Political Party Funding in Romania - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

AuthorIulian Georgel Savenco
The European Citizen and Public Administration
Political Party Funding in Romania - One Step Forward,
Two Steps Back?
Iulian Georgel Savenco1
Abstract: Within political life, the determining role is given to political parties in their capacity as actors in
the electoral campaign and in the race for political power. This is the reason for which we believe that the
means of financing political parties and the electoral campaigns in which they partake is an important aspect
within the electoral reform, as without an adequate funding their chances of winning the electoral race are
drastically reduced. On the other hand, fund ing of political parties is of great interest as the lack o f
transparency which usually encircles this process can lead to a dangerous phenomenon, namely corruption.
Throughout this article we present the current situation and critically analyze the changes which the
Romanian legislature plans to apply to the political party financing law.
Keywords: political party; funding; Romanian Constitution; freedom of association
1 Introduction
Throughout time, myriad of definitions were issued on the term "political party". Currently as we try
to define this concept we must start from the idea stipulated in the doctrine (Muraru & Tãnãsescu
2013, p.24), namely that "the party is an association, thereby expressing the means of formation
(through the exercising of the citizens' right of association) and its composition (it is a grouping of
citizens, a collective)". This expression of the citizens' free will to associate themselves in order to
form a political party also results from the provisions of the Romanian Constitution2 that in the art. nr.
40, paragraph 1 states that citizens may freely associate in political parties, trade unions, employers’
associations and other forms of association.
In regards the concept of political party we should note that, in a broad sense, the specialized literature
(Ionescu, 2008, p.403) believes that the political party is "a permanent group or association of
individuals freely inter-united through ideological affinities and common political beliefs, created at
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Faculty of Law, “Danubius” University of Galati, Address: 3 Gal ati Boulevard, 800654 Galati,
Romania, Tel.: +40.372.361.102, fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author: iuliansavenco@univ-danubius.ro.
2 Romanian Constitution published in the Romania's Official Monitor, Part I, no. 233 from November 21, 1991, came into
effect after its approval through the national referendum of December 8, 1991. Subsequently, it was amended and
supplemented by the Law for the revision of the Romanian Constitution, namely Law no. 429/2003, published in the
Romania's Official Monitor, Part I, no. 758 from November 29, 2003, republished by the Legislative Council, pursuant to the
art. 152 from the Constitution, the terms being updated and the texts renu mbered (art. 152 became, in its revised form, art.

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