New framework for European parties and party-political foundations in the making
New rules on the statute and funding of European political parties and party-political foundations are set to be finalised in the first half of 2023 and put in place in 2024 before the next European elections. In July, the European Parliament’s Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) evaluated the proposal from the European Commission for the new rules. The proposed legislation, which was broadly in line with the European Parliament’s previous suggestions, was put forward by the Commission in the context of the European Democracy Action Plan. Party-political foundations represent a specific type of foundation that is linked to a political party and governed by a specific legal framework.
As the current legal framework does not seem to sufficiently address the need for transparency of political advertising, the new regulation would aim at introducing clearer rules on the financing of European political parties and greater transparency in sponsored political content. According to the proposal issued by the Commission, the scope of the new rules on registration and funding would also be extended to parties and party-political foundations based in countries outside of the 27 Member States.
To protect European Values, MEPs have proposed that entities headquartered outside of the EU27 wishing to register as a European political party or party-political foundation comply with the values expressed in Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union. A more ambitious approach was also suggested in the area of EU funding for national referendum campaigns. While the Commission proposal focused on political campaigns “concerning the implementation of the Treaties”, the MEPs’ draft broadened the scope to include “issues directly related to the EU”.
“(It is) high time for a more democratic and Europeanised political sphere,” the co-rapporteur Charles Goerens (Renew, LU) said, suggesting that these new measures provide the chance to strengthen political representation both for European and non-European citizens.
The European Parliament is now expected to adopt its negotiating position in the upcoming plenary session of September.
For more information, download the draft report issued by the European Parliament on the Commission’s proposal.