Germany

Change country

Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There is no ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties. However, donations are limited to EUR 1,000.

  • Source

    (2) The parties are not authorized to accept donations:[…]
    3. Donations from outside the scope of this law unless […]
    c) it is a donation from a foreigner of not more than EUR 1,000;[…]
    Source: § 25(2), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Ban on donation from corporate bodies, but accepted if it is a business enterprise, of whose shares more than 50 per cent of shares are owned by Germans as defined by the Basic Law or by a citizen of the European Union or whose headquarters is located in a Member State of the European Union.

  • Source

    "(2) The parties' authority to accept donations is excluded:
    1. donations from public-law corporations, parliamentary groups and parliamentary factions and groups of municipal representatives
    2. donations from political foundations, corporate bodies, associations of persons and masses of assets which, according to the statutes, the foundation business or other constitution and according to the actual management exclusively and directly serve non-profit, charitable or ecclesiastical purposes (§§ 51 to 68 of the German Fiscal Code);
    3. donations from outside the scope of this Act, unless
    a) these donations from the assets of a German within the meaning of the Basic Law, a citizen of the European Union or a business enterprise in which more than 50 percent of the shares are owned by Germans within the meaning of the Basic Law or by a citizen of the European Union or whose headquarters are in a member state of the European Union go directly to a party"

     

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Translated from German with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo, but specific limit
  • Comment

    Anonymous donations over EUR 500 are prohibited.

  • Source

    (2) The parties are not authorized to accept donations:[…]
    6) Donations, insofar as they amount to more than 500 euros in individual cases and whose donors cannot be determined, or which are recognizable as the forwarding of a donation from an unnamed third party; […]
    Source: § 25(2), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (2) The parties are not authorized to accept donations:[…]
    5. Donations from companies that are wholly or partly owned by the public sector or that are managed or operated by the company, provided that the direct public sector participation exceeds 25 percent;[…]
    Source: § 25(2), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Public facilities can only be made available to parties if all parties are treated equally.

  • Source

    (1) If a public authority provides facilities to the parties or provides other public services, all parties should be treated equally. The extent of the grant can be graded according to the importance of the parties to the minimum necessary to achieve their purpose. The importance of the parties is measured, in particular, based on the results of previous elections to representative bodies. For a party represented in parliamentary groups in the Bundestag, the amount granted must be at least half as large as for any other party.
    (2) For the provision of public services in connection with an election, paragraph 1 only applies to parties that have submitted nominations for the duration of the election.
    Source: § 5(1), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding donations to candidates

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding candidates taking loans.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeYes, both regularly provided funding and in relation to campaigns
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The parties receive funds as partial financing for the activities generally incumbent upon them under the Basic Law. The benchmark for the distribution of state funds is the success that a party achieves among the voters in European, Bundestag and Landtag elections, the sum of its membership and mandate holder contributions as well as the amount of the donations it has raised.
    Source: § 18(1), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeRepresentation in elected body | Share of votes in previous election | Share of seats in previous election | Participation in election | Registration as a political party
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The parties receive funds as partial financing for the activities generally incumbent upon them under the Basic Law. The benchmark for the distribution of state funds is the success that a party achieves among the voters in European, Bundestag and Landtag elections, the sum of its membership and mandate holder contributions as well as the amount of the donations it has raised.
    (4) Parties are entitled to state funds in accordance with Paragraph 3 Nos. 1 and 3 if, after the final election result of the last European or Bundestag election in each case, at least 0.5 per cent or a state election 1.0 per cent of those valid for the lists Have received votes; for payments pursuant to paragraph 3 sentence 1 number 1 and sentence 2, the party must meet these requirements in the respective election. Parties are entitled to the state funds pursuant to Paragraph 3 No. 2 which, after the final election result, have reached 10 percent of the valid votes cast in an electoral or constituency. Sentences 1 and 2 do not apply to parties belonging to national minorities.
    Source: § 18(1, 4), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeFlat rate by votes received | Proportional to seats received
  • Comment

    The parties receive annually as part of the state partial financing:
    - 0.83 euros for each valid vote cast for their respective list or
    - 0.83 euros for each valid vote cast for them in an constituency or constituency if a list for that party was not approved in a country, and
    - 0.45 euros for each euro that you received as a donation.

