Declaration of Principles, London 1983

Having regard to their common convictions that democratic societies provide individuals throughout the world with the best conditions for political liberty, personal freedom, equality of opportunity and economic development under the rule of law; and therefore

Being comitted to advancing the social and political values on which democratic societies are founded, including the basic personal freedoms and human rights, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; in particular, the right of free speech, organisation, assembly and non-violent dissent; the right to free elections and the freedom to organise effective parliamentary opposition to government; the right to a free and independent media; the right to religious belief; equality before the law; and individual opportunity and prosperity;

Having regard to their common beliefs in an open society, where power is dispersed widely amongst free institutions, dedicated to creating conditions that will enable each individual to reach his full potential and to carry out his responsibilities to his fellow man; and where the central task of government is to serve the individual and to safeguard and promote individual freedom; and equally

Stressing the moral commitments of a free and open society, supporting the institution of the family as its fundamental social and cohesive force, as well as social responsibility towards the weak and less fortunate, particularly by encouraging self-help and individual enterprise and choice in the provision of services;

Being dedicated to a society of individuals working together in partnership for the common good;

Having regard to their common views that political democracy and private property are inseparable components of individual liberty and that the socially-oriented market economy provides the best means of creating the wealth and material prosperity to meet the legitimate aspirations of individuals, and of tackling social evils such as unemployment and inflation;

Believing that this is the most effective and beneficial way of providing individual initiative and enterprise, responsible economic development, employment opportunities, low taxation and consumer choice;

Having regard to the threats posed by the extreme Left and the extreme Right;

Rejecting any form of totalitarianism, which brings so much suffering and restricts so many freedoms today;

Having regard to the important global tasks which render necessary and desirable a closer and efficient collaboration of their parties, inspired by their common conviction;

Pledging themselves to work towards ever-closer co-operation among all the peoples of democratic nations, while recognising the right of each individual nation to preserve its identity and to safeguard its vital interests, to use their influence and above all their political values for the greater good of the world, especially by promoting the mutual responsibilities of all nations for global economic development;

Declare their dedication to a just and lasting peace and freedom throughout the world; and

Further declare that the cause of peace will be advanced by adherence to the principles expressed in this Declaration; and in

Actively inviting other parties to subscribe to them;

Agree to create a working association in pursuance of their common beliefs, hereinafter referred to as the INTERNATIONAL DEMOCRACY UNION.


