Germany

Change country

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

    There is however a limit on how much foreigners may contribute which is EUR 1,000.

    The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: [...] donations from sources outside the territorial scope of this Act unless: a) these donations accrue directly to a political party from the assets of a German as defined by the Basic Law, of a citizen of the European Union, or of a business enterprise, of whose shares more than 50 per cent are owned by Germans as defined by the Basic Law or by a citizen of the European Union or whose registered office is located in a Member State of the European Union; b) they are donations transferred to parties of national minorities in their traditional settlement areas from countries which are adjacent to the Federal Republic of Germany and where members of their ethnic group live; or c) it is a donation not exceeding 1,000 euros made by a foreignerThere is however a limit on how much foreigners may contribute which is EUR 1,000. The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: [...] donations from sources outside the territorial scope of this Act unless: a) these donations accrue directly to a political party from the assets of a German as defined by the Basic Law, of a citizen of the European Union, or of a business enterprise, of whose shares more than 50 per cent are owned by Germans as defined by the Basic Law or by a citizen of the European Union or whose registered office is located in a Member State of the European Union; b) they are donations transferred to parties of national minorities in their traditional settlement areas from countries which are adjacent to the Federal Republic of Germany and where members of their ethnic group live; or c) it is a donation not exceeding 1,000 euros made by a foreigner

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25 (2)(3).

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

    Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them onto the party administration.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(1).

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

    (2) The following shall be excluded from the right of political parties to accept donations: 2. donations from political foundations, corporate entities,...

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(2).

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

    But indirectly, since party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them onto the party administration.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(1).

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

    Donations from charitable organizations and from trade unions, professional associations, and industrial or commercial associations are prohibited.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25.

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

    Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them onto the party administration.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(1).

7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes, above certain threshold
  • Comment

    Anonymous donations over EUR 500 are prohibited as are donations in cash over EUR 1,000. No separate reporting either during or shortly after an electoral period is required, except for donations exceeding EUR 50,000 which must be reported immediately.25 Sources of donations totaling above EUR 10,000 within one year must be included in the annual report. Parties are also required to report on the amount of donations, without providing the name of the donor, for contributions above EUR 3,300 per citizen

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(6).

8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeYes, above certain threshold
  • Comment

    Party members who receive donations on behalf of their party shall immediately pass them onto the party administration.

    Anonymous donations over EUR 500 are prohibited as are donations in cash over EUR 1,000. No separate reporting either during or shortly after an electoral period is required, except for donations exceeding EUR 50,000 which must be reported immediately.25 Sources of donations totaling above EUR 10,000 within one year must be included in the annual report. Parties are also required to report on the amount of donations, without providing the name of the donor, for contributions above EUR 3,300 per citizen.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994,amended 2015, Section 25(1).

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

    Political parties may accept donations from companies – with the exclusion, however, of companies which are, entirely or in part, in public ownership or are managed or operated by public agencies if the state’s direct participation amounts to more than 25 per cent.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25.

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

    (1) Where a public authority makes facilities available to political parties or provides them with other public contributions and services, equal treatment shall be accorded to all political parties. The extent to which such facilities or services will be provided may be scaled back, in accord-ance with the respective importance of the various parties, to the minimum extent required for achieving the given party’s purpose. The importance of a political party will, in particular, be assessed on the basis of the results obtained in previous parliamentary elections. For a political party represented in the German Bundestag by a parliamentary group, the extent of such facili-ties, contributions or services must amount to at least half of those granted to any other political party.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 5. 

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
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
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
  • Source
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
  • Source
21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

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

    Share of votes in previus election. Flat rate by votes received; share of expenses reimbursed; funding cannot be higher than the private funds raised by the party. Flat rate per vote received (rate lower after the first 4 million votes). Also matching funds (EUR 0.38 per EUR 1 donated for donations below EUR 3,300). Funding can however not be higher than the private funds raised by the party

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 18.

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeShare of votes in previous election
  • Comment

    Share of votes in previus election. Flat rate by votes received; share of expenses reimbursed; funding cannot be higher than the private funds raised by the party. Flat rate per vote received (rate lower after the first 4 million votes). Also matching funds (EUR 0.38 per EUR 1 donated for donations below EUR 3,300). Funding can however not be higher than the private funds raised by the party

  • Source
30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeProportional to votes received
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 18.

31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source
33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeShare of seats
  • Comment

    Media time is allocated both equally and proportionally (share of seats). According to the Constitutional Court, equal opportunities imply that all parties running for a specific election receive some media time. Even though large parties receive more time, small parties are partly privileged to make sure they can also launch some spots in the media.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 18.

34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source
36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

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

    Whosoever undertakes to buy or sell a vote for an election or ballot in the European Parliament or in a parliament of the Federation, the member states, municipalities or municipal associations, shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than five years or a fine.‌

  • Source

    Criminal Code1998, amended 2013, Chapter 4, Section 108e.

39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
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
  • Source
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
  • Source
44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

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

    Annually.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 23.

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

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 24(5).

49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 23(1).

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.

    (3) If the total amount of donations made, and contributions paid by elected representatives/officials, to a political party or to one or more of its regional/local branches exceeds 10,000 euros in any one calendar year (accounting year), they shall be recorded, together with the names and addresses of the donors and the total amount, in the statement of accounts. Single donations in excess of 50,000 euros shall be reported immediately to the President of the German Bundestag. The latter shall in a timely manner publish the donation, together with the donor’s name, as a Bundestag printed paper.

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 25(3).

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeParliamentary unit
  • Comment

    The President of the Bundestag

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 23(1)(2).

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

    The President of the Bundestag; The Comptroller's Office/Audit Office

  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 23(1)(2).

57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeRequest additional information from potential violator
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Section 23.

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

    Political Parties Act 1994, amended 2015, Sections 19, 31.

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.