Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR)

Alternative Democratic Reform Party (ADR). Founded in 1987, the ADR began its life as a single-issue party with the snappy title ‘Action Committee 5/6ths Pension for Everyone’.

The party demanded the equalisation of private sector pensions with public sector ones (who received a generous pension equivalent to 5/6ths of their final salary).

The party’s support predominantly came from the elderly but it also had a strong protest vote contingent even in its first showing. The party’s single issue – pension equalisation was completed in 1998.

The party subsequently adopted conservative and populist positions on most issues. In addition to its traditional defence of pensioner’s interests it emphasizes transparency, direct democracy, less bureaucracy and is strongly opposed to giving resident foreigners voting rights in national elections or in relaxing dual citizenship rules to allow resident foreigners to become Luxembourgers.

The party is also notable for being the largest Eurosceptic party in Luxembourg. It was the only parliamentary party to oppose the European Constitution in the 2005 referendum and the only party to vote against the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty.

While the party is sometimes lumped in with right-wing populist parties across Europe, in reality, while it is nationalist and populist by Luxembourg standards, it is relatively moderate compared to most populist parties in Europe, and more similar to a party like Britain’s Conservatives than to right-wing populists like the Front National, or the Freedom Party of Austria.

The party was Luxembourg’s fourth largest party between 1989 and 2004, but has since its support fall in every election since 1999. It won only 6.6% of the vote and 3 seats in 2013. The party has been hurt by recent infighting, two former MPs ran new splinter parties in 2013 with the larger Party for Full Democracy winning 1.5% of the vote.

The party has never won a MEP and with its support falling in recent years seems unlikely to this time.

Nonetheless, the party is now a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists and will sit in that group if it does succeed in winning a seat.


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