No. 28



On the Nature and Creation of the Political Parties Act

19 December 2013


RiTo No. 28, 2013

  • Rait Maruste

    Member of the Riigikogu, Estonian Reform Party

  • Riho Kangur

    Adviser, Research Department, Chancellery of the Riigikogu

Over the recent years, the discussion about the activities, goals, internal democracy and financing rules set for the parties has attracted a lot of attention. Citizen associations, journalists, and the parties themselves have, in light of larger and smaller problems and scandals, proposed different amendments to the acts that regulate the functioning of parties.

At the same time, the relevant laws should be free of the state’s excessive interference and disproportionate restrictions. Although we need to carefully consider all administrative procedures required for registering parties, their necessity strongly depends on the political culture and the political system that have formed within the society. For example, there is no requirement to register a party in Germany, Greece or Switzerland. Similarly to Estonia, a certain number of signatures are required to register a party in Austria, Spain, and Norway. When setting procedural restrictions for the founding of parties, we need to ensure that they do not create superfluous bureaucratic burden or set an unreasonably high barrier. The state’s interference with the internal affairs of the parties could be limited to general advice: that the parties ought to be transparent in their decision making; the party members should be well informed about their rights and obligations; finally, that the Statute of the party and the choice of the party’s leader should also be made with full consideration of the members of the party.

Full article in Estonian