Dutch Christian parties separate in European Parliament


European Union


Peter van Dalen, CU-MEP. Photo ANP, Sander Koning

The Dutch Christian parties SGP and ChristianUnion (CU) will go separate ways into the European Parliamentary elections of 2024. The parties formed an electoral alliance for 38 years.

The initiative for the split lies with the CU, according to an SGP press statement. It says, among other things, that "after various consultations with the SGP", the party decided to terminate the current form of cooperation. In the coming period, the CU and SGP will separately recruit candidates for their own lists.

The difference between the two Christian parties are mostly accents. Diederik van Dijk, an SGP senator, explained explained in 2019: "Christians who feel akin to more left-wing politics can vote CU. Those who feel more at home on the right as a Christian can vote SGP."

The press release states that the two Christian parties still manage to find each other on important Christian themes. However, this does not alter the fact, it says, that the differences in voting behaviour have increased in recent years.

"On major themes such as migration, climate and European cooperation on these two challenges, the differences between our parties are increasingly apparent," says ChristianUnion chairwoman, Van Tatenhove.

Bert-Jan Ruissen, SGP-MEP. Photo ANP, Jonas Roosens.

"The voter has the right to know for what they choose when voting for a particular list. The conclusion is that this has become too diffuse for a joint ChristianUnion-SGP list. That undermines the credibility of such cooperation", Van Tatenhove noted.

SGP chairman Dick van Meeuwen expressed his disappointment that, despite the serious differences, he felt it would have been "good and wise" to continue working together. A joint list with a Christian Union leader and an SGP member at position 2 would have allowed both parties to "set their own accents with their own colours", according to the chairman. Van Meeuwen notes that the ChristenUnion's decision to end the cooperation could result in losing a Christian seat. "Or even neither party gaining an EP seat," he adds.

Separate factions

Together, the parties usually won two seats. This was also the case during the last elections in 2019. However, that year, the CU and SGP moved into different European factions. SGP remained in the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR), while the CU moved to the European People's Party (EPP). The latter did this because, among other things, of the growing influence of the Polish PiS party in the fraction.



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