Formed in 1983, the IDU provides a forum in which Parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest, so that they can learn from each other, act together, establish contacts and speak with one strong voice to promote democracy and centre-right policies around the globe. Founder Members of the IDU included Britain’s Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, then US Vice-President George Bush Sr, Paris Mayor and later President of France Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and many other Party Leaders.
Countries can only develop their full potential if they develop recognising the ideals of liberal democracy, freedom of the individual, and the need for economic growth to be based on individual initiative and free, competitive enterprise economies. The IDU has a clear role in a modern world, where today’s idea in one country is tomorrow’s policy in another.
Through the IDU, member Parties can exchange policy ideas, assist each other to win the political argument, and to win elections. There are regular meetings of both the full IDU and its Regional Unions and Organisations. The officers of the IDU are elected at Party Leaders’ Meetings which are held every three or four years.
At IDU Executive Meetings, briefings are given on local and topical issues, as well as consideration given to applicant parties. Apart from Executive Meetings and meetings of IDU’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, the IDU holds events such as the Young Leaders Forum, plus undertakes fact-finding missions and election observation. A major event is also held every four years to coincide with the Republican Convention, the last one held in September 2012 in Tampa (Florida).
The IDU also organises campaigning seminars for politicians and party workers. These involve exchanges of information on campaign technology, fund-raising techniques, opinion polling, advertising and campaign organisation. The IDU plays an essential role in enabling like-minded, centre-right parties to share experiences in order to achieve electoral success.
- IThe International Democrat Union (IDU) shall consist of Member Parties of the Asia Pacific Democrat Union (APDU); the Caribbean Democrat Union (CDU); the Democrat Union of Africa; the European Democrat Union (EDU); the European People’s Party (EPP); the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR); and the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA), which have adhered to the IDU Declaration of Principles.
- IIThe IDU will foster the common philosophy of its Member Parties, establish permanent relations at a bilateral and multilateral level, encourage mutual support and to these ends will provide a forum for the exchange of views and information on matters of interest to all or a considerable number of its Member Parties.
Founded by 19 dignitaries who attended the meeting that established the IDU held at the Hotel Intercontinental in London on 24th June 1983: Dr Alois Mock (Osterreichische Volkspartei, Austria); Prime-Minister Margaret Thatcher (Conservative Party, Great Britain); Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl (CDU, Federal Republic of Germany); Prime-Minister Franz-Josef Strauss (CSU, Federal Republic of Germany); M Jacques Chirac (Rassemblement Pour la Republique, France); Mr Andrew Peacock (Liberal Party, Australia); M Evangelos Averoff-Tossizza (Nea Demokratia, Greece); Sr Fraga Iribarne (Alianza Popular, Spain); Sr Oscar Alzaga, (Partido Democrata Popular, Spain); Mrs Susanne Wood, National Party, New Zealand); President Glafcos Clerides (Democratic Rally, Cyprus); Mr Ilkka Suominen (Kansallinen Kokoomus, Finland); Sr Lucas Pires (CDS, Portugal); Mr Tatsuo Tanaka (Liberal Democrat Party, Japan); Mr Ulf Adelsohn (Moderata Samlingspartiet, Sweden); Mr Erik Nielsen (Progressive Conservative Party, Canada); Prime-Minister Poul Schluter (Det Konservative Folkeparti, Denmark); Mr Jo Benkow (Hoyre, Norway); and Mr Frank Fahrenkopf (Republican National Committee, USA).
In addition the US Vice-President George Bush and Norwegian Prime-Minister Kare Willoch (IDU’s second Chairman, from 1987 to 1989) were present and both spoke at the founding meeting. Click here for the minutes of the founding meeting and Declaration of Principles in PDF format.
The IDU officers elected were: Chairman: Dr Alois Mock (Osterreichische Volkspartei, Austria); Vice-Chairmen: Ulf Adelsohn (Moderata Samlingspartiet, Sweden); Richard Allen (Republican National Committee, USA); Jacques Chirac (Rassemblement Pour la Republique, France); Cecil Parkinson (Conservative Party, Great Britain); Sir John Atwill (Liberal Party, Australia); and Prime-Minister Franz-Josef Strauss (CSU, Federal Republic of Germany), in addition to Treasurer: Allan Lawrence (Progressive Conservative Party, Canada) and Executive Secretary: Scott Hamilton (Conservative Party, Great Britain).