Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD) (Spanish: Unión Progreso y Democracia [uˈnjon pɾoˈɣɾeso i ðemoˈkɾaθja] [upeiˈðe]) is a Spanish political party founded in September 2007. It is a social liberal party which rejects any form of nationalism, especially peripheral nationalism like the separatist Basque and Catalan movements. The party is deeply pro-European and wants the European Union to adopt a federal system without overlap between the European, national and regional governments. Besides, the magenta party wants to replace the State of Autonomies with a symmetric and highly centralized, albeit still federal, system in Spain as well as substituting a more proportional election law for the current one.
Mikel Buesa, at a 2007 party presentation, and Rosa Díez, in a 2007 interview for a magazine, explained the origin of the three concepts which make up the party’s name: Union, because of their “unconditional defence of the union of Spain as a necessary condition for all Spaniards’ equality before the law”. Progress, because they affirm to be “a progressive party respectful of individual freedom”. And Democracy, on account of their “commitment to radical regeneration of democracy”. Rosa Díez, Fernando Savater, Carlos Martínez Gorriarán and Juan Luis Fabo took charge of the choice of the party’s name and the party’s inscription into the Register of Political Parties. They opted for Union, Progress and Democracy, in the words of Rosa Díez, “because it was necessary a party that did the necessary democratic pedagogy and defended those three concepts unashamedly in Spain. Because, indeed, there is an urgent need for union between Spaniards, there is an urgent need for progressive policies and there still is a long way to go before achieving a quality democracy”.
UPyD first stood for election in the 9 March 2008 general election. It received 303,246 votes, or 1.2 percent of the national total, and one seat in the Congress of Deputies for party co-founder Rosa Díez, becoming the newest party with national representation in Spain. Although its core is in the Basque Autonomous Community, with roots in anti-ETA civic associations, it addresses a national audience. Prominent members of the party include philosopher Fernando Savater, party founder and former PSOE MEP Rosa Díez, philosopher Carlos Martínez Gorriarán and writer Álvaro Pombo.
At its Second Party Congress in November 2013, UPyD reported 6,165 registered members (down from an all-time high of 6,634 in 2011. In 2009 the party founded the think tank Fundación Progreso y Democracia (FPyD: Progress and Democracy Foundation), which has been presided over by UPyD spokesperson Rosa Díez.
In the general elections held on 20 November 2011, the party won 1,143,225 votes (4.70 percent), five seats in the Congress of Deputies (four in Madrid and one in Valencia) and became the fourth-largest political force in the country. It had the greatest increase of votes over the previous general election of any party. It lost all its seats at the 2015 general election and suffered a further decline in its vote, to 0.2%, in the 2016 general election.
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