The EU and IED

The Institute of European Democrats (IED), as European political foundation formally affiliated to European Democratic Party (EDP), is directly funded by the European Parliament through annual grants (see information).

What is a political foundation at European level?

A political foundation at European level is an organisation affiliated with a political party at European level which underpins and complements the objectives of that party. A political foundation at European level observes, analyses and contributes to the debate on European public policy issues. It also develops linked activities, such as organising seminars, training, conferences and studies.

How is a political foundation at European level financed?

Foundations were funded for the period from October 2007 to August 2008 by action grants awarded by the European Commission under a pilot project.

From September 2008, the European Parliament has taken over the funding and now awards annual operating grants. The first grant covered the remaining 4 months period of 2008, followed by grants corresponding to the calendar year. The grant can cover up to 85% of the eligible expenditure of a foundation, while the rest should be covered by own resources such as membership fees and donations.

What can and what cannot be paid from the grant?

The grant can be used to meet the expenditure directly linked to the activities set out in the foundation's programme of activities, such as:

  • meetings and conferences,
  • publications, studies and advertisements,
  • administrative, personnel and travel costs.

It is called eligible expenditure.

The grant cannot be used, among others, to meet expenditure such as:

  • campaign costs for referenda and elections,
  • direct or indirect funding of national parties, election candidates and national political foundations,
  • debts and debts service charges.

Who sets the rules of funding?

The rules of funding of the parties are laid down by a regulation adopted by the Council and the Parliament. It has been revised in order to allow for the funding of foundations too. The implementing rules are adopted by the Bureau of the Parliament.

You can download the list of the foundations indicating the grant amounts here.

Their final reports can be consulted here.

What conditions must be met in order to receive funding?

In order to receive a grant from the Parliament, a foundation must satisfy certain conditions:

  • it must be affiliated with a political party at European level which is recognised by the regulation,
  • it must have legal personality, separate from that of the party, in the Member State in which its seat is located,
  • it must observe the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law,
  • it shall not promote profit goals,
  • its governing body shall have a geographically balanced composition.

How does the funding procedure work in practice?

You can download the brief annual reports of the European Parliament here.

Any foundation meeting the above-mentioned conditions may apply for funding, by sending its application by 30 September each year to the Parliament, together with its work programme and budget for the following year.

Once the applications are evaluated and approved, the funds are distributed among these foundations according to a set scale:

  • 15% are distributed in equal shares,
  • 85% are distributed among those that are affiliated to such political parties at European level which have elected members in the European Parliament, in proportion to the number of elected members.

A first instalment, representing 80% of the total awarded grant, is paid in principle by the end of the first quarter of each year.

The balance is paid the following year after the final report of the foundations have been approved by the Bureau of the European Parliament. The final report consists of:

  • a final report on the implementation of the pro­gramme of activities;
  • a final financial statement of the eligible expenditure actually incurred, based on the structure of the provi­sional budget,
  • a comprehensive summary of revenue and expenditure corresponding to the accounts for the period of eligibility covered by the grant decision,
  • a report on an external audit of the ac­counts carried out by an independent auditor, certifying that the grant has been used in compliance with the rules.

For further information see: