Nouvelles Équipes Internationales, 1948-1966
- Creation: 1948-1966
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Biographical / Historical
The NEI was inaugurated at Liege in May 1947, and its headquarters were in Paris. The British Section of the NEI was founded as a cross-Party organisation in March 1948. Its objects, according to its constitution, were:
- To co-operate with those on the Continent who acknowledge a Christian social inspiration and the principles of Christian democracy and are seeking to affirm the primacy of moral values;
- To press for the application of these principles in public life in England;
- To seek to maintain the reign of moral law in international relations.
The British Section held its own annual conference, as well as a monthly European Dining Club for discussion and the exchange of information.
The Duchess of Atholl, formerly a Conservative MP (1923-1938), was initially the chair of the British Section and a member of the NEI's Executive Committee, although by this time she had no official connection with the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party was represented on the British Committee of NEI until, at a meeting of the Conservative Overseas Bureau Committee on 3rd April 1950, it was agreed that this was no longer desirable, but that unofficial participation should be left to the individual: 'NEI, both British and International, was running a policy in Europe with which the great majority of the Conservative Party fundamentally disagreed, i.e federalism...'. Despite this the Party wished to continue a relationship with the NEI but not necessarily through the British Section, although securing direct representation on the NEI proved problematic. In 1965, the NEI formally changed its name to the 'Union européenne des démocrates-chrétiens' (UEDC).