THE NETHERLANDS — Political parties are to be banned from accepting funding from sources outside the EU, the cabinet agreed on Friday.A government commission had recommended banning foreign funding altogether but home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren said earlier this went too far, because many Dutch parties have sister organisations in Europe.
The aim of the ban is part of efforts to combat ‘unwanted foreign interference’ in Dutch politics, Ollongren said.‘It is very important for a political party to be transparent about where your money comes from,’ Ollongren said.
‘There was foreign interference in both the Italian and French elections and we should not be naive about this in the Netherlands.Earlier research has showed that the anti-immigration PVV is the main recipient of foreign money.
In the two years up to February 2017, it received a total of €130,280.38 in four payments from the David Horowitz Freedom Center in California.State support The committee also recommended changing the rules which restrict state support for political parties to those with at least 1,000 paying members.
The PVV, which only has one member (Wilders himself) is excluded from state support because of this, and has become more reliant on foreign cash.Instead parties should get state support based on the number of MPs and senators they have, the committee said. The cabinet has not yet taken a stand on this recommendation and will first embark on ‘a good political discussion’ before taking a decision, Ollongren said.
The threshold for declaring gifts from Dutch sources will remain €4,500.