The European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) is the only European political party that aims to reflect and work on Christian-democratic politics in Europe from an explicitly Christian-social point of view. This movement includes Christian-democratic and Christian-social parties, NGO’s and think tanks in Europe.
Unlike other European parties, the ECPM focuses on the human being in its relationship to God, other people and the creation. We see this relational thinking as the heart of Christian-democracy. With its distinctive Christian-democratic profile, the ECPM is certain that it can offer constructive new ideas for the future of Europe.
In our continent and the nations within it, we face growing problems. Neither the individualistic conservative-liberal nor the technocratic social-democrat approaches are able to give an adequate response or produce robust solutions.
People distrust political institutions and their work. There are growing tensions between different religious and ethnic groups in Europe. European nations are supporting each other less when we need solidarity to deal with our social, economic security and environmental problems.
We want to promote the Christian-democratic perspective on these 21st century questions. They affect the relationships individuals have in the community. They also affect our common responsibility for our society. We are convinced that Christian-social thought can generate political solutions. This can contribute to the well-being of the people in Europe. Christian-democracy made its contribution since its beginning in the 19th century with politicians like Groen van Prinsterer. Christian-democrats like Robert Schuman and Alcide de Gasperi laid in the 20th century the foundations of the European Union. We are convinced that Christian-democracy has an important role to play also in the 21st century.
The ECPM aims to spread these Christian Democratic ideas throughout Europe together with its social expression and to mobilize politicians and parties in Europe around Christian values. The source of these Christian values are the Bible and the Christian tradition. These sources are in itself not a political program. These sources call us to serve the people of Europe and inspire us to work on a just government that pursuit’s justice, freedom, peace and a well-ordered society.
The basic teachings of Christian social thought appeal to everyone, irrespective of their faith, because they are founded on the pursuit of justice and liberty. If Christianity has shaped European civilization, it has done so in providing the institutions of justice, education, health and help to the weak and the unfortunate.
What we stand for
A Europe of Human Dignity
Human dignity expresses the intrinsic value of every human being. We believe this universal principle rests on the human being as created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore life should be protected from conception to natural death. The protection of human dignity should be priority above individual freedom.
In the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, human dignity is laid down in the first article: “Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected”.
The debate around the report ‘on sexual and reproductive health and rights’ tabled by MEP Edite Estrela has made it clear that certain interest groups and allied MEPs push for abortion to be included in EU policies, despite the concern showed by millions of people. The ECPM fully agrees with statements from the European Commission which clearly express that abortion is an issue for the Member States and not an issue for EU policies. In addition, the ECPM recalls that the European Court of Justice has ruled (Brüstle vs. Greenpeace) that a human embryo marks the beginning in development of the human being. Therefore we condemn all funding for the promotion of abortion in developing countries and embryonic stem cell research.
“We value life, and unconditionally protect life from conception till natural death”
Economy is in essence about life. The purpose of all economic activity is to support life and advance wellbeing for all. Economy is meant to provide sufficient means for all people in order to support family life, to let people flourish with their creative talents and to find solutions for the problems they face. Therefore the ECPM encourages development of small and medium-sized companies and focuses on improvement of the investment climate for innovative entrepreneurs.
ECPM favours a sustainable economy that is based on relational views and focuses on long term strategies rather than short term gain. Sustainable enterprises must be supported to integrate their stakeholders’ value. This should be done by employing strategies based on corporate social responsibility. Finding the right balance between people, planet and profit needs to be encouraged openly.
ECPM wants the EU to aim for a sustainable and diverse energy policy, making the EU less depending on one primary energy supplier. ECPM also favours innovation in the agricultural sector to increase food safety in Europe.
“We want the EU to stimulate an economy that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation based on long-term sustainable strategies”
ECPM recognizes the family as the most important social entity, preceding the state and any other community or group. Life starts in the family and relations start in the family. ECPM calls on the European Union to respect the sovereignty of the family, based on marriage between one man and one woman.
ECPM believes that any form of policy on family should be the responsibility of the Member States. The EU should refrain from putting any pressure on countries to legalize same-sex marriage. They should also respect the principle of subsidiarity when Member States want to protect the institute of marriage.
The EU should facilitate the Member States only considering the issues that are crossing borders. For instance, the social consequences of labour migration of only one parent, which physically splits a family for a longer period.
“We urge for a view on economic policies that takes families and not individuals as the starting point”
Real freedom of faith, conscience and expression only becomes visible through relations with those who feel, think or act differently. ECPM believes that an extreme political correctness fuelled by aggressive secularism is a danger for real freedom and real plurality. In this sense, there must be a fundamental freedom to disagree with the view of the majority on any subject.
ECPM is very much worried about the increasing intolerance against Christians, both inside and outside the EU. The EU should make the protection of religious converts a spearhead in its foreign policy. And at the same time guarantee freedom of faith and conscience in the EU.
Concerning the issue of conscientious objection, ECPM agrees with resolution 1763 of the Council of Europe. This states that no person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to an abortion, the performance of a human miscarriage, or euthanasia or any act which could cause the death of a human fetus or embryo, for any reason.
“We respect freedom for all, freedom of religion, expression and conscience”
Human trafficking is an ultimate de-humanizing act that reduces people to trading objects. It distorts relations and severely hurts people, making it a difficult process to re-establish new healthy relationships. A majority of the victims are used for sexual exploitation. Since human trafficking is a cross-border crime, combating it requires international cooperation.
The best solution is to encourage Member States to criminalise the purchase of sex in all circumstances as well as third party sellers (pimps and traffickers). And those personally selling sex (prostitutes) should be decriminalised. This method is proven to effectively address sexual exploitation. It also has positive effects on reducing the demand for sexual services.
Children deserve special attention. We find that the EU has an obligation to make a commitment to do everything in its power to stop child trafficking and to ensure that children receive protection and justice. This commitment must start with eradicating internet child pornography as well as fixing flaws in the child welfare system. We urge the EU to build a technology task force and put in place technology innovation to fight child sexual exploitation.
“We fight for policies that stop sexual exploitation of human beings by every means possible”