The Nouvelles équipes internationales (NEI)
The Nouvelles équipes internationales (New International Teams — NEI), officially founded in June 1947 at Chaudfontaine, near Liège, was openly inspired by Christian democracy. It counted among its ranks such eminent Europeans as Robert Schuman, Georges Bidault, Alcide De Gasperi and Konrad Adenauer. The NEI was founded on the initiative of the French Popular Republican Robert Bichet, who was very quickly supported by the Belgian Désiré Lamalle and the leader of the Belgian Christian Socialist Party, Auguste de Schryver. The NEI was a fairly flexible association of individuals whose aim was to establish a Christian Democratic International. The movement was, nevertheless, accessible to non-Catholics if they accepted the guiding principle of social democracy.
Originally, the NEI was first and foremost conceived as a way of blocking the road to communism, and as a response to the Cominform, created by Stalin in October 1947 with the aim of ensuring regular contact between European communist parties. However, the NEI quickly saw European integration as the best way of defending the Christian values of Western Europe when faced with the Soviet bloc in a Cold War context. The NEI focused more on the social rather than the economic aspect of European integration, in this way remaining loyal to the Christian socialist doctrine that proclaims the primacy of the individual human being. The NEI carried out an intensive campaign aimed at the general public and particularly at young people. In 1965, it renamed itself the European Union of Christian Democrats (EUCD).