Centrist Democrat International

Centrist Democrat International
Abbreviation CDI
Formation 1961
Purpose Christian democracy
Integral humanism
Interfaith dialogue
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Region served
Official languages
French, English and Spanish
Andrés Pastrana Arango
Subsidiaries Youth of the Centrist Democrat International
Affiliations Christian Democrat Organization of America (ODCA)
European People's Party (EPP)
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
Website idc-cdi.com

The Centrist Democrat International is a Christian democratic political international. Until 2001, it was known as the Christian Democrat International (CDI) and before 1999 as the Christian Democrat and People's Parties International (this earlier name is, since October 2000,[1] still sometimes used colloquially). It was formed in 1961 in Santiago, Chile[2][3] as the Christian Democrat World Union, building on the legacy of other Christian Democrat internationals[4] who tried to create a Christian-inspired third way[5] alternative to the socialist internationals; in 1982 it was renamed for the first time to Christian Democrat International.[6] The name officially changed due to the participation of groups of various faiths.[7] It is the global international political group dedicated to the promotion of Christian democracy. Although it gathers parties from around the globe, its members are drawn principally from Europe and Latin America. Some of them are also members of the International Democrat Union (IDU), although the CDI is closer to the political centre and more communitarian than the IDU.

The CDI's European wing is the European People's Party, currently the largest European political party. Its Latin American equivalent is the Christian Democrat Organization of America. The Democratic Party of the United States of America maintains links with CDI through the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. A youth organisation of the CDI is currently being established under the name of Youth of the Centrist Democrat International (YCDI).

Establishment history

  • Dec 1925: The first international gathering of Catholic-Christian democratic parties takes place in Paris and they establish the Secrétariat International des Partis Démocratiques d'Inspiration Chrétienne (SIPDIC).[8] Member parties were from Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and Lithuania.
  • 1939-1945: World War II suspends the operations of the SIPDIC.
  • 23 Apr 1947: Political leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay meet in Montevideo in order to create an international organization of Christian democratic parties. Representatives from Bolivia and Peru participate via diplomatic correspondence. The Declaration of Montevideo established the Organización Demócrata Cristiana de América (ODCA), although the name was not formalized until their second meeting in July 1949.
  • 03 Jun 1947: Prompted at the suggestion of the Swiss a year prior to restart the SIPDIC, European Christian Democrats formed the Nouvelles Équipes Internationales (NEI) in Chaudfontaine, Belgium. The NEI was open to non-Catholic parties as well as long as they ascribed to the principles of social democracy. They saw European integration as the best way to prevent the spread of communism into western Europe[9] and thus included exile groups from Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia to attend. The NEI also played a significant role in preparations for the Hague Congress and the eventual establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community.
  • 26 Jul 1950: The Christian Democratic Union of Central Europe (CDUCE) is formed in New York City to assist Christian democratic parties in exile by organising forces in opposition to communism according to a constitutional charter. It worked with underground operatives in the Soviet bloc while simultaneously trying to coordinate efforts between European and Latin American Christian democratic parties by 1955.
  • May, Jul 1956: The ODCA, NEI, and CDUCE meet for the first time in Paris at a gathering consisting of 33 delegations from 28 countries to discuss the creation of a global Christian democratic organisation.
  • 1960: The three regional Christian democratic organisations establish the Christian Democratic International Information and Documentation Centre (CDI-IDC) in Rome in order to provide political analyses for Christian democratic parties around the world.
  • 1961: The World Union of Christian Democrats (WUCD) is established in Santiago.[10][11]
  • 1982: The WUCD changes its name to the Christian Democrat International (CDI).[12]
  • 1999: The CDI changes its name to the Centrist Democrat International due to an increasing membership of non-Christian political parties. Since October 2000, some have also informally referred to the CDI as the Christian Democrat and People's Parties International.[13]

Member-parties of the CDI today also tend to be members of either the ODCA or the European People's Party (EPP; successor to NEI), although it is not required. Conversely, there may also be member-parties of either the ODCA and the EPP that are not member-parties of the CDI. The CDI also maintains a relationship with the United States through the National Democratic Institute.

Executive Committee

The CDI Executive Committee is the highest body of the organisation, formed by the president, the executive secretary and the vice-presidents.

