And despite the turbulence in the party, Center Party leader Annie Lööf says she is satisfied with the result. “It has been a very turbulent time, and it has meant that members who haven’t been active for many years participated and contributed to our statement of general policies,” Lööf says. “There’s an enormous majority that stands behind these policies that I and the party leadership have put forward.”
The party agreed Sunday to the final elements of its statement of general policies before the 2014 general election. The Center Party is now officially a liberal party, but it also describes itself as green, social-oriented, and decentralized.
The party’s youth organization wanted the party to be even more liberal on a number of issues but youth member leader Hanna Wagenius says she is happy with what the party decided. “We have explained what our liberalism stands for, and it’s important that we distinguish ourselves, for example, from the Liberal Party by saying that we are decentralized,” she says.
One of the party’s new long-term goals is to support the free movement of people over the entire globe. The party now also supports a less progressive tax system and a vision to phase out nuclear energy and to make Sweden fossil fuel free within a generation.
The Center Party is one of the four parties in the ruling center-right Alliance. But it has been polling below the 4 percent level of support it needs to secure to stay in Parliament.
Many of the controversial ideas that caused a huge debate this January, both in and out of the party, like polygamy and a proposal to abolish mandatory schooling, did not make it into the party’s final statement of general policies.