United Christian Democrats
|Founded||23 July 1995|
|Dissolved||6 December 2002|
|Split from||Italian People's Party|
|Merged into||Union of Christian and Centre Democrats|
Pole for Freedoms (1996-2001)|
House of Freedoms (2001-02)
|European affiliation||European People's Party|
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
The CDU was a member of the European People's Party from 1995 until 2002.
The party's life began in 1995 with a split of a minority faction of the Italian People's Party (PPI) who wanted to enter into an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia. The split was led by Rocco Buttiglione (secretary of the PPI in 1994-95), Roberto Formigoni and Gianfranco Rotondi. The CDU's symbol used the crossed shield (scudo crociato) of Christian Democracy.
The party formed a joint list with Forza Italia in 1995 regional elections and Roberto Formigoni was elected president of Lombardy, while in 1996 it formed an alliance with the Christian Democratic Centre (CCD) for the general election, in which the CCD-CDU list scored 5.6%.
In June 1998, Buttiglione led the party into the Democratic Union for the Republic (UDR), a new Christian democratic outfit launched by Francesco Cossiga and Clemente Mastella, who had left CCD to form the Christian Democrats for the Republic (CDR). In October, when Buttiglione briefly decided to support the centre-left government of Massimo D'Alema, alongside the rest of UDR, Roberto Formigoni, Raffaele Fitto, Maurizio Lupi and many regional deputies in Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont left the party to form the Christian Democrats for Freedom, which was later merged into Forza Italia.
In February 1999, UDR split between those who supported Cossiga, who formed the Union for the Republic, and those who supported Mastella, who formed the Union of Democrats for Europe (UDEUR). Buttiglione re-established CDU as a separate party and started to get closer again to Berlusconi's centre-right coalition.
In 1999 European elections, CDU scored 2.2% and elected two MEPs. In the 2001 general election it formed an electoral alliance with CCD, the known as the White Flower (Biancofiore), gaining 3.2% of the vote.
- Secretary: Rocco Buttiglione (1995–2002)
- President: Roberto Formigoni (1995–1998), Mario Tassone (1998–2002)
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