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Transparency and accountability vital to avoid misuse of European funds

Debating the future of European Political Parties

Greens/EFA Vice President, and President of the EFA Group in the European Parliament, Josep-Maria Terricabras, has voiced support for greater transparency and accountability in order to counter any possible misuse of European funds.

Terricabras was speaking on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group in a parliamentary debate about changing the rules for funding European political parties, at the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

European political parties are transnational political parties based on common aims and objectives which receive EU funding. They play an important role in transnational elections such as those to the European parliament.

But Terricabras also warned that the funding rules should be consistent with the idea of a pluralist democracy.

Speaking in the debate, Josep-Maria Terricabras said:

"We join efforts today in an attempt to find a solution for the misuse of European funds by certain European political parties.

"Our group is clearly committed to transparency and accountability, especially in the use of public funds, but we are also committed to the idea of a pluralist democracy.

"Some groups defended in the past the need to increase the threshold to have access to European Funds. They said, and I quote, 'one should reflect if a one man party really contributes to expressing the political will of citizens of the Union'.

"Let me clarify something: A party represented by one MEP still needs to be represented in at least a quarter of the Member States in order to be registered. And secondly, no democratic system cuts the funds to a party that has parliamentary representation just because it is represented by one member. This dangerously undermines a pluralist legitimate debate.

"Therefore, we welcome the good cooperation at this stage in finding a solution that does not harm the essential dimensions of every functioning democratic society."