Ruling Fidesz MEPs László Trócsányi and Ernő Schaller-Baross have said that the planned amendment of rules by the European Commission on European political parties and foundations would harm the free functioning of national parties. They told a Thursday debate at the EP about the EC’s proposals that the planned changes would introduce “tutelage” and ideological control over parties’ free choice of values.
Trócsányi expressed concern, stating that “those that raise a critical voice against the mainstream could easily be accused of disrespecting European values and face sanctions.” “We can only support rules that exclusively apply to European political parties and do not extend to areas, even in a concealed way, such as national referendums, where they have no business at all,” he added.
Schaller-Baross said it was alarming that EU institutions were using the rule of law as an excuse to interfere in member states’ public life while the institutions tried to use their own political principles and ideologies to decide who can participate in member states’ public life. “This proposal threatens the foundations of European democracy and violates the basic conditions of the rule of law,” he added.
National parties play a significant role in shaping and expressing public will, including the assessment of European affairs, and it is therefore impermissible to influence their functioning with EU-level rules, they said.
The European Parliament’s report adopted on Thursday states its standpoint on the amendment of political party rules and foundations at European level. The EP supplement to a European Commission proposal calls for more party transparency and efficiency and that EU subsidies for referendum campaigns should only be used in connection with “issues directly related to the EU”. Also, it says non-EU members of parties should be aligned with EU values.