Lithuanian Presidency achieves major breakthrough in negotiations on Regulation of European Political Parties

18 December 2013, Last updated at, 17:28 EEST
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author: AFP/Scanpix

The Lithuanian Presidency on December 17 in Brussels reached a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament on the registration and deregistration of European parties and foundations, the so-called institutional issue of the Regulation on the Statute and Funding of European Political Parties and European Political Foundations.

“The Lithuanian Presidency has been paying significant attention to this proposal and right from the very beginning of its term sought compromise to escape the deadlock. We are very satisfied with the agreement on the fundamental element of the project, the institutional architecture. It will serve as a strong basis for our trio partner Greece seeking final agreement before the end of the term of this Parliament,” said Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vytautas Leškevičius, the Council representative in the negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission.

The compromise sets out that the European political parties and foundations will be registered and de-registered by the Independent Authority bearing its own legal status and by following the recommendations given by the Committee of Independent and Eminent Persons.

“It has been agreed that the registration of European political parties and foundations would be as much automatic and formal as possible. But they will have to be represented within a determined number of Member States, be non-profit entities and obliged to respect the values on which the European Union is founded. We have also agreed on the procedure for de-registering a party and verifying whether it has breached the European values, covering the details of involvement of the EU Council, the Parliament, the Commission and the European Court of Justice in this process,” said Minister Leškevičius.

The Lithuanian Presidency has also reached a compromise between Member States on the issue of funding of the European political parties.

“The Lithuanian Presidency has succeeded in achieving a compromise on funding of the European political parties and foundations from the EU budget as well as its principles and rules. This is a good foundation for further negotiations with the European Parliament and the Commission,” said Minister Leškevičius.

It is expected that the legislative bodies will agree on the regulation of the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations until the May 2014 European elections but it may take longer until the new rules come into effect in the EU Member States as some Member States have indicated that a transitional period of several years may be necessary for articulation of certain elements of regulation with national law.

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