Extracts from the press conference by Maroš Šefčovič on the regulation of the EP and Council on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundation
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 12/09/2012 First transmission: 12/09/2012
On 12 September, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, presented the Commission's proposal to strengthen the ability of European political parties to form a truly European public sphere and express the will of EU citizens, by increasing their visibility, recognition, effectiveness, transparency and accountability.
The proposal provides European-level legal status for European political parties and their affiliated foundations, tackling the most important obstacle they face when operating in and across Member States. Most are currently registered as Belgian non-profit making associations, or "asbl".
To be recognised as a European political party or a European political foundation, such organisations will have to meet high standards on internal democracy, governance, accountability, transparency, and respect for the values on which the Union is founded. All aspects of party funding will be subject to a comprehensive set of rules, including strict reporting and control requirements. A regime of administrative sanctions will be introduced in case of infringements.
There will be no impact on the overall amounts made available under the EU budget for funding of political parties and foundations. But the rules governing such funding will be streamlined and adapted to their specific situation and needs. European political parties would have to publish the names of donors contributing more than €1,000/year, while the annual limit on individual donations would rise from €12,000 to €25,000.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the round table in presence of Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, in Strasbourg
||Soundbite by Maroš Šefčovič (in ENGLISH): It is quite clear that we are speaking about democratic quality in the EU, democratic accountability, the important role of the EU Parliament and its elected members. We also have to see the very important and increasing role of these EU political parties; not only generating a genuine European debate but also expressing the views of the EU citizens and also helping us to consolidate the EU political democratic space.
||Cutaway of the the round table in presence of Maroš Šefčovič
||Soundbite by Maroš Šefčovič (in ENGLISH): And then, of course, we are also proposing a change in the way how the EU political parties and the political foundations are funded. We propose to remove them from the operating grant system which is used for NGOs, in most of the cases. We are creating a regime which is much more flexible, streamlined, better suited for the needs and which at the same time has to be matched by much more increased transparency.
||General view of the round table in presence of Maroš Šefčovič
||Soundbite by Maroš Šefčovič (in ENGLISH): I hope that the proposal as it is made will get the support in the EU Parliament. I just came here from the meeting with Marietta Yannakou-Koutsikou, Member of the EP, she was rapporteur on this issue. And she was very positive about the proposal.
||Maroš Šefčovič leaving the round table