  • Source

    (1) The parties receive funds as partial financing for the activities generally incumbent upon them under the Basic Law. The benchmark for the distribution of state funds is the success that a party achieves among the voters in European, Bundestag and Landtag elections, the sum of its membership and mandate holder contributions as well as the amount of the donations it has raised.
    3) The parties receive annually as part of the state partial financing
    1. 0.83 euros for each valid vote cast for their respective list or
    2. 0.83 euros for each valid vote cast for them in an constituency or constituency if a list for that party was not approved in a country, and
    3. 0.45 euros for each euro that you received as a donation (paid membership or mandate contribution or legally obtained donation); only allowances of up to 3,300 euros per natural person are taken into account.
    In deviation from numbers 1 and 2, the parties receive 1 euro per vote for the up to four million valid votes they each achieved. The amounts mentioned in sentence 1 numbers 1 and 2 and in sentence 2 will increase from 2017 in accordance with paragraph 2 sentences 2 to 5..
    Source: § 18(1, 3), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions requiring for free or subsidized access to media for candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) Whoever offers, promises or grants another gifts or other benefits in exchange for not voting or for voting in a particular manner incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine.
    (2) Whoever demands, allows themselves to be promised or accepts gifts or other benefits in exchange for not voting or voting in a particular manner incurs the same penalty.
    Source: § 108b, Criminal Code, 1998 (amended 2019)

39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding candidates expenditures.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    There are no explicit provisions regarding third parties expenditures.

  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019

45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019

46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019

Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The accountability report consists of a profit and loss account based on a statement of income and expenditure in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a related balance sheet and an explanatory part. In compliance with the principles of proper bookkeeping, he provides information on the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the party in accordance with the actual circumstances.

    (2) Unless otherwise specified in this law, the commercial law provisions on accounting, in particular regarding the recognition and valuation of assets, apply to all merchants. Accounts, books, balance sheets and reports are to be kept for ten years. The retention period begins at the end of the accounting year.
    Source: § 24(1-2), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Parties only required to differentiate between election and day-to-day costs in their annual financial reports.

  • Source

    (5) The invoice includes:
    1. Personnel expenses,
    2.  Material expenses
    a) ongoing business operations,
    b) for general political work,
    c) for election campaigns,
    d) for asset management including the resulting interest,
    e) other interest,
    f) business expenses,
    g) other expenses,

    3. Subsidies to Outlines and
    4. Total expenditure according to numbers 1 to 3.
    Source: § 24(5), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

  • Source
50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

    Source: Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    Source: Federal Elections Act, 1993 (amended 2019)

51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (2) […]The party's accountability report must be submitted to the Federal Party Congress following its publication for discussion.
    Source: § 23(2), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    Donors must be identified if contribution larger than EUR 500  and disclosed if value of donations exceeds EUR 10,000 in one year.

  • Source

    (2) The parties are not authorized to accept donations:[…]
    6. Donations, insofar as they amount to more than 500 euros in individual cases and whose donors cannot be determined, or which are recognizable as the forwarding of a donation from an unnamed third party;
    (3) Donations, membership fees and mandate fees to a party or one or more of its territorial associations, the total value of which exceeds 10,000 euros in a calendar year (accounting year), are to be recorded in the accountability report, stating the name and address of the donor and the total amount of the donation . Donations that exceed the amount of 50,000 euros in individual cases must be reported to the President of the German Bundestag immediately. This publishes the donation promptly as a Bundestag printed matter, stating the donor.
    Source: § 25(2-3), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The accountability report consists of a profit and loss account based on a statement of income and expenditure in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a related balance sheet and an explanatory part. In compliance with the principles of proper bookkeeping, he provides information on the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the party in accordance with the actual circumstances.
    (4) The revenue calculation includes:
    1. Membership fees,
    2. Mandate holder contributions and similar regular contributions,
    3. Donations from natural persons,
    4. Donations from legal entities,
    5. Income from business activities,
    5a, Income from investments,
    6. Income from other assets,
    7. Income from events, distribution of printed matter and publications and other income-related activities,
    8. government funds,
    9.Other revenue,
    10. Subsidies from Outlines and
    11.Total income according to numbers 1 to 10.
    Source: § 24(1, 4), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The accountability report consists of a profit and loss account based on a statement of income and expenditure in accordance with the provisions of this Act, a related balance sheet and an explanatory part. In compliance with the principles of proper bookkeeping, he provides information on the origin and use of the funds and the assets of the party in accordance with the actual circumstances.
    (5) The invoice includes:
    1. Personnel expenses,
    2.  Material expenses
    a) ongoing business operations,
    b) for general political work,
    c) for election campaigns,
    d) for asset management including the resulting interest,
    e) other interest,
    f) business expenses,
    g) other expenses,

