Doc. 8470
13 July 1999

Financing of political parties

Motion for a resolution

presented by Mr Solonari and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and only expresses the views of the members who have signed it

1.       As political parties participate in election campaigns, prepare and propagate policy proposals, provide the members of democratically elected bodies, etc, they play an important – not to say essential – role in democratic life and provide a valuable service to the general public and to the state.

2.       It is therefore important that the way political parties are financed is such that it does not influence their independence or - worse – lead to corruption.

3.       There are two ways in which political parties may be financed which are generally considered as acceptable. They are:

i. financing through the contributions by members (membership fees and donations for which there must be both a minimum and a maximum per individual member);

ii. financing through public funds.

4.       There are also other ways of party financing but here increased public control and transparency may be necessary.

5.       Financing through private members’ contributions may be stimulated through a system of tax deductions or tax credits, the latter having the advantage of stimulating equally contributions from all income brackets.

6.       Public funding of political parties is – generally speaking – not very popular with the public but may have the advantage of providing a relatively stable financing on a fair and equitable basis such as the votes cast during elections.

7.       In supporting party activity from public money, states should prefer subsidies in kind over cash funds, for instance providing public billboard space, use of public halls for party rallies and free broadcasting time on public radio and television stations.

8.       In conclusion, the Assembly undertakes to adopt guidelines on the financing of political parties.

Signed : 1

Solonari, Moldova, SOC

Atkinson, United Kingdom, EDG

Frunda, Romania, EPP/CD

Gelderblom-Lankhout, Netherlands, LDR

Gross, Switzerland, SOC

Jakic, Slovenia, LDR

Nedelciuc, Moldova, LDR

Ojuland, Estonia, LDR

Oliynyk, Ukraine, UEL

Poptodorova, Bulgaria, SOC

Sole Tura, Spain, SOC

1        SOC: Socialist Group

      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party

      EDG: European Democratic Group

      LDR : Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group

      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left

      NR: not registered in a group