    Chamber of Representatives
    Name Notes Name Notes
    Flemish Brabant Maggie De Block Faction leader Flemish Brabant Goedele Liekens
    Flemish Brabant Tim Vandenput Mayor of Hoeilaart Limburg (Belgium) Patrick Dewael Mayor of Tongeren
    Antwerp Province Christian Leysen Antwerp Province Marianne Verhaert
    East Flanders Egbert Lachaert Party President East Flanders Tania De Jonge
    East Flanders Katja Gabriëls Mayor of Berlare East Flanders Robby De Caluwé Mayor of Moerbeke
    West Flanders Jasper Pillen West Flanders Kathleen Verhelst
    Senate
    Type Name Notes
    Co-opted Senator Flemish Brabant Rik Daems Faction leader
    Community Senator Brussels Els Ampe
    Community Senator Antwerp Province Tom Ongena
    Community Senator Limburg (Belgium) Steven Coenegrachts
    Community Senator East Flanders Stephanie D'Hose President of the Senate
    Belgian Federal De Croo Government
    Public Office Name Function
    Prime Minister Alexander De Croo
    Deputy Prime Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne Justice and the North Sea
    Secretary of State Eva de Bleeker Budget and Consumer Protection

    Regional politics

    Flemish Parliament
    Name Notes Name Notes
    Antwerp Province Willem-Frederik Schiltz Fraction Leader Antwerp Province Tom Ongena Community Senator
    Flemish Brabant Gwendolyn Rutten Former Party President
    mayor of Aarschot
    Flemish Brabant Gwenny De Vroe
    Flemish Brabant Maurits Vande Reyde Brussels Els Ampe Community Senator
    Limburg (Belgium) Steven Coenegrachts Community Senator Limburg (Belgium) Marino Keulen Mayor of Lanaken
    East Flanders Stephanie D'Hose President of the Senate East Flanders Jean-Jacques De Gucht Son of Karel De Gucht
    East Flanders Freya Saeys East Flanders Bart Van Hulle
    West Flanders Bart Tommelein Former Flemish minister
    mayor of Ostend
    West Flanders Emmily Talpe Mayor of Ypres
    Flemish Government Jambon
    Public Office Name Function
    Vice Minister-President Bart Somers Internal Affairs, Administrative Affairs, Integration, and Equal Opportunities
    Minister Lydia Peeters Mobility and Public Works
    Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region
    Name Notes
    Carla Dejonghe Faction Leader
    Guy Vanhengel Former federal minister
    Khadija Zamouri
    Vervoort II
    Public Office Name Function
    Minister Sven Gatz Finance, Budget, Civil Service, Promotion of Multilingualism, Tourism, Statistics, Urbanism, Heritage, the image of Brussels and bicultural issues of regional importance

    Provincial politics

    Provincial Council
    Province Percentage Seats
    9,1%
    2 / 36
    12,7%
    4 / 31
    18,3%
    7 / 36
    15,4%
    5 / 36
    13,4%
    5 / 36

    Electoral results

    Chamber of Representatives

    Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
    1971 392,130 7.4
    19 / 212
    Opposition (1971-1973)
    Coalition (1973-1974)
    1974[a] 798,818 15.2
    21 / 212
    Increase 2 Coalition
    1977 475,917 8.5
    17 / 212
    Decrease 4 Opposition
    1978 573,387 10.4
    22 / 212
    Increase 5 Opposition (1978-1980)
    Coalition (1980)
    Opposition (1980-1981)
    1981 776,871 12.9
    28 / 212
    Increase 6 Coalition
    1985 651,806 10.7
    22 / 212
    Decrease 6 Coalition
    1987 709,758 11.5
    25 / 212
    Increase 3 Opposition
    1991 738,016 12.0
    26 / 212
    Increase 1 Opposition
    1995 798,363 13.1
    21 / 150
    Decrease 5 Opposition
    1999 888,973 14.3
    23 / 150
    Increase 2 Coalition
    2003 1,009,223 15.4
    25 / 150
    Increase 2 Coalition
    2007 789,445 11.8
    18 / 150
    Decrease 7 Coalition
    2010 563,873 8.6
    13 / 150
    Decrease 5 Coalition
    2014 659,582 9.8
    14 / 150
    Increase 1 Coalition
    2019 579,334 8.5
    12 / 150
    Decrease 2 Coalition

