The Christen Democratisch Appèl (CDA), best translated in English as “the Call of Christian Democracy”, is one of the political parties that has left a strong impact on Dutch politics and society in the twentieth century. It has a distinctive view of the person and the society in which the welfare of people and their communities plays a central role. 

The different communities are made up of the people who are responsible for all aspects of this world. The family, the school, the neighborhood, the association; they form the backbone of our society, of the Netherlands.

Christian Democratic Values and Ideals: a caring society 
In the vision of the CDA, those solutions can only be implemented in a society that grows increasingly diverse and emancipated, if people realise their freedom and ideals in co-operation with their fellow men. That vision is based on our points of departure: 

The sharing of responsibility: freedom will be best served if people can take the responsibility for themselves and their fellow human beings and are therefore given the space to make choices of their own and if the authorities strictly occupy themselves with their core duties. That is the key to creating space for an abundantly multi-hued and solidary society.

Public justice: a reliable government must offer the citizen again the certainty of the state under the rule of law and draw clear lines on the basis of eternal values. 

Solidarity: requires the concern of one generation for the other and of the rich for the poor as well as a just and predictable income policy under which the stronger will have to pull the heavier weight and the point of departure of which will be the financial strength of households.

Stewardship: only if we deal in a responsible manner with the living environment, nature and the environment entrusted to us, can we ensure sustainable prosperity, including for future generations.

Read more about christian-democratic values.

The CDA has about 55.000 members, who together decide the direction of the party. The members form the Congress, which is the highest decision-making body of the party. CDA organizes internal elections to choose the members and party leaders. 

Members are active in more than 400 municipalities and 12 provinces. 

CDA has 13 seats (of 150) in the parliament  since the elections in 2012. Sybrand Buma is the leader of the party. In the senate the party has 11 seats (of 75). 

The CDA has also representatives in the European Parliament. The 5 CDA-members are part of the EPP, the largest group in the parliament.

On 11 October 1980 the Christian Democratic Appeal Party was officially founded. The CDA was a merger of two Protestant parties and one Catholic party. 

In 1977 Dries van Agt became prime minister until 1982. 

After the 1982 general election the new CDA leader, Ruud Lubbers became prime minister. Lubbers won the 1986 general election and again in 1989.

The election defeat of the CDA in 1994 signified a watershed in the political history of the Netherlands. The loss of twenty seats brought to an end the Christian Democrats’ pivotal position in the political arena and the certitude of their right to govern. For the first time since 1918, they found themselves in opposition.

In 2002 CDA became the largest party at the general election, which was overshadowed by the murder of Pim Fortuyn. Election victory in 2002 was possible for three reasons: the leadership crisis and the choice of Balkenende, the intrinsic reforms introduced by people like Balkenende and Klink, and the political and social unrest which caused the ‘purple’ coalition parties to lose and the CDA to come out on top as the largest party once again.

Balkenende was prime minister until 2010.

Read more about the history of CDA.



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