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Europe

European Parties to Benefit Directly from EU Budget

The European Parliament’s administration on Wednesday decided to start a new payments scheme which for the first time allows European political parties to benefit directly from the EU budget.


The European Parliament’s administration on Wednesday decided to start a new payments scheme which for the first time allows European political parties to benefit directly from the EU budget. In total the political groups that qualify will get €6.5 million ($8 million) in 2004. However, not all are in favour of the new scheme. German Public Law professor Hans Herbert von Arnim warns that it could widen the gap between EU politicians and the citizens. "With growing public funding the political parties will be able to live their own life. They will no longer need the involvement of citizens," the professor said. He concedes that €6.5 million is not a huge sum, but points out that the amount could be increased year-by-year by the parties themselves. He says an increased budget would need formal approval by the Council, but an inter-institutional gentleman’s-agreement actually hinders member states from blocking an increase of the party funding if the European Parliament wants it. Next year the budget is set to grow to €8.4 million. Parliamentarians such as Socialist leader Martin Schulz have already indicated that this amount is not enough.

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  • Date 15.10.2004
  • Author eu observer
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/5iQ2
  • Date 15.10.2004
  • Author eu observer
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/5iQ2