Wednesday

21st Feb 2018

Far-right political groups miss EU funding deadline

  • Roberto Fiore (r) of the Alliance for Peace and Freedom is a self-described fascist. (Photo: Aleksandra Eriksson)

Some six far-right and nationalist European political groups, who largely depend on public grants, will not receive any funding from the EU next year.

The move follows the European Parliament's end-of-September registration deadline to access millions of euros in grants ahead of the 2019 elections. The groups either did not register, or failed to meet any number of conditions required by a new oversight authority.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Among them is the far-right nationalist Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF), whose 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.

Headed by a self-declared fascist from Italy, Roberto Fiore, the APF was eligible to over €400,000 in 2017 in EU parliament grants.

Its Swedish secretary general, Stefan Jacobsson, told this website on Sunday (8 October) in an email that there is no deadline and that the "party is in the registration process".

But a European political group must now first be registered with the new oversight authority as a legal entity before getting EU funding.

This body, the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations, was created in September 2016.

Independent from the EU parliament, it registers, controls, and oversees European political parties and their affiliated foundations following new registration rules published in January.

Because the APF's registration has yet to pass the authority's scrutiny, it was unable to meet the EU parliament's September deadline.

It also means that the APF's affiliated political foundation, Europa Terra Nostra, will not get any money, either. Europa Terra Nostra was eligible for some €260,000 in 2017.

It is not explicitly clear why the APF failed to pass the authority's registration barrier.

But people who want to form a European political group must adhere to a set of EU values like liberty, democracy, and respect for human rights.

Seven-state rule

A group must also have representatives from at least seven EU states. Such sponsors can be individuals like regional or national deputies.

"The current rules about who can sponsor the registration of a European political party are prone to abuse. There are several cases of different members of a single national party sponsoring more than one European political party," said European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans last month.

He also noted cases where members of the same national party have been sponsoring multiple different European parties. Timmermans said such practices ends up creating multiple European parties that represent the same group of underlying citizens.

Earlier this 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.

The EU commission now wants to ban individuals from sponsoring groups, and instead, require endorsements from political parties.

APF is not alone in facing the cuts.

The Ukip-dominated Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe (ADDE) has also missed the funding registration deadline. The Financial Times last week reported the ADDE had been entitled to some €1.8 million for next year.

The Alliance of European National Movements (AENM) will not receive any money either. The group's leader, Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs, is embroiled in accusations of spying for the Russians. He also belongs to the far-right Jobbik party in Hungary. AENM also reportedly used somebody from the National Front to meet the seven-country threshold.

Meanwhile, other parties simply did not register with the authority.

These include the European United for Democracy, Coalition pour la Vie et la Family, and the European Alliance for Freedom.

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.

Opinion

The story behind Golden Dawn's success

If the Greek government is truly looking for answers to Golden Dawn's success, it should look to its own anti-immigrant policies.

Far-right parties re-register to access EU funds

After missing a funding deadline, the far-right nationalist Alliance for Peace and Freedom and the Alliance of European National Movements are back in the game and possibly eligible for EU money in 2019.

Interview

Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me

Vice-president of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen tells EUobserver that he did most of the talking during a beer with the former commission chief, who now works for Goldman Sachs.

EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme

An MEP voluntary pension scheme is running a €326 million actuarial deficit. The Luxembourg-based fund, set to manage to scheme, is said to have invested the money in controversial sectors like the arms industry.

News in Brief

  1. Commission fines car cartels €546m
  2. Juncker: 'nothing' wrong in Katainen meeting Barroso
  3. Juncker appoints new head of cabinet
  4. MEPs decide not to veto fossil fuel projects list
  5. Factory relocation risks drawing Vestager into Italian election
  6. Irregular migration into EU drops to four-year low, says Frontex
  7. Macron's new migrant law faces opposition in parliament
  8. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. 21 February in Brussels
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  4. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  5. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  7. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. Bank of Latvia sends deputy to ECB amid bribery probe
  2. We are not (yet) one people
  3. Intellectual property protection - the cure for Europe's ills
  4. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds
  5. Katainen explains: My friend Barroso did not lobby me
  6. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  7. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  8. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  2. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  3. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  4. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health
  5. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections
  6. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  7. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  8. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  9. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  11. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative
  12. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Diversity Shouldn’t Be Only a Slogan” Lorant Vincze (Fuen) Warns European Commission