In the year of parliamentary elections in 2017, have now taken on the parties represented in Parliament 90 million euros in donations. This is evident from the accountability reports of the parties, published by the President of Parliament, Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU) today. Accordingly, the CDU scored – as usual – the highest income from donations, namely, approximately 35.2 million Euro.

The FDP received donations in the amount of 15.1 million euros and was thus for the first time in front of the SPD, which received 14.5 million. The CSU took up 9.8 million euros of donations, the AfD 6.8 million, and the Green 5.9 million euros. The Left reached among the parliamentary parties on a regular basis the lowest donations revenue – 2017 to 2.7 million euros.

donations are one of the main sources of income of the parties. They are financed from the contributions, which require the carriers of their members and mandate, and the subsidies from tax funds.

a Good quarter of the donations came from companies and associations. Depending on the party, the proportion varies: In the case of the Union parties and the FDP it is higher, the Left and the AfD get, however, almost no money out of the economy.

A majority of the donations – almost three quarters – comes from private individuals. This also includes persons who, in turn, the business associate includes, in addition to numerous small donors: The BMW heir Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, for example, transferred in the summer of 2017, together about 100,000 Euro to the CDU and the FDP.

Highest amount since 2009

The most profuse donations to parties to acquire, and in election campaigns, if they need money for their campaigns. Therefore, the revenue item in years with a Federal election. 2017 state elections were also held in four provinces.

So it is not surprising that in 2017 for the parties was an exceptionally good fundraising year: The Union parties, the SPD, FDP, greens and the Left came together to a good 83 million euros, as much as since the super election year 2009.

the greens and the AfD achieved in 2017, the highest donations to their respective party’s history.

a New dealing with party Finance

The Bundestag has published the accounting reports of the parties, this Time a good twelve months after the end of the accounting year – as fast as never before. The parties must submit their reports by the end of the following year to the President of Parliament. So far, they have been subjected, subsequently, to a substantive examination and then released. So it took last year to the end of may, until the financial reports for 2016 have been open to the public.

The testing effort increased, according to the Bundestag administration, since 2016, the restrictions in the party law came into force. The resulting delay in publication of the documents was “with the constitutionally protected public interest in timely public disclosure is no longer compatible,” wrote the administration in the autumn of the parties. Therefore, to change the practice: The content review is available only after publication.

The transparency initiative welcomes the new practice in principle, but am still too much time until the release of the reports. Spokeswoman Lea Briand also requires further Changes to the party law: “We need an absolute ban on corporate donations and the strict limit on donations by individuals, as is for example the case in France.”

So far, the group of States is not against corruption (Greco) of the Council of Europe. But they, too, calls on Germany for a number of years, in connection with party for more transparency in donations. For example, the Ad-hoc limit should be lowered from the donations immediately to must be published. She is currently at 50,000 euros. So many cash flows are in the eyes of the corruption-guardian only with the accountability reports to the public.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.