The leading candidate for the European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber has demanded the European Union stop giving money to populist eurosceptic parties, arguing many want to destroy the political bloc.
Mr Weber said that parties which set themselves against the European Union should not receive any form of financial support from it, naming French populist leader Marine Le Pen and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) specifically, Die Welt reports.
“European parties whose goal is to destroy the European Union, such as the right-wing extremists of Le Pen or even large parts of the AfD, should in the future receive no more money from European pots,” Weber said.
While he claimed that politicians should be allowed to critique the political bloc he added, “There is no institution in the world that is so naive to finance their own opponents. These anti-EU factions are using EU taxpayers’ money to pay for election campaigns, actions, and posters aimed at abolishing the EU.”
Weber also said that countries outside of the European Union should not be allowed to fund or loan money to political parties. Russian banks, for example, loaned money to Marine Le Pen in 2014 after French banks refused to loan her party money for her campaign.
EU to Cut Funds to Patriotic Nations, Allocate Cash on ‘Values’ Basis, Including Accepting Mass Migration https://t.co/DWaaMIoIGS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) April 24, 2018
“It is disturbing and frightening that we have parties in Europe that can be influenced by injecting money from third countries in their policies,” Weber said and added, “Ultimately, however, we must legally prohibit European parties from obtaining any form of party funding from outside the EU.”
The proposal comes after the EPP voted to suspend the membership of Hungary’s Fidesz led by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán after complaints that one of Fidesz’s campaigns was “anti-EU.”
“The EPP is a party family which tries to keep together liberal, left-wing parties and Christian conservative parties like us. In the recent weeks the left side of this big and colourful community called for the expulsion of the right side to turn its direction to the left,” Orbán said in response to the suspension.
Weber’s idea also follows a proposal of the European Commission last year which recommended cutting off cash to member states which did not live up to “EU values” which include migration, environmental policy, and youth unemployment.