The exclusion of the Desiderius Erasmus Foundation, which is close to the AfD, from state funding in 2019 violated the party’s right to equal opportunities. This was announced by the Federal Constitutional Court on Wednesday. The reason for this is that the requirements and criteria for funding political foundations have not yet been regulated in a separate law, as Deputy Court President Doris König said at the verdict in Karlsruhe. But that is necessary with such an important question. (Az. 2 BvE 3/19)
While the other six party-affiliated foundations receive millions every year, the Desiderius-Erasmus-Foundation (DES) has so far received no money at all from the federal budget. The lawsuit by the AfD also related to other years. However, the judges declared most of these applications to be inadmissible. The application for 2022 was separated from the procedure, and a decision on this will be made separately at a later date.
The guideline for the funding has been a Karlsruhe judgment from 1986. It states that it must be ensured that "all permanent, important political trends in the Federal Republic of Germany are adequately taken into account".
In 1998, the foundations themselves made a proposal for practical implementation. In a joint statement, it is said that a suitable point of reference should be "repeated representation" of the relevant party in the Bundestag, at least once in the size of the parliamentary group. That's what politics has been based on ever since.
In 2021, the AfD entered the Bundestag for the second time after 2017. However, DES still does not receive any money. Because since 2022 there has been a new passage in the budget law. According to this, the grants are “only granted to political foundations which, according to their statutes and their overall activities, offer the guarantee at all times that they are committed to the free democratic basic order within the meaning of the Basic Law and stand up for its preservation”.
This note plays a role in the AfD application for 2022, which the party had only pushed in at very short notice before the October hearing. King said that raises new constitutional questions. At that time, the Bundestag and the Federal Government could no longer have sufficiently commented on this.
The other six foundations were funded by the federal government in 2019 with a total of around 660 million euros. The larger part of these funds comes from the Ministries for Development and Education and the Federal Foreign Office. The Karlsruhe proceedings dealt exclusively with the so-called global grants from the budget of the Ministry of the Interior, which are intended for socio-political and democratic educational work. At that time it was around 130 million euros, for this year 148 million euros are planned. The DES and the AfD had demanded 900,000 euros for 2019.
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