Libertas uses same wording as EU laws governing political funding


THE LIBERTAS Party Ltd, the entity established last week by the anti-Lisbon Treaty campaigner Declan Ganley, has amended the legal document that sets out its objectives and introduced wording used in EU law governing the funding by Europe of political parties.

Similar changes have also been introduced to the document, the memorandum of association, that sets out the objectives of The Libertas Foundation Ltd, another entity established by Mr Ganley last week.

The amended memorandums of association were lodged with the Companies Registration Office earlier this week.

An amendment to the Libertas Party document states it is to carry on the business of "a political party at European level" and to pursue political objectives.

EU law says "a political party at European level" is a political party in the European Union that is eligible to receive funding from the union. Article 191 of the Treaty of Maastricht says: "Political parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union." Similar wording was incorporated into the Lisbon Treaty.

The amended memorandum for The Libertas Foundation Ltd says it is "a political foundation at European level". Again, this is the wording used in EU law governing the way foundations associated with political parties at a European level can access EU funding.

The amended memorandum of The Libertas Party Ltd says it has the power to participate "in the activities of the European Parliament through members of the party elected to the European Parliament or in the national parliaments or regional parliaments or in the regional assemblies and in co-operation with other political parties at European level and other political parties."

Mr Ganley said on RTÉ radio on Monday that no final decision had been taken as to whether Libertas would seek to field candidates in next June's EU elections.

EU law says that in order to qualify for funding, political parties at a European level must be "represented in at least one quarter of the member states, by members of the European Parliament or in the national or regional parliaments, observe, in their political agendas and activities, the principles on which the Union is founded, such as the rule of law, and participate in the elections to the European Parliament."

In order to receive funding, a party must publish its revenue and expenditure and a statement of its assets and liabilities annually. It must declare its sources of funding by providing a list specifying the donors and the donations exceeding €500 received from each donor, and cannot accept anonymous donations or donations exceeding €12,000 per year and per donor.

The foundation's new memorandum states it may observe, analyse and contribute to the debate on European policy issues and on the process of European integration. It may also co-operate with other organisations to promote democracy.