|Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie|
|Party leader||Mark Rutte|
|Founded||January 24, 1948|
|Political ideology||Liberalism, Globalism|
|Political position|| Fiscal: Center-right|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|Color(s)||Blue and orange|
VVD (Dutch: Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie, lit. People's Party for Freedom and Democracy) is a Dutch globalist political party. It is historically a strong supporter of Free Enterprise, however it currently takes multiple left-wing stances on social issues and is a great supporter of the socialist European Union. It is not connected with any church.
VVD wants everyone to have equal opportunities for development but, at the same time, it believes that those who earn more through hard work and those who develop their talents or take more responsibility upon themselves, should be better rewarded.
The VVD was founded in 1948 from the remnants of previous liberal parties, including the Liberale Staatspartij (Liberal National Party), also known as De Vrijheidsbond (Freedom League), the Vrijzinnig Democratische Bond (Liberal Democratic League), the Comité-Oud (Oud committee) which was led and founded by former politician Pieter Oud after split with the Liberal Democratic League, and the Partij van de Vrijheid (Freedom Party). Dirk Stikker, later secretary general of NATO, chaired the Partij van de Vrijheid and was the first chairman of the VVD after the merger with the Comité-Oud.
It is the largest party and leads the current Dutch government.
Shift to the left
Between 1994 and 2002 the VVD was a coalition partner of the two Purple governments lead by Prime Minister Wim Kok from the Dutch Labour Party. During this period the party moved more towards social-liberalism, but stayed right-of-center on fiscal policy.
Geert Wilders, the current leader and founder of the conservative/right-wing populist Party for Freedom, was a member of the VVD between 1989 and 2004 (with five years in the Dutch House of Representatives on behalf of this party), in September 2004 he left the party due to growing politically correct influences within multiple factions of the party on issues like immigration and the probable membership of Turkey of the EU. The leader at that moment was Jozias van Aartsen which has clashed with Wilders.
During its leadership over the current government the party had moved to the left side of the political spectrum social politics and foreign affairs, such as more support for the European Union, during Prime Minister Mark Ruttes leadership the popularity of the party has a downfall according to the last monthly poll.