In response to the low turnouts in recent European elections, the Commission has decided to pour funds into political foundations at European level in a bid to politicise EU debates and make EU politics more interesting at national and local level.
The Commission adopted, on 27 June 2007, a proposal allowing the establishment of European political foundations, entitled to community funding. This proposal amends the existing Regulation, adopted in 2003, governing political parties at European level.
The aim of the Commission is to politicise the debate on EU affairs and to bring the European political dialogue at national, regional and local level – eventually breaking the Brussels-centric image of EU affairs and making EU politics more interesting through more confrontation.
“European Political parties and foundations have a key role to play in bridging the gap between politics at national and European level. Within the coming months and years Europe will face important political challenges and events including the IGC [intergovernmental conference] and the elections to the European Parliament in 2009,” said Communication Commissioner Margot Wallström.
Young European Federalists (JEF) welcomed the Commission’s proposal as “the next logical step” after the introduction of the financing of European political parties in 2003. Currently, ten European level political parties, such as the European People’s Party (EPP), the Party of European Socialists (PSE), the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR), the European Green Party (EGP) and European United Left (GUE), receive funding via this Regulation.
The call for proposals for the European Political Foundations will be launched on 29 June 2007. The aim is to get them up and running before the elections to the European Parliament in June 2009.