Analysis of funding sources of political parties in Lithuania

Algirdas Miškinis, Giedrė Ulevičiūtė

Abstract


Political parties are instrumental in today‘s democracy. They could be defined as established groups of individuals organised to compete in the electoral process with their main objective to elect government officials from within their political party, form the government, legislate and define state policy. Citizens play an important role in politics by being active in the respective political parties and thereby they realise their interests – they vote during the elections for the party’s programme that reflects their ideas, they elect representatives of a certain party, support the party’s ideology. Obviously political parties need financial recourses for their activities. And that is the main dilemma: how to assure that political parties represent the interests of the citizens who voted for them and not the interests of those who are supporting them financially?
Financing sources of political parties may be divided into three main forms: internal, external and public financing. Each of these forms has advantages and disadvantages.
Lithuanian political parties obtain their financing according to the rules established by the Parliament as stated in the Law on Funding of and Control over Funding of Political Parties and Political Campaigns. The objective of this Law is to ensure democracy of political campaigns, legality, transparency and openness of funding of political parties and political campaigns, to regulate the procedure and control of funding of political parties and political campaigns. During the last 10 months the Law was amended twice and these amendments brought a chaos inside political parties before the parliament elections of 2012.
This article analyses the regulation of funding of the Lithuanian political parties in comparison with the Financing Political Parties and Election Campaigns – guidelines published by European Council in 2004. The objective of the article is to show the strong and weak aspects of Lithuanian regulation in this area. The authors of the article analyse all of the political parties’ sources of financing according to the recommendations of the European Council. In further analysis, the authors comment on the Lithuanian regulation by making comparisons with the European Council’s recommendations, and draw conclusions.

Keywords


political parties; internal financing; external financing; public funding of political parties

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"Business Systems & Economics" ISSN online 2029-8234