Mission Statement
  1. 1The International Democracy 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.
  2. 2The 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.
  1. 1The IDU shall have the following structure:
    – IDU Summit
    – Executive Committee
    – Presidency
    – Standing Committees
    – Ad Hoc Groups
    – Specialist Groups
    – Chairman
    – Vice Chairmen
    – Treasurer
    – Secretary General
    – Assistant Chairmen
    – Political Auditor
  2. 2
    (a) The IDU Summit, consisting of the Member Parties chairman or leader or the designated representatives shall take place at least once every three years.
    (b) The Conference will determine the broad range of activities of the IDU, together with any formal business provided herein.
    (c) Each Member Party shall be entitled to one vote.
    (d) Decisions, other than procedural decisions, requires a two-thirds majority of the member parties present.
    (e) Procedural decisions shall be taken by a simple majority of the votes cast.
    (f) Recommendations may be made by a majority of those present and voting, but shall be directed only to those Member Parties, which have not expressed a dissenting opinion. Such a dissenting opinion may be expressed in a brief paragraph in any published documents.
    (g) Parties with Associate status may attend the Conference, but shall not have the right to participate in the meeting without the unanimous agreement of attending member Parties.
    (h) The quorum at an IDU Summit shall be two-thirds of the membership.
  3. 3
    (a) The Executive Committee, consisting of the Chairman, the Vice Chairmen or their nominated representatives, the Treasurer and the Secretary General of the IDU and – where they are different – the Chairman and Executive Secretary of each Regional Union, shall meet at least once every six months. All Member Parties shall receive notice and minutes of the Executive Committee meetings, and have the right to participate in such meetings if they so wish.
    (b) The Committee will direct the business of the IDU between two IDU Summits and, in particular, prepare such Conferences, adopt the annual budget and the financial statute, fill any casual vacancies that might arise amongst the officers, and supervise the day to day work of the IDU and the Secretary General.
    (c) The Committee may invite individuals to participate in its meetings.
    (d) The quorum at an Executive Committee meeting shall be two thirds of its membership.
  4. 4The Presidency
    Between the semi-annual meetings of the Executive Committee the IDU will be managed by the Presidency as the executive organ.
    The IDU Presidency is composed of:
    (i) The Chairman,
    (ii) the Deputy Chairman,
    (iii) the Assistant Chairmen,
    (iv) the Treasurer, and
    (v) the Secretary General.
  5. 5Standing Committees may be established by the IDU Summit which shall appoint a Chairman to determine the method of work in accordance with such a Committee’s mandate, who will be assisted by the Secretary General.
  6. 6 Ad Hoc Groups may be established by the Executive Committee which shall appoint a Chairman to determine the method of work in accordance with the Group’s mandate, who will be assisted by the Secretary General.
  7. 7(a) Specialist Groups may be recognized by the Executive Committee as affiliated with the IDU, provided that they conform with the rules and regulations of the IDU as defined by these statutes and the decisions of the Executive Committee.
    (b) Specialist Groups currently recognized by the IDU are the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU), the International Women’s Democrat Union (IWDU) and SME Global. The Chairmen of the IYDU, IWDU and SME Global are invited to take part in the meetings of the IDU Executive Committee and the IDU Summit.
  8. 8 (a) A Chairman shall be elected by each IDU Summit.
    (b) The Chairman shall preside over the IDU Summit and the Executive Committee and shall ultimately be responsible for the work of the IDU.
  9. 9 (a) The IDU shall have a number of Vice Chairmen elected by each IDU Summit who shall include the Chairmen of the Regional Unions. The Regional Union can nominate a representative as Vice Chairman, if the chairman’s party is not an IDU member. The Party Leaders reserve the right to endorse or reject the election of IDU ex officio office bearers nominated by IDU regional organisations.
    (b) The IDU may also have a number of Assistant Chairmen. These shall be appointed by the Chairman with the approval of the IDU Summit or, between two IDU Summits, with the approval of the IDU Executive.
    (c) The Chairman may appoint a Deputy Chairman amongst either the Vice Chairman or the Assistant Chairman.
  10. 10 A Treasurer shall be elected by each IDU Summit and shall oversee the IDU’s Enterprise Link and administer the IDU’s finances, which will be established through Member Party subscription, and prepare the annual budget and financial statute for approval by the Executive Committee.
  11. 11 A Secretary General shall be appointed by each IDU Summit, and shall be responsible to the Chairman and to the Executive Committee for the Secretariat and the day-to-day business of the IDU.
  12. 12 A Political Auditor shall be appointed by each IDU Summit, and shall report to the Executive Committee as set out in IDU’s Financial regulations.
  13. 13 Elected IDU Officers shall come only from full member parties.
  14. 14 IDU decision making bodies are made up of accredited representatives from IDU member parties and elected officers, including ex officio Vice Chairman when endorsed by the Party Leaders, or confirmed by the Executive Committee.
  15. 15 The expenses of the Officers and Secretariat shall be provided for in the annual budget.
  1. 1Membership of the IDU shall be open to all full members of the Regional Unions as well as to parties without clear regional identity with the existing unions.
  2. 2All applicants wishing to join the IDU have to complete the application process as set out in Article D.7.
  3. 3Member Parties shall have the right to participate in all IDU activities.
  4. 4Other Parties and organisations may have Associate status to the IDU with the unanimous agreement of the member parties, and shall have consultative status.
  5. 5Membership of the IDU is terminated by withdrawal from or exclusion by a regional union, or in the case of individual membership as defined in II (2) above, by the withdrawal from the IDU or by a vote by the member parties where at least two-thirds vote in the affirmative.
  6. 6Any Member or Associate that has failed to pay its Membership subscription by the last day of the financial year in which it falls due shall be suspended automatically unless it has requested in writing, and received, special dispensation from the Executive Committee.
  7. 7Parties wishing to join the IDU must have at least one IDU party prepared to ‘sponsor’ its membership. This party must be a full member of the IDU. It will take the lead in informing the IDU Executive about the applicant and guiding applicant parties through the admission process. The sponsor party does not have to come from the same region as the applicant. There is no limit to the number of sponsors an applicant party can have. Applicant parties must also:
    – Send a letter from the Party Leader or Chairman asking for membership;
    – Provide a copy of the party’s statutes and rules;
    – Submit an election manifesto or policy paper for scrutiny; and
    – Invite the IDU to conduct a fact-finding visit.
    An officer of the relevant IDU regional union must present the membership proposal to the Executive.If determined that the membership criteria are met, the applicant party will be invited to present its application at a meeting of the IDU Executive. If approved by the Executive, not necessarily at the same meeting if further deliberations are considered necessary, the applicant from the time of the recommendation will be listed either as an Associate member (if not eligible for the full membership at that stage) or as an Observer recommended for full membership, to be invited to all IDU functions from then on.
  8. 8The IDU Summit decides status of full membership, and – if so decided – the party will become a member with full rights after the Party leader or Chairman has signed the IDU Declaration of Principles.
  9. 9Decisions to readmit former IDU-members may be made by the Executive Committee, provided that the IDU Summit (formerly known as Party Leaders Meeting) previously has approved IDU membership.
Financial regulations

