Today a report was passed in the Constitutional Affairs Committee of the Parliament which now moves up to the plenary. The report, called the the Giannakou Report after its draftswoman Marietta Giannakou (illustrated to the right in a former incarnation as the Religious Affairs Minister of Greece) who was on the Convention which drew up the European Constitution, is titled,
A Draft Report on the application of Regulation 2004/2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their fundingIn it we see this,
30. Points out that since 2008 European political parties have been entitled to use sums received as grants for ‘financing campaigns conducted ... in the context of the elections to the European Parliament ...’ (Article 8, third paragraph, of the Funding Regulation); further points out, however, that they are prohibited from using these sums for financing ‘referenda campaigns’; considers that the reason for this is probably a concern that European parties and foundations could interfere in the domestic affairs of Member States; believes, however that, if European political parties are to play a political role at EU level, they should have the right to participate in such campaigns as long as the subject of the referendum has a direct link with issues concerning the European Union;Thus they would be able to shovel taxpayers money to the pro-EU side, indeed that would be the express purpose of the change in the law.
What is more this recital was amended as it went through the Committee. Amendment 95 by one Andrew Duff, Lib Dem MEP for the Eastern Counties and federast supreme. What did the Duffer succeed in doing, well he removed this sentence,
considers that the reason for this is probably a concern that European parties and foundations could interfere in the domestic affairs of Member StatesIn other words he whitewashed any suggestion that the EU at one time recognised that there are some aspect of national democracy where it shouldn't interfere.
This is a direct attempt to find extra taxpayer funding for the Yes side in any forthcoming EU referendum in the UK. They are as aware of the liklihood of an In/Out referendum in the UK sooner or later and have every intention of loading the dice with taxpayer's money. As things stand the UK is affected in the sense that of the parties elected to the European Parliament and that have Political Parties at a European Level, that is the Tories, the Greens, the Labour Party and the Lib Dems are all formally partisans of an 'In'.
Think about all this. What this means is that money donated to the Lib Dem Euro political party, by someone living in France, could be used to fund a pro-European referendum campaign in the UK by washing it through the European Poltical Party. Neat eh?
In direct contravension of British electoral law, but so be it.