The European Political Parties

It was only in the Maastricht Treaty of 1992 that there was any mention of the European political parties. A regulation dating back to 2003 now defines them.

Several criteria enable the definition of a European political party: its legal personality, its representativeness on a national level or during the previous European elections, its respect of the founding principles of the European Union and finally its participation in the European elections.

Every year the European Parliament publishes a call for proposals in view of awarding grants to fund European political parties.
This procedure enables it to see whether the criteria to achieve European political party status are met and to define the amount of the grant which cannot rise beyond 85% of the eligible costs in the parties' operating budgets.
The budget planned for in 2009 totals 10,858,000€; this sum is to be distributed between the 9 European political parties.

Click here to find out more about the status and funding of European political parties.

For more information on the call for proposals in 2009, Click here

The European political parties must not be confused with the political groups within the European Parliament which came together informally as soon as the European Community of Steel and Coal was launched in 1952.
A political group rallies the MEPs of the various Member States who share the same political beliefs.