Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2018/673 amending Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations

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Series Details L114I, 04.05.18
Publication Date 04/05/2018
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Further information:

The European Commission put forward on 13 September 2017 a Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations.

The Council of the European Union's Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) approved its position regarding this proposal on 21 February 2018. The Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the changes on 27 February. COREPER endorsed the compromise text on 7 March, while the Parliament approved it on 17 April. The Regulation was finally adopted by the Council on 26 April.

The proposed amendments aim to close the loopholes, improve transparency, to ensure the appropriate allocation and expenditure of limited resources from the EU budget, and thereby to strengthen the genuine electoral representation of European citizens by European political parties. The amendments aim to ensure that the existing rules are not circumvented or its provisions misused.

The proposal was included in the so-called 'Democracy package', which was announced during the annual State of the Union speech.

Background information:

In the run up to the 2014 European elections, the European Commission issued a Recommendation calling on European and national political parties to take a number of steps to strengthen the role of European political parties in contributing to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of the citizens of the Union. One of these steps was the 'Spitzenkandidat'. Those elections were seen as fundamentally different from previous ones, as they established a link between the results and the choice of the European Commission President.

Regulation No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations was introduced to increase the visibility, recognition, effectiveness, transparency and accountability of European political parties and their affiliated political foundations. Nevertheless, the Commission’s report on the 2014 European elections found that work remained to be done to increase the participation of citizens and the inclusivity of elections, enhance the European dimension of the political debate, reverse the trend of low turnouts, further enhance the democratic legitimacy of the EU decision-making process, highlight affiliations between national and European parties, and promote political accountability. Moreover, despite the progress made with Regulation No 1141/2014, the existing rules showed loopholes that needed to be addressed.

In March 2017, Parliament held a plenary debate and issued an oral question inviting the Commission to respond on the timing of any changes. In this debate, the Commission expressed its willingness to engage in monitoring the early stages of implementing new rules. On 15 June 2017, Parliament adopted a resolution calling upon the Commission to propose a revision of the legal framework as soon as possible to address its shortcomings.

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Related Links
EurActiv, 20.09.17: [Opinion] No EU money for Eurosceptics!
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 07.03.18: Funding of European political parties: revised rules get Council approval
European Parliament: Press Release, 27.02.18: European political parties: deal on new funding rules
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations: membership, co-financing
Legislative Train: Revision of Regulation on statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 21.02.18: Funding of European political parties: Council ready to launch talks with Parliament
European Commission: Press Release, 15.09.17: Democracy Package: Reform of Citizens' Initiative and Political Party funding
European Commission: DG Communication: MEMO/17/3168, 15.09.17: Q & A on the European Citizens' Initiative and Political Parties Funding
EUObserver, 15.09.17: Anti-EU parties face funding cuts
European Commission: Press Release, 17.04.18: Commission welcomes swift agreement by EU legislators
EUObserver, 17.04.18: EU passes new rules to prevent far-right funding abuses
EUObserver [Analysis]: New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability
European Parliament: Press Release, 17.04.18: Parliament approves new funding rules
Council of the European Union: 26.04.18: European political parties: revised funding rules adopted

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