Money is a necessary component of any democracy: it enables political participation, campaigning and representation. However, if it is not effectively regulated, it can undermine the integrity of political processes and institutions, and jeopardize the quality of democracy. Therefore, regulations related to the funding of political parties and election campaigns, commonly known as political finance, are a critical way to promote integrity, transparency and accountability in any democracy.
Political finance regulations must adapt and adjust to political, economic and societal changes. This report contributes to the discussion of the future of political finance by exploring the following trends, opportunities and challenges related to money in politics that need to be taken into consideration when improving political finance systems:
- mainstreaming political finance regulations into an overall anti-corruption framework;
- supporting the implementation of existing political finance regulations and monitoring their performance;
- harnessing digital technologies to ensure transparency and accountability in political finance; and
- designing targeted political finance measures to encourage the inclusion of underrepresented groups in politics.
2. Political finance and anti-corruption
3. Implementation and compliance mechanisms
4. Digital technologies in political finance
5. Access to political funding by underrepresented groups
6. The way forward: making money play a positive role in promoting democracy