CHRISTEN UNIE

CU; CHRISTIAN UNION
   A small, dogmatic Christian political party formed in 2001–2004 out of two related parties: the Gereformeerd Politiek Verbond (GPV, Reformed Political Union) and the Reformatorisch Politieke Federatie (RPF, Reforming Political Federation). Although the CU has progressive views on economic and environmental issues, it is a conservative party with regard to issues such as abortion, homosexual marriage, and euthanasia. Since 2002, Andre Rouvoet (1962– ) has led the party very successfully in Parliament. In the 2006 elections, the party’s number of seats in Parliament doubled, from three to six (out of 150). In 2007, the CU participated in the fourth Jan Peter Balkenende cabi net. The CU belongs to the Independence and Democracy group in the European Parliament (EP) and cooperates with other Christian parties in the European Christian Political Movement. The GPV was founded in 1948, as a branch of the Antirevolu tionaire Partij (ARP), and had its first member in Parliament in 1963. Two of its prominent leaders were journalist Pieter (“Piet”) Jongeling (1909–1985) and Gerrit Jan Schutte (1939– ). Their party was strongly connected with a group of Reformedchurches—the so called Gereformeerde Kerken Vrijgemaakt—which had left the Re formed (gereformeerde) church of Abraham Kuyperin 1944. Chris tians from other churches with similar political ideas to the GPV’s had to operate in other Christian parties, which is one of the reasons the RPF was founded in 1975. Meindert Leerling (1936– ) was the RPF’s leader from 1981 until 1994. Amerger with the GPV became possible after this party declared itself open to all denominations of Protestants in 1993.
   The GPVand RPF have also cooperated with a third Calvinistand more fundamentalist party, which is currently the oldest party in the Dutch Parliament: the Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP, Polit ically Reformed Party), founded in 1918 by clergyman Gerrit Hen drik Kersten (1882–1948). His name is still known in Dutch parlia mentary history because his amendment to abolish the Dutch embassy in the Vatican led to the fall of the first Hendrikus Colijn cabinet in 1925. Amerger of the SGPwith the CU is still impossible because the SGP does not fully accept the political participation of women. In 2005, the Dutch court forced the state to stop subsidizing the SGP on this ground. Bastiaan Johannis (“Bas”) van der Vlies (1942– ) has led the SGPin Parliament since 1986.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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