European political parties and foundations: MEPs ready to negotiate new rules 

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  • Parties should be more transparent and financially viable 
  • National parties outside the EU would have to “observe equivalent values” and be from full members of the Council of Europe 
  • EU funding should be used in referendum campaigns on “issues directly related to the EU” 
  • Need for gender equality and anti-harassment protocols included in Parliament’s proposals 

The European Parliament has adopted its position on updated rules for European-level political parties and foundations.

The final report (392 votes for, 119 against, 56 abstentions) improves the Commission’s proposal, with a view to:

  • further facilitating interactions between European parties and their national member parties and across borders,
  • increasing their transparency and financial viability, and
  • ensuring that their non-EU members subscribe to values equivalent to those applied in the European Union.

MEPs also added provisions regarding gender equality, and will seek to ensure that the collegiate governing bodies of European political parties and foundations will be gender-balanced, that they will adopt a gender equality plan (and call on their members to do the same), and that they will put in place protocols against sexual and gender-based harassment.

You can read more about Parliament’s proposed changes in the press release after the vote in the Committee on Constitutional Affairs.

Quotes

Co-rapporteur Charles Goerens (Renew, LU) said: “With this report, the EP provides a strong basis for the creation of a truly European demos, while making European political parties and foundations more financially transparent. Citizens need to have a stronger connection to European parties if we want to guarantee increased political participation at EU-level. This report is one important step towards this goal.”

Co-rapporteur Rainer Wieland (EPP, DE) said: “Above all, this legislation strengthens European political families. European political parties and foundations must be able to make a better contribution to a truly European public sphere and European political awareness.

I am pleased that we have succeeded in taking another step in this direction, and we are ready to start negotiations with the Council and the Commission.”

Next steps

Parliament is now ready to enter into negotiations with the Council and aims to finalise the process in the first half of 2023, so that the new rules can be in place before the European elections in 2024.