    3. Subsidies to Outlines and
    4. Total expenditure according to numbers 1 to 3.
    Source: § 24(1, 5), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeParliamentary unit
  • Comment

     President of the Bundestag

  • Source

    (3) The party must submit its accountability report to the President of the German Bundestag by September 30 of the year following the accounting year. […]
    Source: § 19a(3), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeYes, auditing agency | Parliamentary unit
  • Comment

    (3) The President of the German Bundestag checks in accordance with Section 23a whether the accountability report complies with the provisions of Section Fifth. The result of the test must be included in the report in accordance with paragraph 4.
    Source: § 23(3), Political Parties Act, 1967
    (amended 2018)

  • Source
57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeCarry out investigation | Request additional information from potential violator | Impose sanctions
  • Comment
  • Source

    (1) The President of the German Bundestag examines the submitted report for formal and substantive correctness. It determines whether the accountability report complies with the requirements of section five. A renewed examination is only permitted before the deadline specified in Section 24 (2).

    (2) If the President of the German Bundestag has specific indications that the information contained in a party's report is incorrect, the latter gives the party concerned the opportunity to comment. He may ask the party to confirm the correctness of his opinion by his auditor or auditing company, sworn accountant or auditing company.
    Source: § 23a(1-2), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Forfeiture | Loss of public funding
  • Comment
  • Source

    (3) The party must submit its accountability report to the President of the German Bundestag by September 30 of the year following the accounting year. The President of the German Bundestag can extend the deadline by up to three months. If a party fails to submit its accountability report by the deadline, it will permanently lose its entitlement to government funds relating to grants (the grant portion will lapse). If a party has not submitted its accountability report by December 31 of the year following the claim year, it will cease to be entitled to state funds for the claim year (expiration of the voting share). The deadlines are respected regardless of the accuracy of the content,if the accountability report corresponds to the structure specified in section 24 and bears the audit opinion in accordance with section 30 (2). The determinations and payments to the other parties remain unchanged.
    Source: § 19a(3), Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    If a party has accepted donations in violation of Section 25 (2) and has not forwarded them to the President of the German Bundestag in accordance with Section 25 (4), they will be entitled to a claim amounting to three times the amount illegally obtained; Donations already made will be taken into account. If a party has not published donations in accordance with the provisions of this law in the accountability report (section 25 (3)), a claim arises against them in the amount of twice the amount not published in accordance with the provisions of this law. The President establishes the party's obligation to pay the amount through an administrative act. Section 31a (2) to (5) applies accordingly.
    Source: § 31c, Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

    (1) Anyone intending to disguise the origin or use of the party's or property's assets, or to bypass public accountability,
    1. causes incorrect information about the party's income or assets in an accountability report submitted to the President of the German Bundestag or submits an incorrect accountability report to the President of the German Bundestag or
    2. as a recipient, a donation is broken down into partial amounts and posted or posted or
    3. does not forward a donation contrary to Section 25 (1) sentence 3,
    is punished with imprisonment of up to three years or a fine. Pursuant to sentence 1, anyone who submits a voluntary declaration for the party pursuant to Section 23b (1) or participates in the submission is not punished.

    (2) A prison sentence of up to three years or a fine shall be imposed on anyone who, as an auditor or assistant to an auditor, reports the result of the audit of an accountability report incorrectly, does not disclose significant circumstances in the audit report, or issues an incorrectly confirmed report. If the perpetrator acts for a fee or with the intention of enriching himself or another or harming another, the penalty is a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine.
    Source: § 31d, Political Parties Act, 1967 (amended 2018)

Disclaimer: Maps presented do not imply on the part of the Institute any judgement on the legal status of any territory or the endorsement of such boundaries, nor does the placement or size of any country or territory reflect the political view of International IDEA. Maps are used in order to add visual clarity to data.