The current president of the CDI is Andrés Pastrana Arango of Colombia, while its Executive Secretary is Spanish MEP Antonio López-Istúriz, who is also Secretary-General of the EPP.[14]

The members of the Executive Committee are:

Member parties

Country Party Abbr Government Period of membership
 Albania Democratic Party of Albania PD in opposition
 Algeria National Rally for Democracy RND junior party in government
 Andorra New Centre NC in opposition
 Angola National Union for the Total Independence of Angola UNITA in opposition
 Argentina Justicialist Party PJ in opposition
 Argentina Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
 Armenia Rule of Law OEK in opposition
 Aruba Aruban People's Party AVP/PPA in government
 Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish CD&V junior party in government
 Botswana Botswana National Front BNF in opposition
 Brazil Democrats DEM junior party in government
 Brazil Brazilian Social Democracy Party PSDB junior party in government
 Bulgaria Union of Democratic Forces SDS extraparliamentary opposition
 Burkina Faso Union for the Republic UR in opposition
 Cambodia National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia FUNCINPEC in opposition
 Cambodia Cambodian People's Party CPP in government
 Cape Verde Movement for Democracy MPD in opposition
 Chile Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
 Chile National Renewal RN in government Since 2018
 Republic of China Chinese Nationalist Party KMT in opposition
 Colombia Colombian Conservative Party PCC junior party in government
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Movement for the Liberation of the Congo MLC in opposition
 Costa Rica Social Christian Unity Party PUSC in opposition
 Croatia Croatian Democratic Union HDZ in government
 Cuba Christian Liberation Movement MCL in exile
 Cuba Christian Democratic Party of Cuba PDCC in exile
 Curaçao National People's Party NVP/PNP in opposition
 Cyprus Democratic Rally DISY in government
 Czech Republic Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party KDU–ČSL in opposition
 Denmark Christian Democrats KD extraparliamentary opposition
 Dominican Republic Social Christian Reformist Party PRSC in opposition
 Ecuador Christian Democratic Union UDC in opposition
 El Salvador Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
 France The Republicans LR in opposition
 Gabon Gabonese Democratic Party PDG in government
 Georgia European Georgia EG in opposition
 Germany Christian Democratic Union CDU leader of government coalition
 Greece New Democracy ND in opposition
 Guinea-Bissau Party for Social Renewal PRS in opposition
 Equatorial Guinea Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea APGE in opposition
 Hungary Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance FIDESZ in government
 Ireland Fine Gael FG in government
 Italy Union of the Centre UdC junior party in grand coalition government
 Ivory Coast Rally of the Republicans[15] RDR in government
 Kenya Wiper Democratic Movement – Kenya WDM-K in opposition
 Lebanon Lebanese Christian Democratic Union junior party in government
 Lebanon Kataeb Phalange in opposition
 Malawi Malawi Congress Party MCP in government
 Malta Nationalist Party PN in opposition
 Mauritania Union for Democracy and Progress UDP in opposition
 Mauritania Union for the Republic UR in government
 Mexico National Action Party PAN in opposition
 Morocco Istiqlal Party in opposition
 Mozambique Democratic Movement of Mozambique MDM in opposition
 Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal CDA junior party in government coalition
 Norway Christian People's Party KrF in opposition
 Panama People's Party PP in opposition
 Paraguay Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
 Peru Christian People's Party PPC in opposition
 Philippines Struggle of Democratic Filipinos LDP junior party in government coalition
 Philippines Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats Lakas junior party in government coalition
 Portugal Social Democratic Party PSD in opposition
 Romania Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party PNȚ-CD extraparliamentary opposition
 Romania National Liberal Party PNL in opposition
 Romania Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania RMDSZ in opposition since 2018[16]
 San Marino Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party PDCS in opposition
 São Tomé and Príncipe Independent Democratic Action ADI in government
 Senegal Centrist Union of Senegal UCS junior party in government
 Senegal Bloc des centristes Gaïndé BCG in opposition
 Slovakia Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party SDKÚ-DS in opposition
 Slovenia New Slovenia NSi in opposition
 Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party SDS in opposition
 Spain People's Party PP in opposition
 Sweden Christian Democrats KD in opposition
 Ukraine Christian Democratic Union KDS in opposition
 Uruguay National Party PN in opposition
 Venezuela Christian Social Party 'Copei' COPEI in opposition

Observer parties

See also



  • Papini, Roberto (1997). The Christian Democrat International. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 
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