CROATIAN SOCIAL-LIBERAL PARTY – HSLS
The Croatian Social-Liberal Party (Croatian: Hrvatska socijalno-liberalna stranka – HSLS) is a centrist liberal party formed on 20 May 1989.
It was the first Croatian political party formed after the reintroduction of multi-party system.
Croatian Social-Liberal Party and Liberal Party joined forces at Union Convention held in February 2006.
President of the Party is Darinko Kosor elected on Party Convention in Slavonski Brod in November 2009..
The Party is a full member of Liberal International (LI) and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR).
Branches – 317
County organizations – 21
Members – 25,000
Other organizations within the Party
Croatian Liberal Youth (MHL)
LOCAL AND REGIONAL SELF GOVERNMENT
HSLS has 4 deputy county prefects, 7 mayors, 7 municipality mayors, 11 deputy mayors, 15 municipality deputy mayors and more than 300 councillors in county assemblies and city and municipality councils.
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE
CROATIAN SOCIAL LIBERAL PARTY (HSLS)
HSLS, the Croatian Social Liberal party, is the first democratic party in Croatia founded under the communist regime. HSLS departs from the principle that free is only community in which every individual is free and socially secure. In other words, HSLS advocates the principle of the individual being the highest value. Due to the basic rights vested in him, the individual ought to be protected from any coercion of ideology and state. From the anonymity of class-conscious contempt and utopian oblivion the individual is thus stepping back into the scene of history. HSLS believes that this kind of reversal alone can provide a basis for the kind of changes supposed to get Croatia out of the present state of post-communist stagnation and to re-establish its organic unity with Europe.
The name of HSLS contains three components.
HSLS is a Croatian party which stands for an independent state of Croatia as a republic of liberal democracy with all its citizens enjoying equal rights.
Members of HSLS favour social cohesion to be achieved through a balanced relationship of entrepreneurship and capital on one hand, and the working population on the other. HSLS believes that the protection of the socially endangered sections of population is one of the principle functions of a state.
HSLS considers itself a disseminator and a successor of liberal and neo-liberal ideas adopted a long time by now in parliamentary democracies as essential part of most party programmes.
THE BASIC PRINCIPLES AS BOTH THE FOUNDATION AND THE PROGRAMME HSLS STANDS FOR ARE THE FOLLOWING:
1. All people are endowed with equal and inalienable rights irrespective of their race, nationality, religion, sex, political and other convictions and views, social status and any other differences.
2. Man’s inalienable rights include: physical and intellectual inviolability, freedom of speech, freedom of public activity and association and the right to a protected environment (air, water and soil). It is only the freedom of others that may impose restrictions on the freedom of an individual, whereby the state – being in the service of public welfare that all individuals are legitimately entitled to – has to prevent by legal means and in the name of protecting these freedoms any actions posing a threat to them.
3. The basic civil right is the legal rights: the right to restrict the arbitrariness of authorities i.e. the right of every citizens to be treated in accordance with the law which is equally fair to all and unbiased.
4. In addition to the right of individuals to choose their own methods of social protection, the state has to safeguard their right of basic health and social insurance, education, as well as the freedom to choose their profession; besides, the state must not allow the social functions to be inherited.
5. Freedoms in the area of economy include free enterprise, freedom of entering into agreements with others, private property and free disposal of one’s ownership if acquired by work of inheritance.
6. In keeping with the liberal principles HSLS stands for the right and possibility of creation of conditions favouring all types of specialties: individual, collective, regional, cultural and others. Guided by the spirit of liberalism, HSLS supports the peoples’ right to self-determination.
7. Guided by the liberal principles, HSLS is opposed to any form of violence ranging from those in the family to military aggression. Hence HSLS’s insistence on demilitarization and disarmament. The state should invest minimum resources sufficient for maintenance of peace and prevention of violence.
8. HSLS is opposed to any form of racial, national, religious and ideological intolerance. In the socially differentiated and multicultural society of the world today HSLS stands for a tolerant and civilized dialogue.
9. HSLS believes that the interests of individuals, citizens and peoples can on the whole be best safeguarded in a state with multi-party parliamentary democracy incorporating a strict division of power and independence of the judiciary. Since majority may not be right at all times, HSLS advocates the need to protect minority or individual opinions through proper institutions.
10. HSLS stands for autonomy of economic, cultural and spiritual and any other sphere of the individuals’ life involving all their organizational forms of free association and coexistence. Departing from the neo-liberal principle of corrective and subsidiary role of the state, HSLS feels that the state has not and cannot have any interests of its own except promoting the common welfare of the community of its citizens. The state is supposed to provide the conditions for proper functioning of all forms and contents of social life and to control the legal rules of the competition game without encroachment on the autonomy of the agents of social life.
11. The chief objective of HSLS is the prosperity of society based on entrepreneurship, education, science, protection of environment, moral responsibility and work. HSLS is convinced that its programme can be realized through an effort to renew genuine values and dignity of work and workers. HSLS will consider as part of its programme any achievement of democracy and liberalism which enhance the freedom of individuals and the progress of society and merits which have been proven in practice. HSLS is a centrist political party that takes the individual human being as point of departure. HSLS is trying to imbue the political life in Croatia with the spirit of rationality which is sceptical to any collectivist project and any collectivist rhetoric. On the basis of the these liberal principles, on the basis of the fundamental international documents on human rights, and particularly the programme documents of the Liberal International, Assembly of the HSLS passes these Basic Principles.