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About Europarties, and other Political Foundations at European Level

Reading Grahnlaw, I found links to:

Call for proposals IX-2011/01 — ‘Grants to political parties at European level’; OJEU 24.6.2010 C 164/12 – The total sum, subject to approval by the budgetary authority, is EUR 17 400 000, in order to be eligible, the political party at European level must satisfy the conditions laid down in Article 3(1) of Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003, the closing date for forwarding the applications is 1 November 2010.

Call for proposals IX-2011/02 — ‘Grants to political foundations at European level’; OJEU 24.6.2010 C 164/17 – the closing date for forwarding the applications is 1 November 2010.

Curious about the meaning of the terms “political parties at European level” and “political foundations at European level“, I looked in the Treaties, and found that political parties at European level are regulated:

by Article 10(4) TEU:

4. Political parties at European level contribute to forming European political awareness and to expressing the will of citizens of the Union.

 by Article 224, TFEU:

The European Parliament and the Council, acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, by means of regulations, shall lay down the regulations governing political parties at European level referred to in Article 10(4) of the Treaty on European Union and in particular the rules regarding their funding.

The Treaties do not further define or explain the concepts „political parties at European level“ and „political foundations at European level“. The definition of „political party at European level” can be found in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 that also defines „political party“ and „alliance of political parties” as follows:

1. “political party” means an association of citizens:

– which pursues political objectives, and

– which is either recognised by, or established in accordance with, the legal order of at least one Member State;

2. “alliance of political parties” means structured cooperation between at least two political parties;

3. “political party at European level” means a political party or an alliance of political parties which satisfies the conditions referred to in Article 3.

Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003, and Section 2.2. of the Call for Proposals lay down the conditions of eligibility for a grant:

A political party at European level shall satisfy the following conditions:

(a) it must have legal personality in the Member State in which its seat is located;

(b) it must be represented, in at least one quarter of Member States, by Members of the European Parliament or in the national Parliaments or regional Parliaments or in the regional assemblies, or it must have received, in at least one quarter of the Member States, at least three per cent of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent European Parliament elections;

(c) it must observe, in particular in its programme and in its activities, the principles on which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law;

(d) it must have participated in elections to the European Parliament, or have expressed the intention to do so.

I would appreciate recommendations for further research (Chapters in books, articles), because I think that the above is not enough to explain the area of EU law to students.

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