Political party financing
The Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Interior will establish a set of guidelines regarding private contributions to political parties. These guidelines will help clarify when private contributions to political parties are subject to the existing regulation. The guidelines will be published in Q1 2019.
The commitment targets a relatively narrow policy area regarding private political party donations and proposes the implementation of new, concrete guidelines. The commitment does not however specify the expected content of these guidelines, nor how they will contribute to the achievement of recognised international standards.
The commitment identifies the clear, measurable action of establishing a set of guidelines regarding private contributions to political parties. In addition, the commitment defines a timeframe which further permits an assessment of the implementation beyond the binary fulfilled/not fulfilled.
In January 2019, The Ministry for Economic Affairs (now Ministry of Social Affairs and the Interior) drafted a set of guidelines regarding political party donations. The guidelines were subsequently reviewed in two instances by relevant parties, including but not limited to NGOs, think tanks and state authorities. Following an initial hearing in February 2019, a chapter on audit obligations and auditor independence was added to the guidelines.1 The new version was subject to another hearing in April 2020 2 and the final guidelines were published on the 9 July 2020 titled Guideline No. 9338 of July 9, 2020 on Certain Questions Regarding Political Party Donations.3
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
While the commitment was not fully implemented before July 2020, the process was initiated in January 2019, which is in accordance with the national statement (Q1 2019). It remains unclear, however, if and how the guidelines will be distributed among relevant parties, making it difficult to properly assess the impact of the commitment.
Transparency International Denmark urges for further political action in transparency in private political party donations. It is vital for Denmark to become compliant with GRECO’s 2019 recommendations from.4
It is recommended that there is a ban on anonymous donations to members of parliament and political parties (at the local and national levels). This regulation could be targeted at donations that are higher than a fixed minimum limit if relevant experts and scholars find this model appropriate. It is recommended that the limit be lowered significantly from the DKK current 20,000 (approx. €2,700). Additionally, Transparency International Denmark strongly advocates for the full disclosure of the size of donations.
Additionally, more specificity in the requirements for party budgets is recommended as the current regulation makes it difficult to assess the value of donations in kind and services, which is particularly important in times of election campaigning.
Lastly, it is vital to improve the supervisory efforts targeting financial donations in Danish politics. As the current regulation does not provide adequate transparency in private political donations, Transparency International Denmark finds it insufficient that the national statement solely commits to providing clarity on these existing rules.
 The guidelines clarified the regulation as stated in the Political Parties Funding Act (2017) and Annual Accounts of Political Parties Act (2019).
- Høringsportalen, Høring over udkast til vejledning om visse spørgsmål vedrørende partistøtte, https://hoeringsportalen.dk/Hearing/Details/62668?fbclid=IwAR2yDEaDGwjD2V_fbLvojhx3uN2t9sR7WtHJYLLLPi6l_lz8nqQy5xT3sTA12 April 2019
- Høringsportalen, Ny høring over udkast til vejledning om visse spørgsmål vedrørende partistøtte, https://hoeringsportalen.dk/Hearing/Details/637906 June 2020
- Vejledning nr. 9338 af 9. juni 2020 om visse spørgsmål vedrørende partistøtte, https://valg.sim.dk/media/38101/vejledning-nr-9338-af-9-juni-2020-om-visse-spoergsmaal-vedroerende-partistoette-uofficiel-trykvenlig-version.pdf9 June 2020
- GRECO, Fifth Evaluation Round, Preventing Corruption and Promoting Integrity in Central Governments (Top Executive Functions) And Law Enforcement Agencies, https://rm.coe.int/fifth-evaluation-round-preventing-corruption-and-promoting-integrity-i/168097203a4 September 2019
(logged in as editor)