Monday

28th Sep 2020

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

Support quality EU news

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.

Exclusive

'Big Three' EP groups nominate homophobe for Sakharov prize

The centre-right EPP, centre-left S&D, and liberal Renew Europe have all nominated a homophobe for the Sakharov prize - the prestigious annual prize handed out by the European Parliament to people who defend human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Opinion

Why so few women in EU missions?

Angela Merkel is only the seventh woman to chair the Council of the European Union's meetings. And in 2020 there is no woman leading any of the current 11 European civilian missions (let alone the six military operations).

Commission chief under fire for Croatia campaign video

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen recorded a video in support of Croatia's ruling party, which the EU executive said was in her "personal capacity" - and admits it was a "mistake" that this was not made clear.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Caucasus warfare prompts EU alarm
  2. Summit reloaded and last Brexit round This WEEK
  3. EU denies 'clandestine' mission on Venezuela election date
  4. Between the lines, Europe's new Moria unfolds
  5. Now's the time to give QMV a chance in EU foreign policy
  6. European hiccups on the way to West Africa
  7. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  8. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  2. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  4. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  6. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us