Sunday

22nd Sep 2019

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.

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

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.

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.

News in Brief

  1. Ireland: right Brexit deal is 'not yet close'
  2. UK secrecy on Brexit holds back wider EU talks
  3. Feminist mass protest in Spain after 19 murders this summer
  4. Global climate strike starts ahead of UN summit
  5. UK Brexit minister to meet Barnier on Friday
  6. Russia-Ukraine gas deal talks show 'progress'
  7. Nobel economist: Ireland 'not good EU citizen' on taxes
  8. Germany takes carbon border tax on board

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Magazine

The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

The four most powerful EU institutions - Commission, Parliament, Council and Central Bank will all have new leaders in the coming ten months. Here is an overview.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Europe goes to New York This WEEK
  2. Nine EU 'commissioners' asked to clarify declarations
  3. Dismiss Italy's Salvini at your peril
  4. Malta PM accused of 'blackmail' over slain reporter
  5. Diplomats back Romania's Kovesi for EU top prosecutor
  6. Brexit raises questions for EU defence integration
  7. Low-carbon cities can unlock €21tn by 2050, report finds
  8. France, Italy want 'automatic' distribution of migrants

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us