Christian Social Party

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Christian Social Party


(CSP; French, Parti Social Chrétien; Flemish, Kristelijke Volkspartij), a Belgian party founded in 1945 to replace the Catholic Party. The CSP comprises members of the big bourgeoisie and the clergy, as well as some Catholic workers. The official program of the CSP is the Christmas Program, adopted in 1945. Modifications of the party program are approved by annual party congresses. The SCP, which enjoys the support of the Catholic Church, favors the preservation of private ownership, “class cooperation,” and “increased solidarity” between Western countries. Members of the party headed the Belgian government in 1949–50, 1950–52, 1952–54, 1958–61, 1961–65, 1965–66, 1968–72 and 1974. The party’s leaders promoted Belgium’s entry into NATO, the European Coal and Steel Community, the Common Market, and the European Atomic Energy Community.

Although the CSP is nominally a single party, it underwent a split in 1968–69. The Walloon wing, headed by C. F. Nothomb, has retained the name CSP, while the Flemish wing, headed by W. Martens, calls itself the Catholic Popular Party. The Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (about 1 million members) and other mass organizations are under the influence of the CSP. In the 1977 extraordinary parliamentary elections the CSP received 80 seats out of 212 in the Chamber of Representatives and 70 seats out of 182 in the Senate. The CSP has about 160,000 members (1977). The national secretary of the CSP is F. Swaelen.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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