Almost half the money flowing into European parliamentary alliances comes from the US, according to research by Dutch investigative news website Follow the Money.
Most of this cash comes from multinational companies and predominantly conservative think tanks and is donated to Christian conservative and Liberal party groups, the website said.
ALDE – which counts the two Dutch Liberal groups VVD and D66 among its members – has had substantial donations from large technology firms, FTM said. The European Christian Political Movement ECPM, which includes ChristenUnie and the SGP, benefits largely from contributions from American evangelical organisations.
The money is not usually made over as donations but as ‘special contributions’, FTM points out.
Russia, often accused of trying to interfere in the European political process, makes barely any identifiable donations, the platform said.
DTM analysed almost 1,000 donations made by individuals, companies and other organisations.
Earlier this year, the cabinet agreed that Dutch political parties are to be banned from accepting funding from sources outside the EU.
A government commission had recommended banning foreign funding altogether but home affairs minister Kajsa Ollongren said earlier this went too far, because many Dutch parties have sister organisations in Europe.
Research has shown the anti-immigration PVV is the main recipient of foreign money within the Dutch political system. In the two years up to February 2017, it received a total of €130,280.38 in four payments from the David Horowitz Freedom Center in California.
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