What state handouts can political parties enjoy? The grand coalition grants the parliamentary groups further subsidies by law. The Greens, the Left and the FDP not only sense a violation of “political hygiene” – and complain.
When the Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court meets on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Karlsruhe Exhibition Center, the long-awaited and repeatedly postponed next step in a complicated procedure begins. It’s about funding the political parties. The parliamentary groups of the FDP, the Left and the Greens moved to Karlsruhe.
216 MPs submitted a normative review application against a new regulation approved in June 2018 with the votes of the Union and the SPD. This involved higher government subsidies for parties. These depend on their share of the votes in the federal and state parliaments. There is a common upper limit, which has been raised to 190 million euros for all parties with the new regulation. All parties together will get a total of 25 million euros more.
“Detailed explanation” is missing. More on the topic
The opposition factions of the FDP, the Left and the Greens fear that this measure could shake confidence in politics. They criticized a lack of and inconclusive justification – the SPD and Union spoke above all of the increased costs due to digitization – and also that the regulation had been pushed through in a fast-track procedure. The reasons given by the grand coalition were “pathetic”, the law was created “in a hurry,” said the Greens when the regulatory review application was submitted in September 2018.
“Precisely because parties decide on their own financing here, the detailed justification for this measure is so important,” said Left Parliamentary Secretary Jan Korte. FDP parliamentary director Marco Buschmann stated that the actions of the grand coalition “against political hygiene” and “we are firmly convinced that it violates the constitution.” In Karlsruhe, the parliamentary groups want to have the new regulation declared null and void because of violations of Article 21 of the Basic Law, which deals with political parties.