Union, Progress and Democracy
Union, Progress and Democracy (Spanish: Unión, Progreso y Democracia [uˈnjon, pɾoˈɣɾeso i ðemoˈkɾaθja], UPyD [upejˈðe]) was a Spanish political party founded in September 2007 and dissolved in December 2020. It was a social-liberal party that rejected any form of nationalism, especially the separatist Basque and Catalan movements. The party was deeply pro-European and wanted the European Union to adopt a federal system without overlap between the European, national and regional governments. It also wanted to replace the State of Autonomies with a highly-centralized, albeit still politically decentralized, unitary state as well as substituting a more proportional election law for the current one.
|Founded||26 September 2007 in Donosti|
|Dissolved||6 December 2020|
|Headquarters||C/ Juan Bravo, 3A|
|Think tank||Progress and Democracy Foundation|
|Political position||Centre to centre-left|
|European Parliament group||Renew Europe|
1 / 59(with Citizens)
|Local Government (2019)|
1 / 67,515
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 is still 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 which it was able to form a parliamentary group with 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. In the 2015 general election, however, it suffered a decline in its vote power by losing all of its seats. In the 2016 general election, it dropped to just 0.2% of the national vote.
On 18 November 2020, a judge ordered the dissolution of the party and its erasure from the registry of political parties, as it did not have the financial solvency to pay off the debt contracted with a former worker. The party announced that it would appeal the sentence. On 6 December 2020 it was announced that the party would no longer appeal the sentence, thus formally extinguishing UPyD.