Sunday

12th Jul 2020

Ultra-right parties in EU funding axe

  • Two ultra-nationalist parties in the European parliament have been stripped of EU funding (Photo: European Parliament)

Two ultra-nationalist parties in the European parliament will no longer be entitled to EU funding after failing to meet minimum conditions.

The independent authority overseeing parties and foundations on Thursday (27 September) announced that the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN) and Alliance for Peace and Freedom (APF) have been struck off its registration list.

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It is the first time ever the oversight authority, known as the Authority for European Political Parties and Foundations, has removed a European political party from its list.

"Those parties did not provide proof that they satisfied the amended conditions for registration," noted a press statement from the authority, set up in 2016 to register, control, and oversee European political parties and their affiliated foundations.

It also means that the APF's foundation, Europa Terra Nostra, will no longer receive any EU money.

The two parties had already last year missed an application deadline to secure funding for 2018.

But the latest move is more severe given it now means they can't apply for funding in 2019 either.

The APF is headed by Italy's Roberto Fiore, a self-declared fascist. British far-right figure and former British National Party leader Nick Griffin is deputy chair. The AENM, a party founded in Hungary, is led by accused Russian spy, Hungarian MEP Bela Kovacs.

The latest issue is linked to amended rules that kicked into force in May. A European political party must have representation in at least seven EU states.

Naming an elected individual, regardless of party affiliation, was sufficient under the old rules. But the new rules, launched in May, now require them to name a party member.

Neither the AEMN nor the APF were able to provide proof that they were represented by member parties in seven member states.

The AEMN had received some ‎€228,000 in 2016. The APF obtained over ‎€328,000 and its affiliated foundation, Europa Terra Nostra, had secured around ‎€150,000.

Earlier this year, an Italian by the name of Francesco Graglia had been listed as an official member of the AEMN party. He later told La Stampa newspaper that he had nothing to do with the party and didn't know them.

It was also revealed that APF's French representative was a National Front regional councillor from Brittany.

When contacted last year 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.

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