Monday

20th Aug 2018

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 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

Investigation

EU Commission paying too much for iPhones and IT

EUobserver has obtained internal documents and emails from within the European Commission that outline questionable contracts with outside suppliers who appear to be overcharging for goods and services.

News in Brief

  1. Italy threatens to return migrants to Libya
  2. MEP accuses Maltese government of 'hate campaign'
  3. EU values not negotiable, German FM tells Poland
  4. Audit warns 840 French bridges at risk of collapse
  5. Fashion king pours money into campaign for second Brexit vote
  6. Germany could aid Turkey, SPD leader hints
  7. UK government set to publish no-deal Brexit advice
  8. Germany and Greece strike deal on taking back migrants

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  2. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  3. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  4. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  5. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  6. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  8. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  10. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  12. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma

Latest News

  1. Greece 'normal' again after end of crisis, EU says
  2. Putin strikes blow against Russia's isolation by Europe
  3. EU-China cooperation on CO2 storage lost in limbo
  4. Greece exits bailouts, but difficult path ahead
  5. EU gets record response on 'summertime' consultation
  6. 'Nativism' and the upcoming Swedish and Bavarian elections
  7. Former Malta opposition leader fears for his life
  8. Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us