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Thursday, March 30, 2017

International Forum on Christian Democracy in Kiev

The International Forum "Challenges and Prospects of the Christian Democracy" about the future of one of the most influential political doctrines in Europe – Christian democracy - was held on the 25th of March in Kiev, Ukraine. The conference was initiated by ECPM member party CDU and dealt with the 20th anniversary of the Christian Democratic Union. It was supported by ECPM (European Christian Political Movement) and its member party SGP (Reformed Party of the Netherlands).

The participants of this event were about 200 Christian politicians from Ukraine and Christian democrats from the Netherlands, Georgia and Belarus. Amongst the other participants were scholars, judges, experts, analysts and public figures. During the Forum, some topics were discussed connected with the challenges and prospects of Christian democracy in Eastern Europe and Christian democracy as a policy of hope and realism; the influence of Christian ideas on society, identity and integrity in Christian politicians' practice; the results of the recent elections in the Netherlands, achievements of the Christian parties that received thousands more votes than in previous elections, the prospects of Christian Democracy in the Belarus adaptation and the legal consciousness in modern Christianity. It is notable that other heads of Ukrainian parties have stated that they fully support and confess the Christian ideology.

One of the speakers was George Rukhadze, Vice-President of ECPM. Amongst the other speakers were Myhailo Panochko, acting Chairman of Ukrainian Council of churches and religious organizations, Senior Bishop of Ukrainian Pentecostal Church; Volodymyr Stretovych, Honorable Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union, MP of Ukraine of several callings; Kees Knulst, the Coordinator of the SGP International affairs; Adrian Borggreve, Professor of Bussiness Communication and Intercultural Management, Stieneke van der Graaf, Board Member of the ECPM and deputy of the Provincial Parliament from the Christian Union; Georgiy Dmitruk, co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian Democracy; Victor Shyshkin, MP of three separate callings in Ukraine, retired judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine; Ivan Mozgoviy, Doctor in Philosophic Science, professor and chairman of the department in Sumy National University.

The second part of the International forum was devoted to a panel discussion about the implementation of Christian values in the public, politic, legal and cultural environment. Personal visions and achievements were demonstrated by the head of the CDU in Ukraine Oleksandr Chernenko; the chairman of the Religious Freedom Institute Oleksandr Zayets; the chairman of the public unions “International Movement “Moral and spiritual civilization” Lyudmyla Gutsol; and the representative of the political group of the European Christian Political Youth in Ukraine, International secretary of the CDUY Alina Koval.

During the discussion, considerable attention was paid to the present and to the reasons why Christian Democracy has not gained significant success in the post-soviet space. In particular, the honorable chairman of the CDU Volodymyr Stretovych mentioned the year 1998, when the CDU had to become a parliamentary party, but the votes looting system worked good in the Central Election Commission and as a result required that half a percent of CDU moved to Social Democrats, who were in power then. And today's 5% threshold for passing in Parliament is ultra-high for small non-oligarchical parties.

Participants accepted a resolution connected with the situation in Belarus in March, in which they recommended to register the BCD party by the government and to stop all repressions against their citizens, directed on disturbance of human rights on the freedom of speech and mass meetings (more than 1000 participants of the meeting were arrested since the 10th to the 25th of March). The end of the conference was marked by admission of the Forum Resolution, which is about how Christian democrats must act and must urge others act according to Gods commands, understanding their responsibility to the future of the whole European community and for the new stage in the Christian democracy development in Ukraine and in the whole world.