Democratic Party (DP)

Democratic Party (DP). The Democratic Party is Luxembourg’s liberal party, and, in essence, the party of the secular middle classes.

The party is traditionally Luxembourg’s third party, and has tended to be excluded from government and to be the largest opposition party for this reason.

The DP is, however, the only party to have held the premiership of Luxembourg other than the CSV in the post-war era, with Gaston Thorn (later a President of the European Commission) and Xavier Bettel (the incumbent) having held the post from 1974 – 1979 and from 2013 onwards respectively. Both these coalitions saw the DP form coalitions with the Socialists in which the Socialists were technically larger but the DP had been seen as the big winner of both elections due to their big gains.

The Thorn government was responsible for a huge amount of social reform, including abolishing the death penalty, introducing no-fault divorce and legalising abortion.

The party is strongest amongst the urban and sub-urban middle classes and it has governed Luxembourg City since 1970. Prior to becoming PM Bettel was Mayor of Luxembourg City in a coalition with the Greens.

The DP is the most economically liberal party in Luxembourg, preferring lower taxes and lower public spending, though it is more interventionist than other right-wing liberal parties in Europe. Like other centre-right parties in Europe party has become a big promoter of keeping Luxembourg’s deficit in check.

Like other major parties in Luxembourg, the party is very pro-European. It calls for more powers for the European Parliament, a coordinated European industrial policy, Eurobonds, the harmonisation of corporation tax rates, the establishment of a European Criminal Court and other pro-European positions.

The DP is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Its single MEP maintains a slightly below average loyalty of 93.2% to the group.