Commissie Europees Parlement steunt voorstel fondsenwerving partijen (en)

A European Commission proposal to allow European political parties to finance campaign activities for the 2009 elections was backed by the EP Constitutional Affairs Committee on Monday. If approved, the new legislation would improve the financial stability of European parties, and thus facilitate long-term planning. It would also permit the creation of European political foundations.

The existing legislation on the financing of European political parties needs to be amended to enhance the European nature of Parliament's elections, and European political parties should enjoy more flexibility in managing their funds and financing their electoral activities, said the Committee, approving a report by Jo Leinen (PES, DE) with by 18 votes in favour and 3 against.

No funding of national parties permitted

To enhance political debate at EU level with a view to the European Parliament's 2009 elections, the committee welcomed a Commission proposal to allow European political parties to use their money to finance campaign activities for European elections.

Such use of public funds is currently forbidden under EU law. The report as approved in committee also endorses the general principle that in no circumstances should these funds constitute direct or indirect financing of other parties and particularly of national parties and candidates.

More financial stability

In an effort to strengthen the European dimension of political parties, committee members also supported the aim of improving financial stability of European parties, so as to facilitate long-term planning. This financial stability is currently lacking, said MEPs, because the grants given to European political parties are subject to change every year, discouraging any proper financial self-management.

The Commission proposes to allow political parties to carry over, by way of derogation from the no-profit rule, 25% of annual total income from one year to the first quarter of the following year. Moreover, the new legislation would introduce the possibility of accumulating reserves, over several years as own resources, of up to 100% of parties' average annual income. These resources would consist of donations, contributions from member parties and individual members.

It is also proposed that the EU general budget may finance up to 85% of the expenditure of a European political party or foundation, compared with 75% now.


If approved, the Commission proposal for amending the 2003 Regulation on the statute and financing of European political parties would also introduce a new legal basis for establishing European political foundations.

According to the proposal, endorsed by the committee, foundations would have to be formally associated with an already established European party in order to access funding - a foundation may receive funds only by applying through the political party with which is affiliated.

Finally, the proposed regulation leaves to European political parties the task of defining their relations with associated foundations, including an "appropriate degree of separation".


Committee on Constitutional Affairs

In the chair : Jo Leinen (PES, DE)

Procedure: co-decision

Plenary vote: November I, Strasbourg


REF.: 20071022IPR12049