Tuesday

22nd May 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.

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.

Opinion

EU budget must not fortify Europe at expense of peace

Given the European Commission new budget's heavy focus on migration, border management and security, many are asking whether the proposal will fortify Europe at the expense of its peace commitments.

Opinion

Europe's budget stasis

The EU's budgetary muddling through might not be enough when the next crisis hits.

News in Brief

  1. Unknown professor proposed as Italy's new prime minister
  2. 154 German economists warn against eurozone reform
  3. Growing €176bn EU trade deficit with China
  4. All 4.8m Swedish homes get 'war preparation' leaflet
  5. Trump warns Nato allies' low budgets will be 'dealt with'
  6. Only Estonia, Greece and UK hit Nato spending target
  7. EU to start process to counter US Iran sanctions
  8. Macedonia PM sees 'possible solutions' in Greek name row

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. Facebook threatened with removal from EU-US data pact
  2. Defence firms 'reap benefits' of their advice to EU
  3. Athens mayor wants direct access to EU migration fund
  4. Nordics could be first carbon-negative region in world
  5. Zuckerberg and Trump top the EU's agenda This WEEK
  6. Integration of Syrian refugees in Europe needs scrutiny
  7. Bulgarian PM: No asylum reform without stronger border
  8. Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU Green Week 2018Green Cities for a Greener Future. Join the Debate in Brussels from 22 to 24 May
  2. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  5. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  7. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  8. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  9. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  10. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  11. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight