Dutch political parties received less from foreign donors in 2020
Political parties received fewer large sums from abroad in 2020 than in 2019. Although Forum for Democracy received almost 150,000 euros less, this party still holds the largest number of generous donors abroad.
In total, seven parties received just over 370,000 euros from abroad in 2020. In 2019 it was more than 483,000 euros. This became apparent after an overview by the Ministry of Internal Affairs was released.
The overview concerned donors who have transferred more than 4500 euros to a political party. Donations below that amount did not need to be specified.
The VVD, SP, PvdA, GroenLinks, Party for the Animals, and Forum for Democracy (FVD) have received money from abroad in the past two years, according to the overview.
Donors from Russia may also have contributed to political party coffers. However, a Court of Audit investigation into Russian funding of Dutch political parties is not expected to be successful, experts told the television program Zembla. That specific court does not hold investigative powers. Therefore, the experts said parliament should ask the Public Prosecution Service to investigate.
With 256,000 euros in 2020, FVD received the most money by far from abroad. M. Ruijs from Hong Kong was the most generous donor to Thierry Baudet's party. Ruijs gave the party a quarter of a million euros; and even a hundred thousand euros more than that the previous year. A former donor from Cyprus stopped sending money to FVD in 2020.
D66 made the list for the first time in 2020: two donors gave a total of more than 12,000 euros. The PVV lost its donor living in Brussels two years ago, and no longer receives money from donors above the threshold of 4,500 euros, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It is unknown how many of the donations below 4,500 euros were received from abroad. After the amendment to the Political Parties Financing Act, all European donations under 4,500 euros must be registered and made public. Afterward, it becomes clear how many foreign donations have ended up with which Dutch political parties. "Then it will also become clear what the total size is of the financial transactions between Dutch political parties and their European sister parties," said Internal Affairs Minister Hanke Bruins Slot.
It is not always clear whether foreign donations come from Dutch nationals living abroad or whether they are donors of another nationality. This has become even less transparent as political parties only need to report the name and address of donors.
However, on the basis of data supplied by the political parties, the Ministry of Internal Affairs is under the impression that it mainly concerns donations from Dutch nationals living abroad.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times