Tuesday

7th Feb 2023

Far-right parties re-register to access EU funds

  • The European Parliament is gearing up for elections next year (Photo: European Parliament)

Two far-right European political parties are now officially registered, opening European parliament funding opportunities for 2019.

The far-right nationalist Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF) was listed as registered at an independent oversight authority on Wednesday (14 February).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

APF members include politicians from the Greek neo-nazi Golden Dawn party and Germany's NPD, another ultra-nationalist political party with a neo-nazi ideology.

The APF joins the Alliance of European National Movements (AENM), yet another nationalist party, which had also only been officially registered earlier this year.

The AENM, a party founded in Hungary, is led by the firebrand and accused Russian spy, Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs.

The latest move is significant because last year both parties, the APF and AENM, had missed an EU parliament funding deadline at the end of September, after failing to pass a registration and scrutiny test from a new oversight body known as the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations.

The authority was set up in 2016, independent from the parliament, and tasked with ensuring that parties meet the required minimum criteria.

Both have since managed to register with the authority, a required step before demanding grant money from the parliament.

The 57-year-old Kovacs was also required to co-sign a letter, saying the party will respect minorities and adhere to a broad range of 'EU values'.

The APF had been awarded a €328,661 grant in 2016, and the AENM obtained around €228,616. But the late registration means they won't get any funding in the lead up to next year's EU parliament elections.

However, access to the parliament purse in 2019 is now possible, although ongoing talks over new rules and the upcoming national elections may make that prospect onerous.

Last September, the European Commission proposed overhauling political party financing by declaring the desire to make it more transparent, ensure democratic legitimacy, and improve enforcement of the rules.

This includes making sure the APF doesn't fudge its membership numbers, which are needed to gain access to the grants.

Last year, it was revealed that APF's French representative was a National Front regional councillor from Brittany.

When contacted by French newspaper Le Monde, the councillor denied any knowledge of the APF, suggesting her name had been forged to meet the seven-member threshold.

Under the new rules, only national parties - not individuals - would be able to create a European party that is eligible for funding.

The EU parliament and member states are likely to start discussions on the regulation next week. The plan is to get the new rules agreed within the next few months and ready for launch in 2019.

This article was updated at 18:54 on Tuesday (20 February 2018). It had incorrectly stated that Bela Kovacs is a member of the Jobbik party. Kovacs stepped down from the party on 6 December 2017.

Anti-EU parties face funding cuts

Reforms proposed by Commission would reduce EU funding for nationalist and ultra-right European political parties by up to 66 percent.

Investigation

EU passes new rules to prevent far-right funding abuses

Political funding of European parties is being overhauled ahead of the European parliament elections next year. The latest rules will cut funding for smaller parties, with an aim to squeeze out duplication and over-representation of the far right.

EU lobby register still riddled with errors

The EU's lobby register remains riddled with errors, with pro-transparency campaigners demanding better data and mandatory rules. The latest findings come amid a raft of proposals by the European Parliament president to weed out corruption in the wake of Qatargate.

Latest News

  1. Transparency campaigner pledges to publish EU files
  2. EU hands Libya coast guard boats ahead of migration summit
  3. Eleven suicides daily — Spain's not-so-silent pandemic
  4. The return of Lula means now is the time for EU-Mercosur deal
  5. Greece faces possible court over 'prison-like' EU-funded migration centres
  6. How the centre-right can take on hard-right and win big in 2024
  7. Top EU officials show Ukraine solidarity on risky trip
  8. MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. WWFWWF Living Planet Report
  2. EFBWWEFBWW Executive Committee report on major abuses, labour crime and subcontracting
  3. European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual & Reproductive Rights (EPF)Launch of the EPF Contraception Policy Atlas Europe 2023. 8th February. Register now.
  4. Europan Patent OfficeHydrogen patents for a clean energy future: A global trend analysis of innovation along hydrogen value chains
  5. Forum EuropeConnecting the World from the Skies calls for global cooperation in NTN rollout
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersLarge Nordic youth delegation at COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  4. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  5. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  6. European Committee of the RegionsRe-Watch EURegions Week 2022

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us