Thursday

13th Dec 2018

Focus

No money for billboards in Croatia's EU election

Much of the EU landscape is dotted with election posters as next week's vote approaches, but Croatia is an exception.

In the EU's newest member state, the political parties are generally too under-funded to pay for billboards, let alone flashier campaigns.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Website offering billboards at half-price for the EU elections (Photo: www.oglasime.hr)

Alongside the conspicuous lack of posters – one company offered them at cut price throughout April for the EU campaign, but to no avail – there have not yet been any radio or TV spots for the EU vote either.

The frugality is down to several reasons.

Under Croatian law, political parties cannot spend more than €200,000 on the EU election.

Even this modest sum is only an option for the centre-right HDZ and the centre-left SDP. Other parties are newcomers, set up between one and three years ago, meaning they have not built up an election war-chest.

In addition, the very public downfall of former prime minister Ivo Sanader – sentenced to nine years in prison for siphoning money from public companies to the HDZ party – has made parties very careful about their finances.

HDZ says it will get its money from state funding, donations and membership fees. But other parties need to be more creative and proactive.

This means that MEP-hopefuls are for the most part relying on a combination of old fashioned personal appearances and social media to win votes.

Walnut, a green party that jumped into the political scene only recently but is polling in third place, plans to spend just €3,000 on its campaign.

The party says politics is about "people and ideas, not billboard and radio commercials".

Meanwhile, the left-of-centre National Forum, polling around 4 percent, plans to spend between €47,000 and €66,000.

The State Election Commission has estimated that the 25 May vote will cost €8.4 million in total.

Any party that receives more than 5 percent of the votes is entitled to around €7,000 from the state budget, and one EP seat will bring about €33,000 to a party's coffers.

New Green party shakes up Croatia's political landscape

Croatia's main centre-right party is set to win the EU elections as they capitalise on the current government's inability to deal with the economic crisis. But a new Green party is shaking up the political landscape.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

Cameron mends ties with Juncker

British PM Cameron has reached out to Juncker, after having failed to prevent his nomination as European Commission chief.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary votes to create new court overseen by government
  2. Polish PM calls confidence vote in EU judicial clash
  3. MEPs urge Russia to free Ukrainian prisoners
  4. No renegotiation of Brexit deal, MEPs say
  5. Italy to spend less than EU feared: report
  6. May: new leader would have to delay or rescind Brexit
  7. Brexit chaos as Tory MPs to vote on May's leadership
  8. EU set to spend 3.2 percent more in 2019

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. EU awaits May's future, insists on no renegotiation
  2. Deja vu: Bulgaria pipeline to face EU scrutiny
  3. MEPs and EU staff hid from Strasbourg gunman
  4. 'Trumped Up': The curious case of Babis' conflicts of interest
  5. EU rules out Brexit changes, but could help May
  6. Lead MEP on Morocco resigns as her report passes
  7. UN text not yet ready for ministers, says EU climate czar
  8. Russian propaganda prompts alarm in Ukraine and France

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us