    Senate

    Election Votes % Seats +/-
    1971[a] 776,514 14.9
    6 / 106
    1974[a] 755,694 14.6
    10 / 106
    Increase 4
    1977 472,645 8.5
    9 / 106
    Decrease 1
    1978 572,535 10.4
    11 / 106
    Increase 2
    1981 781,137 13.1
    14 / 106
    Increase 3
    1985 637,776 10.5
    11 / 106
    Decrease 3
    1987 686,440 11.3
    11 / 106
    Steady 0
    1991 713,542 11.7
    13 / 106
    Increase 2
    1995 796,154 13.3
    6 / 40
    Decrease 7
    1999 952,116 15.4
    6 / 40
    Steady 0
    2003 1,007,868 15.4
    7 / 40
    Increase 1
    2007 821,980 12.4
    5 / 40
    Decrease 2
    2010 533,124 8.24
    4 / 40
    Decrease 1
    2014 N/A N/A
    5 / 60
    Increase 1

    Regional

    Brussels Parliament

    Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
    D.E.C. Overall
    1989 12,143 2.8 (#8)
    2 / 75
    Opposition
    1995 11,034 2.7 (#8)
    2 / 75
    Steady 0 Opposition
    1999[b] 13,729 22.7 (#3) 3.2 (#7)
    2 / 75
    Steady 0 Coalition
    2004[c] 12,433 19.9 (#2) 2.7 (#7)
    4 / 89
    Increase 2 Coalition
    2009 11,957 23.1 (#1) 2.6 (#5)
    4 / 89
    Steady 0 Coalition
    2014 14,296 26.7 (#1) 3.1 (#7)
    5 / 89
    Increase 1 Coalition
    2019 11,051 15.8 (#3) 2.4 (#9)
    3 / 89
    Decrease 2 Coalition

    Flemish Parliament

    Election Votes % Seats +/- Government
    1995 761,262 20.2 (#2)
    26 / 124
    Opposition
    1999 855,867 21.7 (#2)
    27 / 124
    Increase 1 Coalition
    2004[c] 804,578 19.8 (#3)
    25 / 124
    Decrease 2 Coalition
    2009 616,610 15.0 (#4)
    21 / 124
    Decrease 4 Opposition
    2014 594,469 14.2 (#3)
    19 / 124
    Decrease 2 Coalition
    2019 556,630 13.1 (#4)
    16 / 124
    Decrease 3 Coalition

    Provincial councils

    Election Votes % Councilors +/-
    1994 708,769
    84 / 401
    2000 909,428
    106 / 411
    Increase 22
    2006 745,952 18.9
    80 / 411
    Decrease 26
    2012 595,932 14.6
    54 / 351
    Decrease 26
    2018 570,601 13.7
    23 / 175
    Decrease 31

    European Parliament

    Election Votes % Seats +/-
    D.E.C. Overall
    1994 678,421 18.4 (#2)
    3 / 25
    Increase 1
    1999 847,099 21.9 (#2) 13.6
    3 / 25
    Steady 0
    2004[c] 880,279 21.9 (#2) 13.6
    3 / 24
    Steady 0
    2009 837,834 20.6 (#2) 12.7
    3 / 22
    Steady 0
    2014 858,872 20.4 (#2) 12.8
    3 / 21
    Steady 0
    2019 678,051 15.9 (#3) 10.1
    2 / 21
    Decrease 1
    1. ^ a b c In coalition with Liberal Reformist Party
    2. ^ In coalition with VU
    3. ^ a b c In coalition with Vivant

    International

    The party is a member of the

    Annemie Neyts
    , member of Open VLD.

    Presidents

    Notable members

    Notable former members

    See also

    References

    1. ^ "Open VLD heeft de meeste leden en steekt CD&V voorbij". deredactie.be. 30 October 2014.
    2. ^ Terry, Chris (6 February 2014). "Flemish Liberals and Democrats". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
    3. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Flanders/Belgium". Parties and Elections in Europe. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
    4. ^ .
    5. ^ .
    6. .
    7. .
    8. ^ Gijs, Camille; Moens, Barbara (30 September 2020). "Flemish liberal Alexander De Croo to be appointed Belgium's prime minister". Politico. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
    9. ^ Bock, Pauline (7 October 2020). "Why did it take so long to form Belgium's new 'Vivaldi' coalition?". Euronews. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
    10. ^ Barbiroglio, Emanuela (8 May 2020). "Masks Will Be Next Challenge For Belgium In COVID-19 Second Phase". Forbes. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
    11. ^ .
    12. ^ "Somers wil revolutie binnen de VLD" (in Dutch). Belga. 4 November 2006.
    13. ^ "Gelijke kansen".
    14. ^ "Home | Hilde VAUTMANS | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
    15. ^ "Home | Guy VERHOFSTADT | MEPs | European Parliament". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
    16. ^ "Members Page CoR".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
    17. ^ "Members Page CoR".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
    18. ^ "Coordinators". Renew Europe CoR. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
    19. ^ "Home | Guy VERHOFSTADT | MEPs | European Parliament".
    20. ^ "Home | Hilde VAUTMANS | MEPs | European Parliament".

    External links