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Round table: Political Parties Financing
 
On December 2, 2002, the Center for the Study of Democracy, jointly with the National Democratic Institute and the American Bar Association / Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (ABA/CEELI) organized a public discussion on political parties financing, attended by Members of Parliament, experts, representatives of non-governmental organizations and foreign and international institutions, journalists. The event was aimed at facilitating the ongoing process of improving the legal framework for political parties in Bulgaria. Currently there is the Draft Law on Political Parties introduced to the National Assembly by the MP's from Coalition for Bulgaria Mr. Boyko Radoev and Mr. Nikolay Kamov, while another draft is in process of development by the MP's from the National Movement Simeon II Mr. Emil Koshlukov, Mr. Miroslav Sevlievski and Mr. Borislav Tsekov.

In her opening address Dr. Zhivka Damyanova, Coalition 2000 Coordinator, emphasized on the anti-corruption impact of the effective legal regulation of political parties financing.

Mr. Boyko Radoev, MP, Coalition for Bulgaria, presented the main principles and provisions of the Draft Law on Political Parties, introduced to the National Assembly. Among the most significant provisions Mr. Radoev pointed out the ban for anonymous donations, the permission for political parties to carry out commercial activities in certain cases specified by the law, and the increased control over the political parties' incomes and expenditures both by state institutions and by the civil society.

Mr. Emil Koshlukov, MP, National Movement Simeon II, presented some of the concepts of the Draft Law on Political Parties, which is now in process of development. He outlined the necessity of precise legal regulation of the political parties' incomes, including the ban for anonymous donations and for donations made by legal entities with more than 5% participation by the state or the municipalities. Mr. Koshlukov also mentioned the ongoing discussion regarding the mechanism for determining the amount of state subsidies for political parties and outlined the importance of increasing the state and public control over political parties' finances.

Mr. Michael Farnworth, Resident Director of the National Democratic Institute, presented the Canadian experience with political parties financing and suggested that some of the best practices implemented in Canada can be successfully introduced in Bulgaria as well.

In the course of the discussion the participants considered a number of issues including the opportunities for political parties to perform commercial activities, the necessity to improve the control over the financing of electoral campaigns and the introduction of tax preferences for the persons financing the political parties.

Draft Law on Political Parties (PDF 97,9 kb)
Campaign Finance in the United States
Transparency Of The Financing Of Political Parties And Their Democratic Functioning, Council of Europe, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (PDF 276 kb)
The Funding of Political Parties in European Community Member States, European Parliament, Directorate-General for Research, Research and Documentation Papers (PDF 235 kb)
Analysis of the Draft Political Parties Act of the Republic of Bulgaria, ABA CEELI Legal Assessment Series (PDF 530 kb)

Available in Bulgarian
Full records of the discussion in PDF (285 kb)
 
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