Level Up: Political Finance with Integrity
The Level Up: Political Finance with Integrity project aims to improve political finance regulatory frameworks in Moldova, Mongolia and Paraguay. Together, the partners are working to level the playing field, particularly for women and youth, and to protect public policy from the undue influence of money in politics.
This two-year project (January 2018 to December 2019), which is co-funded by the European Union, focuses on how these regulations could better empower women and young politicians; and how they can protect the integrity of public policy making from the influence exerted by money in politics. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) is the project’s managing organization and works together with three other implementing partners: The Centre for Continued Electoral Training (CCET) in Moldova, Open Society Forum in Mongolia and Semillas para la Democracia in Paraguay. These four organizations have an established track record as impartial and honest brokers of expertise on political finance.
The project leverages on existing momentum on these three countries to reform and improve their respective political finance system. They have all experienced strong public demands to improve the integrity of politics given resent corruption scandals. In addition, their systems have undergone reforms that require further development. This, in combination with good timing in relation to their electoral cycle—general elections in Paraguay in April 2018, parliamentary elections in Moldova in November 2018 and legislative elections in Mongolia in 2020— increased political leaders’ interest and willingness to discuss political finance reforms.
- In Moldova, political parties expressed interest to review and address the lack of clarity in the existing laws in a multiparty setting, as well as to develop their compliance capacities and further learn from international experiences.
- In Mongolia, all political parties publicly support the idea of openness and transparency in political financing.
- In Paraguay, representatives of the three largest national political parties stated that the 2018 general elections will provide an opportunity to address reforms to increase women’s political participation.
In Paraguay and Mongolia, Level Up offers inter-party dialogue especially targeted at the parties’ leadership, as well as women and youth leaders (the “supply side” of reform), to build consensus on the legal and policy frameworks affecting political party financing to ensure a level playing field for women and youth. Meanwhile, in Mongolia and Moldova these dialogue opportunities focus on protecting public policy from the undue influence of money in politics. In Moldova, the dialogue involves political parties with parliamentary representation, that qualified for the second round during the last presidential elections, and that receive state funding and declare their income. In Mongolia, the dialogue centres on political parties with parliamentary representation or those that qualified to the presidential elections run-off over the last five years. In Paraguay, the dialogue engages registered political parties with parliamentary representation over last five years.
The project furthermore combines this inter-party dialogue approach with multi-stakeholder consultations involving oversight agencies, watchdog CSOs, media representatives, donors and experts (the “demand side” of reform), to building an informed public discussion, raising public awareness and increasing accountability on these matters.
Finally, the project offers all these actors capacity development on dialogue and compliance, technical assistance and sensitization, including through an online system (the Best Political Finance Regulation Test) that provides analysis and informed opinions about regulatory options.
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