Centrist Democrat International

The Centrist Democrat International (Spanish: Internacional Demócrata de Centro) is a Christian-democratic political international. Until 2001, it was known as the Christian Democrat International (CDI); before 1999, it was known as the Christian Democrat and People's Parties International. This earlier name is still sometimes used colloquially.

Centrist Democrat International
AbbreviationCDI (English), IDC (French, Spanish)
Formation30 July 1961 (1961-07-30)[1]
PurposeChristian democracy
Social conservatism
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Region served
80 political parties
Official languages
  • French
  • English
  • Spanish
Andrés Pastrana Arango
SubsidiariesYouth of the Centrist Democrat International
AffiliationsChristian Democrat Organization of America (ODCA)
European People's Party (EPP)
National Democratic Institute (NDI)

It is the primary 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 conservative International Democrat Union (IDU), although the CDI is closer to the continental European style conservative political centre and more communitarian than the IDU.


The organization was formed in 1961 in Santiago, Chile, as the Christian Democrat World Union, building on the legacy of other Christian democrat internationals alternative to the socialist internationals who tried to create a Christian-inspired third way. In 1982, it was renamed for the first time as the Christian Democrat International. The name was officially changed due to the participation of groups of various faiths such as the Islamic PAN of Indonesia.

In September 2001, the Leaders' Conference in Mexico City changed the organization's name to Centrist Democrat International, which kept the original abbreviation (CDI). In many Asian and African countries reference to religion was not allowed, and absent a name change, the CDI would not have been able to extend itself into Asia and Africa.[2]

The CDI's European division is the European People's Party, currently the largest European political party. It is 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 organization of the CDI is currently being established, under the name of Youth of the Centrist Democrat International (YCDI).

Establishment historyEdit

  • December 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). Member parties were from Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, and Lithuania.
  • 1939 to 1945: World War II suspends the operations of the SIPDIC.
  • 23 April 1947: Political leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay meet in Montevideo, 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 June 1947: European Christian Democrats formed the Nouvelles Équipes Internationales (NEI) in Chaudfontaine, Belgium, prompted by the suggestion of the Swiss a year before restarting the SIPDIC. The NEI was open to non-Catholic parties 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 and thus encouraged 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 July 1950: The Christian Democratic Union of Central Europe (CDUCE) is formed in New York City to assist Christian democratic parties in exile by organizing forces in opposition to communism according to a constitutional charter. By 1955, it had begun working with underground operatives in the Soviet bloc while simultaneously trying to coordinate efforts between European and Latin American Christian Democratic parties.
  • May, July 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 organization.
  • 1960: The three regional Christian democratic organizations establish the Christian Democratic International Information and Documentation Centre (CDI-IDC) in Rome to provide political analyses for Christian democratic parties around the world.
  • 1961: The World Union of Christian Democrats (WUCD) is established in Santiago.
  • 1982: The WUCD changes its name to the Christian Democrat International (CDI).
  • 1999: The CDI changes its name to the Centrist Democrat International due to the 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.

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 committeeEdit

The CDI Executive Committee is the highest body of the organization. It consists of the president, the executive secretary, and the vice-presidents.

The current president of the CDI is Andrés Pastrana Arango of Colombia. Its Executive Secretary is MEP Antonio López-Istúriz, from Spain, who is also Secretary-General of the EPP.[3]

The members of the executive committee are:

Member partiesEdit

The CDI has 80 full members, including:

Country Party Abbr Government Period of membership
  Albania Democratic Party of Albania PD in opposition
  Algeria National Rally for Democracy RND junior party in coalition
  Andorra New Centre NC extraparliamentary opposition
  Angola National Union for the Total Independence of Angola UNITA in opposition
  Argentina Justicialist Party PJ in government
Christian Democratic Party PDC extraparliamentary opposition
  Armenia Rule of Law OEK extraparliamentary opposition
  Aruba Aruban People's Party AVP/PPA in opposition
  Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish CD&V junior party in coalition
  Botswana Botswana National Front BNF in opposition
  Brazil Democrats DEM in government
  Bulgaria GERB GERB in opposition
Union of Democratic Forces SDS in 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
Cambodian People's Party CPP in government
  Cape Verde Movement for Democracy MPD in government
  Chile Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
National Renewal RN in government Since 2018
  Republic of China Chinese Nationalist Party KMT in opposition
  Colombia Colombian Conservative Party PCC in government
Democratic Center CD 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 opposition
Christian Democratic Party of Cuba PDCC in opposition
  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 junior party in coalition
  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 in opposition
  Greece New Democracy ND in government
  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
  Indonesia National Awakening Party[4] PKB in government
  Ireland Fine Gael FG in government
  Italy Union of the Centre UdC support to the government in the Senate
  Ivory Coast Rally of the Republicans[5] RDR in government
  Kenya Wiper Democratic Movement – Kenya WDM-K in opposition
  Lebanon Lebanese Forces LF - Chrisitan Resistance in opposition
Kataeb Phalange in opposition
  Malawi Malawi Congress Party MCP in government
  Malta Nationalist Party PN in opposition
  Mauritania Union for Democracy and Progress UDP junior party in coalition
Union for the Republic UR in government
  Mexico National Action Party PAN in opposition
  Morocco Istiqlal Party junior party in coalition
  Mozambique Democratic Movement of Mozambique MDM in opposition
  Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal CDA junior party in coalition
  Norway Christian People's Party KrF in opposition
  Panama People's Party PP extraparliamentary opposition
  Paraguay Christian Democratic Party PDC in opposition
  Peru Christian People's Party PPC extraparliamentary opposition
  Philippines Struggle of Democratic Filipinos LDP junior party in coalition
Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats Lakas junior party in coalition
  Portugal Social Democratic Party PSD in opposition
  Romania Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party PNȚ-CD extraparliamentary opposition
National Liberal Party PNL senior party in coalition
People's Movement Party PMP extraparliamentary support
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania RMDSZ junior party in coalition Since 2018[6]
  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
Bloc des centristes Gaïndé BCG in opposition
  Slovenia New Slovenia NSi junior party in coalition
Slovenian Democratic Party SDS senior party in coalition
  Spain People's Party PP in opposition
  Sweden Christian Democrats KD in opposition
  Ukraine Christian Democratic Union KhDS in opposition
  Uruguay National Party PN in government
  Venezuela Christian Social Party 'Copei' COPEI in opposition
Justice First PJ extraparliamentary opposition

Observer partiesEdit

The CDI has 10 observers, including:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Durand, Jean-Dominique, ed. (2015-01-01). Christian Democrat Internationalism. Peter Lang. p. 71. doi:10.3726/978-3-0352-6492-0. ISBN 978-3-0352-9924-3.
  2. ^ Wilfried Martens (2008). Europe: I Struggle, I Overcome. Springer / Centre for European Studies. p. 220. ISBN 9783540892892.
  3. ^ "Organization page on the official CDI website". Archived from the original on Mar 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Safitri, Eva. "PKB Resmi Jadi Anggota Koalisi Partai Demokratis Internasional". detiknews.
  5. ^ Parties, Centrist Democrat International, idc-cdi.com, retrieved 31 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Conference of Centrist Democrat International held in Budapest". Daily News Hungary. 2018-02-17. Retrieved 2021-05-21.
  7. ^ "The Heritage Party Has Become an Observer Member of Centrist Democrat International". www.heritage.am.
  8. ^ "parties". IDC-CDI. Retrieved 15 August 2020.


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

External linksEdit