Underlining the importance of transparency and accountability;
Bearing in mind that IDU resources should always be spent optimally and prudently;

The following Financial Regulations for the IDU apply:

  1. 1Member Parties, Observers and Associated Parties and Organizations shall contribute to the financing of the IDU through annual subscription fees as determined by the Executive Committee. In kind contributions for the support of IDU activities may not be applied as payment of membership subscription fees.
  2. 2The Secretary General is entrusted by the Executive Committee with the proper administration and use of IDU’s financial resources, and with upholding the letter and spirit of the IDU financial regulations.
  3. 3The Treasurer is responsible for the financing of the IDU and its activities, by means of membership fees, donations and otherwise.
  4. 4The Political Auditor is responsible for controlling the budgetary management of the Secretary General and reports to the Executive Committee.
  5. 5The Secretary General is expected to give the Treasurer and Political Auditor a quarterly update of the budget status of the IDU.
  6. 6Allocation of funds other than to core activity of the IDU requires decision by the Executive, unless decided upon as part of the budget.
  7. 7IDU covers the travel expenses for the Secretary General. Member parties that nominate officers and representatives to IDU functions are responsible for their own costs, and are expected to give necessary support to make active participation in IDU events possible. The Secretary General may also authorize that the IDU covers costs for officers chairing an IDU function.
  8. 8IDU Regional Unions and Associations are responsible for their own costs. They are expected to give necessary support to their officers, for their active participation in IDU meetings.
  9. 9The Secretariat is required to maintain a system of computerized bookkeeping for easy access to updated information about the financial status and dispositions.
  10. 10The Secretariat is required to maintain a system of dual signatures for all expenses over 5,000 USD.
  11. 11The financial year of the International Democrat Union runs from 1 January to 31 December. At the end of each financial year, the Secretary General and Treasurer shall see to that the accounts for the year ended are closed, and that the annual accounts are submitted to the Executive Committee for approval. When presented for approval, the annual accounts shall be accompanied with the Political Auditor’s report and a statement from a chartered accountant designated by the Executive. Ratified by the IDU Party Leaders Meeting in London (United Kingdom) on 11 November, 2011, and amended by the IDU Executive Committee in Wellington on 29 May 2012 , the IDU Executive Committee in Santiago de Chile on 13 May 2019 and the virtual Meeting of the IDU Executive Committee on 14 December 2020.