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Comments on the updated draft amending Law 334/2006, published by the PEA on 18 November


Expert Forum, in collaboration with other civic groups, submitted comments on the proposed bill amending Law 334/2006. EFOR representatives also participated in the debate organized by the PEA, which took place on 8 November. Subsequently, the PEA published on 18 November the updated version of the project, which contained a substantial portion of the proposals, the majority of which had the potential to boost transparency. Positive amendments have been made to the definition of political advertising and the implementation of procedures for reporting and labeling propaganda materials. The introduction of a threshold on the spending of subsidies for the payment of propaganda and the media services is also positive. However, some essential elements, related to the integrity and balance of political financing, are not found in the project. Some of these are:

  • The high threshold for the allocation of subsidies has not been changed. The current annual thresholds are 0.01% and 0.04% of gross domestic product, which means that up to 500 million lei can be allocated per year. So far, no more than 258 million have been allocated. EFOR’s vision is that this threshold should be less flexible and the allocation clearer. Thus, a value per vote plus a maximum yearly limit, adjusted in accordance with economic changes, should be established. In any case, the maximum amounts should be reduced.
  • The President of the PEA should not be allowed to request additional allocations during the year without justification or well-founded requests from political parties. In any case, additional allocations should be regulated very clearly.
  • EFOR has called for the reduction of the percentage of funds allocated to parliamentary parties (75%) and the increase of funds for other parties (currently 25%), which have obtained local mandates. The percentage has not been changed.
  • The threshold at which local parties receive money was reduced by the PEA from 50 mandates of county councilors and at the General Council of Bucharest, to 25 mandates. It is a positive but insufficient adjustment, as it still implies that these parties have representation at the county level, thus excluding the real local parties.
  • Political parties can pay fines, seizures and sanctions from subsidies, which means that the sanctions granted to them are practically ineffective.
  • Some costs that can be incurred under Article 25 – which outlines the destinations of subsidy payments – are not clearly defined as being solely for the benefit of the party’s development and functioning. One such example is the cost of organizing formal lunches and receptions. This ambiguity can lead to abuses in the distribution of subsidies.
  • The law includes a derogation from the Public Finance Act 500/2002, which establishes that political parties can keep the year-end savings indefinitely. This means that parties can keep the funds indefinitely, which can affect the electoral competition. Our recommendations, proposed as early as 2019, were for parties to return unspent funds at the end of the year or after a certain period of 2-3 years.
  • The preceding amendment must be considered in conjunction with the amendments stating that political parties can spend the same amount on election campaigns as candidates. In local and parliamentary elections, for example, parties can currently spend a certain amount, complementary to the candidates’ spending. According to the draft law, political parties can spend much more money in the electoral campaign. Following the debate, and on the recommendation of EFOR and other organizations, the amounts raised per candidate were positively reduced – some even further than in the current law, which appears to conflict with PEA’s initial motivation, which justified these increases by the need for higher funding for certain types of elections.
  • Data on electoral donations is released only 30 days after the election. Although this responsibility is not explicitly defined under the present legislation, we believe that the 30 days period is far too lengthy, especially given that any contribution is recorded within a few days of receipt. There is also no intermediate reporting, which means that the process is opaque and voters and observers do not have access to this information during the election campaign, which is against international standards and good practice.
  • Some of the percentages for the categories of expenses allowed in the electoral campaign have been reduced (e.g. for online advertising from 30% to 25%), which does not give too much flexibility to the electoral competitors. Overall, funding for advertising on radio, TV, and the media increased from 40% to 55%. The introduction of the possibility of spending funds to support persons with disabilities is positive.
  • The loan payback period has been increased from three to five years. However, the PEA did not approve the proposal to post the quarterly loan return on the institution’s website.
  • Some requirements that might increase the position’s integrity are absent from the employment conditions of the Director General of the Department of control of the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns. Given that anybody can be appointed by an external committee designated by the AEP President, it should be underlined that they cannot be a party member or have any stake in a political party. The sole restriction for this committee is that the members are professors with economic or legal knowledge, with no requirements that they are not party members nor have direct interests in a political party.


The Participatory and Relevant Local Public Policies is implemented by Expert Forum Association in partnership with the Romanian Housing Association Casa Plus, Euroland Banat, the Civic Resource Center and the “Mircea Eliade” National College in Resita and benefits from a 149,858 euro grant from Active Citizens Fund Romania, programme funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants Grants 2014 -2021. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the official position of the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021; for more information visit More details about Active Citizens Fund Romania are available at ”Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe”




The political financing transparency activities are part of the “Effective Combat Against Corruption” (ECAC) project implemented with the support of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) in partnership with the CEELI Institute (Central and Eastern European Law Initiative) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

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