SP not happy with new proposals on European political parties

7 December 2012

SP not happy with new proposals on European political parties

On 6th December, International Anti-Corruption Day, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong spoke at a meeting on European political parties organised by Transparency International (TI). The international anti-corruption NGO showed itself to be extremely critical of the European Commission’s proposals on political parties which they argue leave a great deal of space for bribery and careless spending. ‘I share completely Transparency International’s concerns,’ says De Jong. ‘In addition, these plans are a clear move towards a federal Europe, without this having popular support. The European parties which as a result of these proposals would acquire legal personality are artificial constructions. The proposals also open the door for EU interference in whichever national parties may participate in the European elections. This poses a great danger to the democratic tradition.’

During the meeting it became clear that the existing European parties cannot go along quickly enough with the proposals. The €35 million which these parties receive each year won’t be enough, they say, ‘to interest the public in European politics’. De Jong points out that ‘at the same time the Commission proposals impose a maximum of 40% on what the members can contribute. This is probably meant to hide the fact that the existing European party networks have absolutely no direct members. That’s logical, too, because the public has no interest in this sort of institution. At the same time the Commission has ensured that with EU financing at up to 90% the parties will be dependent on Brussels. Brussels logic – which isn’t understandable to ordinary people.’

Next week the Commission’s proposals will be discussed in the Dutch national Parliament in The Hague. SP Member of Parliament Ronald van Raak has asked the Interior Minister for his comments on those sections of the proposals which are clearly in conflict with the Dutch law on political parties. Van Raak is urging the minister to guarantee that this European proposal will be amended so that Dutch parties won’t be excluded from future European elections.

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