STRASBOURG — Senior MEPs want to change the European Parliament’s funding rules to make it more difficult for Euroskeptic and fringe parties to be given cash.
Klaus Welle, the Parliament’s powerful secretary-general, has drawn up a report, seen by POLITICO, which calls for changes to rules on how many MEPs are needed for a political party to be given money from the EU’s coffers.
...Senior MEPs also discussed creating an “independent authority” to oversee funding for political parties and foundations, led by a director who would assess if applicants for money comply with “European values.”
Disbursement of the money has so far been handled by the Parliament’s finance department. According to a recruitment notice obtained by POLITICO, a “Director of the Authority of the European political parties and European political foundations” is being sought — with a monthly wage of €10,656.56. Whoever gets the job would be responsible for “registering, controlling and imposing of sanctions on European political parties and European political foundations.”
Welle was urged to write the report after it was discovered that Parliament funds were being used by far-right groups to organize anti-EU protests. Manfred Weber, the head of the center-right European People’s Party bloc in the assembly, wrote to other parliamentary leaders in April after finding out that the Alliance for Peace and Freedom — a far-right political group which received €600,000 in funding from the Parliament in 2016 — was planning an anti-EU rally in Stockholm.
“The change of the rules is necessary to avoid the European Parliament’s money being used by populist parties against Europe,” said EPP group spokesman Pedro Lopez de Pablo.Source