|Young Liberals Austria
Junge Liberale Österreich
|International affiliation||International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY)|
|European affiliation||European Liberal Youth (LYMEC)|
The JuLis were founded in 2009, following the dissolution of the youth branch of the Liberal Forum’s youth wing, the Liberal Students’ Forum – LSF. Unlike the LSF, the Young Liberals Austria distanced themselves from the Liberal Forum and competed for the European elections 2009 in Austria independently. The fact that the Austrian MEP Karin Resetarits gave her signature and support for a liberal youth party with most members under 25, allowing the JuLis to compete in the elections to the European Parliament, caused significant uproar in the Austrian media. Resetarits stated that the program of the Young Liberals was better than the one proposed by the Liberal Forum.
Despite the JuLis having a “complete party manifesto”, the Austrian media often cite them as the potential youth wing of a yet-to-be-founded liberal party in Austria, as the country lacks a liberal party in the parliament ever since the LIF’s demise in the late 90s.
The current national board was elected at the VII. Federal Congress, which took place on October 20, 2012 in Vienna:
- Nikolaus Scherak (President)
- Claudia Gamon (Vice-President for Marketing)
- Linus Waltenberger (Vice-President for Policy)
- Stefan F. Windberger (Vice-President for International and EU Affairs)
- Douglas Hoyos (Secretary General)
The JuLis see themselves as the only supporters of liberalism amongst Austria’s youth parties. According to their manifesto, their core values are freedom and responsibility, unity and diversity, rationality and progress, open-mindedness and tolerance, solidarity and a federal Europe.
Since their foundation in 2009, the Young Liberals Austria are organised in federal groups that correspond to the nine federal states of Austria. As of January 2012, the JuLis have active groups in Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Styria and Carinthia, covering all states except for Burgenland.
Immediately after their founding in 2009, the JuLis competed for the elections to the European parliament. After having garnered 0.7% or 20.668 votes with almost no support and no classic advertisements, the Young Liberals Austria announced that they would concentrate their efforts on student politics for the time being.
Due to formal reasons, the JuLis were not able to compete in the elections to the Austrian Students' Association (German: ÖH ) in 2009 and were subsequently not represented in the period 2009-2011.
During their III. Federal Congress in October 2010, the JuLis presented the "liberal manifesto for tertiary education" and announced their candidature for the ÖH-elections 2011. Out of several dozen contestants, the JuLis were the only ones in favour of a system of deferred tuition fees, citing the inadequate studying conditions and extremely high dropout quotes in Austria’s public universities, which have a longstanding tradition of free and unrestricted education for everyone holding the matura. Nevertheless, the JuLis were able to secure three seats in the federal assembly of the ÖH and parts of the new program of the Austrian minister of science Karlheinz Töchterle resembled very closely to what the JuLis had proposed several months earlier.
- Der Standard, 20.04.2009: Karin Resetarits ermöglicht JuLis Antreten
- Der Standard, 27.05.2011: „Wir wünschen uns eine liberale Partei im Nationalrat.“ Claudia Gamon über das gute Abschneiden der JuLis und das Erfolgsrezept Studiengebühren.
- Die Presse, 28.05.2011: Liberale Sehnsüchte
- Der Standard, 26.05.2011: Universitäten als Hoffnungsgebiet für Österreichs Liberale
- Junge Liberale Österreich, Pressemitteilung: JuLis bestätigen Bundesvorstand
- Manifesto of the JuLis
- Young Liberals Austria: About us
- Die Presse, 13.05.2009: ÖH-Wahl: Liberale scheitern an rechtlichen Hürden
- Das liberale Hochschulprogramm
- Junge Liberale Österreich, Pressemitteilung: JuLis begrüßen Konzept von Bundesminister Töchterle
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