THE TRANSPARENCY GAP: What do we really know about the funding of political parties in Europe?
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Between 2019 and 2022, more than €1 billion has been donated to political parties across the European Union member states.

Data from these countries show that fringe, populist and Eurosceptic parties are attracting more-and-more donations each year. Meanwhile, the identities of approximately 40% of all donors have never been revealed.

How have these donations helped the rise of anti-European candidates across the EU? And how can Ireland improve its transparency?

In this cross-border investigation, The Transparency Gap, initiated by Dutch outlet Follow the Money, 50 journalists from 26 media partners (representing a total of 24 member states) collected and analysed the funding of political parties in Europe. Noteworthy and The Journal were the project's Irish partners.

Read our full investigation findings here


Party declarations / accounts and income data for “relevant” parties across the EU were collected.

“Relevant”, for the purposes of the cross-country income analysis, includes parties who are currently represented in the European Parliament and those considered relevant at a national level, as selected by journalists working in each country.

For Ireland, the parties analysed included Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Green Party, Sinn Féin, Social Democrats, Labour and Aontú.

To date, Noteworthy produced two articles as part of this series. In part one, we reveal that the source of political money was disclosed for just 8% of donations over four years. Part two finds that since the last general election in 2020, Sinn Féin was the only Irish party whose total donations have increased year-on-year.

This work is co-funded by Journal Media and a grant programme from the European Parliament. Any opinions or conclusions expressed in this work are the author’s own. The European Parliament has no involvement in nor responsibility for the editorial content published by the project. For more information, see here.

Our investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public. If you want to help fund our ongoing work, consider making a once-off or monthly contribution to our investigative fund.

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