Main menu (press 'Enter')
Access to page content (press 'Enter')
Direct access to list of other websites (press 'Enter')

European Political Parties

A political party at European level is an organisation following a political programme, which is composed of national parties and individuals as members and which is represented in several Member States. As mentioned in the Treaties, "political parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union."


 
 
Background
 

What is a political party at European level?

A political party at European level is an organisation following a political programme, which is composed of national parties and individuals as members and which is represented in several Member States. As mentioned in the Treaties, "political parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union."

 

How is a political party at European level financed?

Since July 2004, European political parties have been able to receive annual funding from the European Parliament. The funding takes the form of an operating grant. It can cover up to 85% of the eligible expenditure of a party, while the rest should be covered by own resources such as membership fees and donations.

 

What can and what cannot be paid from the grant?

The grant can be used to meet the expenditure directly linked to the objectives set out in the party's political programme, such as:

  • meetings and conferences,
  • publications, studies and advertisements,
  • administrative, personnel and travel costs,
  • campaign costs connected to European elections.

It is called eligible expenditure.

The grant cannot be used, among others, to meet expenditure such as:

  • campaign costs for referenda and elections (except for European elections),
  • direct or indirect funding of national parties, election candidates and political foundations both at national and at European level,
  • debts and debts service charges.
 

Who sets the rules of funding?

The legal basis is given in Article 10 paragraph 4 of the Treaty on European Union and Article 224 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The rules of funding are laid down by a regulation adopted by the Council and the Parliament. It has been revised in order to improve the conditions for funding. The implementing rules are adopted by the Bureau of the Parliament.