German Constitutional Court decision on state subsidies to political parties

Sam Issacharoff passes along this interesting January ruling from the German Constitutional Court. It found unconstitutional an increase in state subsidies to political parties on the grounds that the parties had an obligation to prove commitment from their constituents.  The hear of the holding:

The challenged provision does not satisfy the constitutional requirements for state financing of political parties. It violates the principle that political parties be sufficiently free from state interference because the legislator did not sufficiently substantiate during the legislative process that the parties’ need for additional funding that could not be met by their own funds necessitated an almost EUR 25 million increase in the absolute limit.

The case addresses a growing European concern that political parties living off of state funding become a bureaucratic extension of the state, rather than independent political organizations. The opinion is Parteienfinanzierung – Absolute Obergrenze 2 BvF 2/18 (24 January 2023).  The English summary and translation is available here.

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