Sunday

23rd Sep 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.

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.

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next EU commission president.

'Every group split' ahead of EU copyright vote

Political groups in the European Parliament are split about how to vote for a directive that would reform the EU's copyright regime - amid warnings that freedom of expression and creators' rights are at risk.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  5. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  6. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to Lead in Developing and Rolling Out 5G Network
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Economic and Trade Relations Enjoy a Bright Future
  9. ACCAEmpowering Businesses to Engage with Sustainable Finance and the SDGs
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersCooperation in Nordic Electricity Market Considered World Class Model
  11. FIFAGreen Stadiums at the 2018 Fifa World Cup
  12. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Work Together to Promote Sustainable Development

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us