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Estonian Reform Party: Wikis


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Estonian Reform Party
Eesti Reformierakond
Leader Andrus Ansip
Founded 1994
Headquarters Tõnismägi 9
Tallinn 10119
Ideology Liberalism,
Free-market liberalism
International affiliation Liberal International
European affiliation European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
European Parliament Group Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
Official colours Yellow, Blue
Politics of Estonia
Political parties

The Estonian Reform Party (Estonian: Eesti Reformierakond) is a centre-right, free market liberal party in Estonia. The party has been a full member of Liberal International since 1996, having been an observer member between 1994–1996, and a full member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.

It is led by Andrus Ansip, and after the 2007 parliamentary election holds 31 out of 101 seats in the Riigikogu, after receiving 153,040 votes (27.8% of the total), an increase of +10.1%, resulting in a net gain of 12 seats. Ansip has been prime minister of Estonia since April, 2005, and several other cabinet members, including Urmas Paet, are members of the party. Since the mid-1990s, the Reform Party has participated in most of the government coalitions in Estonia, so its influence in politics has been great, especially regarding Estonia's Free market and low taxes policies (viz. direct taxation).

As of 5 June 2009 the Reform Party has 7000 members.

The founder and the first chairman of the Reform Party, Siim Kallas, has been since 2004 a Commissioner of the European Commission. He is also one of the five Vice-Presidents of the Barroso Commission.

The party has been in a coalition government several times: from 1995 to 1997 with the now defunct Estonian Coalition Party, from March 1999 to December 2001 in a tripartite government with Pro Patria Union and People's Party Moderates, from January 2002 to March 2003 with the Estonian Centre Party, from March 2003 to March 2005 with Res Publica and People's Union, from March 2005 to March 2007 with the Centre Party and People's Union, from March 2007 to May 2009 with Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica and the Social Democratic Party. Since May 2009 they are in a minority government with Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica.


Ideological orientation and issues

Ideologically, the Reform Party is representative of the Free-market liberalism and libertarian thinking of economists Friedrich von Hayek and Milton Friedman. The Reform Party is the most economically liberal in the political landscape of Estonia.

  • The party supports Estonian 0% corporate tax on re-invested income and wants to eliminate the dividend tax.
  • The party wanted to cut flat income tax rate from 22% (in 2007) to 18% by 2011. Due to economic crisis the campaign for cutting income tax rate was put on hold with the tax rate at 21% in 2008 and 2009.
  • The party used to oppose VAT general rate increase until late spring 2009 when it changed its position in the light of dire economic crisis and the need to find more money for budget. VAT was increased from 18% to 20% on 1 July 2009.
  • The party wants to eventually end conscription and to introduce a voluntary army. [1]

See also


External links



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