The Partidul Naţional Liberal (National Liberal Party) is a liberal party in Romania, and the second largest party in parliament, being edged out only by the Social Democratic Party. Until April 2007, it was the largest member of the governing Justice and Truth alliance, which enjoyed a parliamentary majority due to an alliance between the Liberal Party, the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania. In April 2007, the current prime-minister, Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu, who is also the party leader, formed a minority government only with Democratic Union of Hungarians.
The party is a member of Liberal International and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.
The party adheres to the doctrine of liberalism
, advocating both economic and social liberalisation. In recent years, it has focussed 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 privatisation and denationalisation of the economy, a trend which is currently taking place quite rapidly in Romania, as in other post-communist economies.
Additionally, the party supports the introduction of a parliamentary system (where 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 decentralisation of Romania's political structure, with greater autonomy given to the eight development regions.
With regard to EU politics, the National Liberal Party has adopted the following stances:
- Supports EU enlargement to the Western Balkans
- Supports EU membership for Turkey, as long as it satisfies membership criteria
- Supports the accession of Moldova to the EU, in the same wave as the Western Balkans
- Supports a reformed European Constitution
- Supports reform of the Common Agricultural Policy
- Opposes a common EU tax policy
- Opposes a common EU social policy
- Supports a common EU migration policy
- Supports a common EU defence and security policy
- Supports a partnership between the US and the EU, where the EU is an "equal and critical" partner.
The Romanian Law of Parties 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 bellow. 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.
- Cliveti, Gheorghe, Liberalismul românesc. Eseu istoriografic, Editura Fundaţiei “AXIS”, Iaşi, 1996;
- Istoricul PNL de la 1848 până astăzi, Bucureşti, 1923;
- Rădulescu – Zoner, Şerban (coord.), Cliveti, Gheorghe, Stan, Apostol, Onişoru, Gheorghe, Şandru, Dumitru, Istoria Partidului Naţional Liberal, Editura All, Bucureşti, 2000;
- Stan, Apostol, Iosa, Mircea, Liberalismul politic în România. De la origini până la 1918, Editura Enciclopedică, Bucureşti, 1996;
- Naumescu, Valentin,Despre liberalism în România.Realităţi,dileme, perspective, EFES, Cluj-Napoca, 2001;
- Şomlea,Vasile-Florin, Mişcarea liberală din România post'1989,Editura Ecumenica Press, Cluj-Napoca, 2006.