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, NGOs and think tanks in Europe.
Unlike other European parties, the ECPM focuses on the human being in his 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 at a time 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 in the 21st century as well.
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 pursues 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 a priority above individual freedom. ECPM believes that a vibrant and positive Europe should celebrate and promote life. Because of the subsidiarity principle ECPM believes that the European institutions should refrain from openly promoting any specific view on this matter. Sadly enough, the European institutions often promote and fund an anti-life view. ECPM calls for a more balanced and objective stance on this issue, especially related to funding of NGOs regarding this subject.
Economy is about life. The purpose of all economic activity is to support life and advance well-being for all. We believe that initiative and ownership empowers people. We encourage the development of small and medium-sized companies and a focus on improvement of the investment climate for innovative entrepreneurs. ECPM believes that globalization has many positive aspects but is not by definition a good development. We are critical on agreements like CETA and TTIP as we believe that they disempower people and sometimes even countries merely for the benefit of multinationals and the world of international finance. The principles of free trade and open market economy are still very important for Europe’s economies; however, there need to be checks and balances in the system to keep it sustainable. A growing world population and a growing world economy has consequences for our planet. If we want to leave this planet in good shape for our children and grandchildren then we must take responsibility now. This means that the EU and its Members need to take action now to reduce pollution, CO2 emissions and to invest in sustainable energy sources.
Healthy families are the basis for thriving societies. We believe that stable, loving relationships between parents are crucial for the well-being of their children. Marriage is the best guarantee for enduring relationships. ECPM recognizes the family as the most important social entity, preceding the state and any other community or group. ECPM calls on the European Union to respect the sovereignty of the family, based on marriage between one man and one woman. ECPM is also weary of the political focus on the ‘autonomous individual’ as it is promoted by secular ideologies. We believe that the quality of life of a human being depends on the quality of his relations with others. People are always connected through relations and the strongest and earliest connection in life is the family.
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 fueled 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 also worried by the lack of freedom of religion in many parts of the world. This is clear to see in Islamic countries but also countries like India and China. The European Union and its Members should promote a culture of freedom and emphatically support those who defend and promote freedom in their country or region. Regarding the rise of extremist Islamic groups like ISIS it is the view of ECPM that this organization has proven to be a direct threat to European security and therefore the EU and its Members should take action to completely remove ISIS from Syria, Iraq and any other places where it might resurge.
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 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. ECPM strongly favours the Nordic model which decriminalizes the prostitute and criminalizes the client and the trafficker as the most effective way to stop human trafficking and (forced) prostitution. Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, the EU and its Members have to act now.
The European Union needs serious reform. Not only technically but also spiritually. We believe that a European Union that is less directive and more facilitating will be more beneficial for EU citizens and will form an effective narrative against destructive far-right sentiments. The European Union must start to under-promise and over-deliver instead of doing the exact opposite. To many, the EU has become a problem-causer instead of a problem-solver. This view might not be true but it does stick in the minds of many citizens. In order to win back support for a different and better EU we need a more realistic and constructive discourse. This means more freedom for Member States and a stronger focus of the EU on key matters such as food safety, energy safety, fair competition and cross border problems like immigration, rapid climate change, security and terrorism.
We believe that the Christian culture embeds fundamental freedoms that are virtuous for European societies. Eroding the Christian culture and heritage in Europe will lead to more division, violence and insecurity. History has shown what happens in societies that (try to) abolish religion. A culture that always sees life as God-given will always value life. Europe has been shaped by Christianity and has been a Christian continent for over a millennium. Without any exception, all EU members were already Christian before becoming a nation state. The majority of the founding fathers of the EU were Christian. We believe that the EU should be proud of its Christian roots and that Christian culture and heritage should be preserved. Key aspects of this culture are freedom, love, truth, reconciliation and respect for life. Europe has become a diverse continent which it can remain only when everyone respects the view and faith of the other. For this reason, we are weary of secular anti-religious ideologies that want to remove the heritage of Christian thinking and play down its relevance. For the same reason, we are opposing EU membership of Turkey which has a different cultural background and different values.