Today, the European Parliament and the Member States reached provisional agreement to tighten the rules on European political party funding. The amendment to the Regulation on funding of European political parties was part of a series of measures proposed by President Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union speech to secure free and fair European elections.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “This agreement is good news. It will contribute to bolstering our democratic resilience just in time for the European elections”
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová added: “We have seen how personal data can be misused for manipulation in election times. Strong data protection rules are crucial to protect the upcoming European elections. We expect European political parties to fully respect them, so that Europeans can cast their vote being fully and fairly informed during the campaign.”
The amendment will make it possible to impose financial sanctions for breaching data protection rules in order to deliberately influence the outcome of the European elections. Sanctions would amount to 5% of the annual budget of the European political party or foundation concerned.
The sanction will be enforced by the Authority for European political parties and European political foundations. In addition, those found to be in breach would not be able to apply for funding from the general budget of the European Union in the year in which the sanction is imposed. The text must now be quickly formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU in the coming weeks, so that the rules are in place for the 2019 European elections.
All information on the election package is available here.