The European Parliament will toughen the rules for financing the European parties
The faction of the European People's Party (EPP) plans to fight more effectively with the radical groups and financing the anti-European parties, especially by Russia, writes Der Spiegel.
"We need to tighten the rules for financing of parties at EU level", said the EPP leader, Manfred Weber. According to the politician, the parties should receive less money from the EU if their representatives are receiving simultaneously funds from "autocratic regimes".
In particular, this applies to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who is attempting to gain influence over the European parties. The latest example is the Freedom Party from Austria, who cooperate with Putin's party - "United Russia".
Despite the fact that funding from third countries is officially banned in the EU since the beginning of 2017, the penalties for violation of this rule are extremely mild. The violators of the law face a maximum fine of 10% from the annual budget. From Weber's perspective, this is insufficient. "We can not allow EU to fund the anti-European parties, which are helped with money and by the Kremlin, in order to weakening Europe. This must end ", - said the politician.
Also, in the European Parliament still are no clear criteria for forming factions. The only precondition for this is the agreement of the members to create it. For example, from the faction "the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy" are the nationalist party UKIP from the Great Britain and the Five Star Movement from Italy, and this is despite the fact that their leaders have common positions - except the EU critics.