Campaign finance is another sensitive topic in Europe. There is no common European rule for party financing. Instead, in certain jurisdictions, the parties must comply with their country's own rules.
"The (European) Heads of State and Government have so far failed to overcome a major flaw, namely that foreign money can flow unhindered into campaigns in a number of Member States," said Kristine Berzina, senior officer of the Alliance for Securing Democracy, a national security attorney, said in an article last October.
According to the International Institute for Democracy and Election Assistance, four of the 28 European countries have no restrictions on foreign donations to political parties. They are Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the Netherlands. This means that, for example, an Italian political party can receive funding from a third country without it being illegal.
Eleven other countries have partial restrictions on foreign donations. And only 1
A spokesman for the European Parliament told the CNBC that the institution contributes to European political parties through its budget. Up to 85% of the party expenditure can be reimbursed by the European Parliament, while the remainder should be covered by the party's own resources.
However, the same spokesman also said that the funding rules for national political parties are outside the purview of the European Parliament, and he can not comment on them.
European citizens vote on the national parties to represent them in the European Parliament. The chosen ones then decide which European faction they want to belong to. According to the speaker, there is funding for the latter, but no control over funding at the national level.