Transparency International calls for a reform of German political party financing before the 2002 federal elections

“The existing proposals from the parties are full of loopholes”

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat

Transparency International has appealed to the political parties represented in the German Bundestag to introduce party financing reforms before the federal elections in 2002. The reforms proposed so far by the Bundestag parties were "piecemeal and full of loopholes", according to the German chapter of the anti-corruption organisation. Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's SPD has yet to come forward with any proposals of its own.

In Berlin today, Transparency International published a report, containing an analysis of the parties' existing reform proposals as well as Transparency International's own detailed reform suggestions. The report is being submitted to the Commission of Independent Experts into the Question of Party Financing appointed by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Johannes Rau. "The scandals surrounding party donations have shown that the regulation of party financing in Germany is inadequate," said the chairman of TI-Germany, Dr Michael Wiehen. "At the same time, it is very dispiriting that the political discussions in the aftermath of the party donations affair have still not drawn any conclusions," said Wiehen, introducing the report today. "Reforms must be carried out before the federal elections or they will be politically dead."

The analysis presented by TI-Germany comes just a few weeks before the Rau Commission's final report is due to be published. TI-Germany's core demands focus on the goal of introducing lower upper limits for donations, increased transparency, and more controls and tougher sanctions in the event of a breach of the regulations. The central demands include a restriction on corporate or individual donations to a maximum of DM 100,000 annually, and an outright ban on corporate donations to individual members of parliament or candidates. TI-Germany's concrete proposals are as follows:

The report published by TI-Germany today supplements the reform proposals published by TI-Germany at the beginning of last year.

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