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Membership

The IDU has over 80 Member Parties from over 60 countries belonging to itself or one of its Regional Unions. It is the only international organisation of its kind with member parties from all continents. Many of its members come from democracies newly established during the 1990s. In addition to full membership of the IDU, parties can also join one of the Regional Unions or the Women’s and Youth Organisations under the International Democrat Union umbrella, but will then have only partial access to IDU events.

Basically, parties wishing to join the International Democrat Union must share the values of the IDU, as stated in the IDU Declaration of Principles (the London Declaration).

The IDU has the following rules and procedures regarding membership:

  1. Membership of the IDU shall be open to all full members of the Regional Unions as well as to parties without clear regional identity with the existing unions.
  2. All applicants wishing to join the IDU have to complete the application process as set out in Article D.7.
  3. Member Parties shall have the right to participate in all IDU activities.
  4. Other Parties and organisations may have Associate status to the IDU with the unanimous agreement of the member parties, and shall have consultative status.
  5. Membership of the IDU is terminated by withdrawal from or exclusion by a regional union, or in the case of individual membership as defined in II (2) above, by the withdrawal from the IDU or by a vote by the member parties where at least two-thirds vote in the affirmative.
  6. Any Member or Associate that has failed to pay its Membership subscription by the last day of the financial year in which it falls due shall be suspended automatically unless it has requested in writing, and received, special dispensation from the Executive Committee.
  7. Parties wishing to join the IDU must have at least one IDU party prepared to ‘sponsor’ its membership. This party must be a full member of the IDU. It will take the lead in informing the IDU Executive about the applicant and guiding applicant parties through the admission process. The sponsor party does not have to come from the same region as the applicant. There is no limit to the number of sponsors an applicant party can have.

Applicant parties must also:

  • Send a letter from the Party Leader or Chairman asking for membership;
  • Provide a copy of the party’s statutes and rules;
  • Submit an election manifesto or policy paper for scrutiny; and
  • Invite the IDU to conduct a fact-finding visit.
  • An officer of the relevant IDU regional union must present the membership proposal to the Executive.

If determined that the membership criteria are met, the applicant party will be invited to present its application at a meeting of the IDU Executive. If approved by the Executive, not necessarily at the same meeting if further deliberations are considered necessary, the applicant from the time of the recommendation will be listed either as an Associate member (if not eligible for the full membership at that stage) or as an Observer recommended for full membership, to be invited to all IDU functions from then on.
8. The Party Leaders Meeting decides status of full membership, and – if so decided – the party will become a member with full rights after the Party leader or Chairman has signed the IDU Declaration of Principles.
9. Decisions to readmit former IDU-members may be made by the Executive Committee, provided that the Party Leaders meeting previously has approved IDU membership.”

Applicant parties must have at least one IDU party prepared to ‘sponsor’ its membership. This party must be a full member of the IDU (for current members and their contact details. The sponsoring party will take the lead in informing the IDU Executive about the applicant and guiding applicant parties through the admission process, including being available at the relevant meeting of the Executive. The sponsor party does not have to come from the same region as the applicant. There is no limit to the number of sponsors an applicant party can have.

If determined that the membership criteria are met, the applicant party will be invited to present its application at a meeting of the IDU Executive. If approved by the Executive, not necessarily at the same meeting if further deliberations are considered necessary, the applicant from the time of the recommendation will be listed either as an Associate member (if not eligible for the full membership at that stage) or as an Observer recommended for full membership, to be invited to all IDU functions from then on.

The Party Leaders Meeting decides status of full membership and – if so decided – the party will become a member with full rights after the Party Leader or Chairman has signed the IDU Declaration of Principles – the London declaration of 1983. The IDU Party Leaders meetings are normally held every three years.

To initiate the application process the applicant parties must:

  • send a formal letter from the Party Leader or Chairman asking for membership;
  • provide a copy of the party’s statutes and rules;
  • submit an election manifesto or policy paper for scrutiny (a summary would suffice);
  • be able to pay the subscription fees; and
  • invite the IDU to conduct a fact-finding visit.

We also need information on the applicant party’s strength in the last elections (number and percentage of votes, strength in Parliament and/or in government), whether the party has recently suffered a split etc.

All letters and documentation must be in English (or accompanied by an English translation).

We would appreciate to have the relevant material available electronically, in addition to the formal letter of application sent also by ordinary postage.

If we find that the criteria are met to an acceptable extent, the applicant party will be invited to present its application at a meeting of the IDU Executive Committee (usually these meetings take place 2-3 times a year).

If approved by the Executive Committee, the applicant from this time will be listed either as an Associate member (if not eligible for full membership at that stage) or as an Observer recommended for full membership, to be invited to all IDU functions from then on, pending the formal accession as a full member to be granted by the IDU Party Leaders Meeting.

An important criterion for membership is being able and willing to pay the membership fees. Non-payment of membership subscription fees for more than one year causes automatic suspension of membership (paragraph 6 of the membership bylaws). IDU membership requires active participation in the organisation, with timely and regular payment of the agreed subscription fee as a precondition for continued membership or associate status.

The levels of membership subscription fees are determined by the number of votes for each party in the last general election. The formula for annual subscription fees applying from 2017 in Euros is:

  • Under 300,000 votes​​                           1 x X = € 1,760
  • 300,000 to 1 million votes                  2 x X = € 3,520
  • 1 million to 2 million votes​                  4 x X = € 7,040
  • 2 million to 4 million votes​                 8 x X = € 14,080
  • 4 million to 8 million votes​                 12 x X = € 21,120
  • 8 million to 12 million votes​               16 x X = € 28,160
  • 12 million to 16 million votes​              20 x X = € 35,200
  • 16 million to 20 million votes             ​24 x X = € 42,240
  • Over 20 million votes​​                           30 x X = € 52,800

Lowest full member payment = € 1,760. No GDP reduction given for category 1

Parties from countries with GDP per capita lower than half of that for the average of the Eurozone may be eligible for a reduced fee, half of the calculation above and reduced by a further 50% if the GDP per capita is less than 5% of that for the Eurozone. Lowest full member payment, however, is € 1,760 – there is no GDP-linked reduction given for category 1 of the membership calculation.

Parties accepted as Observers shall pay half the annual fee as Full Members, until they become full members at the next Party Leaders meeting.

Associate members are charged 880 Euros annually, but do not have full rights of participation.