There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a unique and unprecedented impact on the flow of money in politics.

It is not difficult to envisage how the amount of public subsidies to political parties might be reduced or entire public funding mechanisms readjusted in order to save public money and channel it to the fight the pandemic. At the same time, restrictions on the size of gatherings will also make it more difficult to organize fundraising events. The pandemic could make political parties more dependent on public funding to sustain their political activities. For better or worse, any change in public funding will have a number of consequences across the entire political finance system and beyond.

This Technical Paper analyses case studies of past public funding reforms and provides practical insights for states considering reform during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Publication date
16 June 2020
Number of pages

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1. Overview

2. Consequences of public funding reforms following major economic and political crises

3. Key issues


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The Potential Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Political Finance Systems: Insights from Recent Public Funding Reforms

International IDEA Technical Paper 3/2020
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