A bill supported by a large majority in parliament has been introduced. It aims to limit the sponsoring of parties, representatives and political candidates to a maximum of 500 euros per year per sponsor. De Tijd and L’Echo are reporting this on Tuesday. In the future, entrepreneurs and businesses will therefore no longer be able to sponsor local festivals, campaigns and other events organised in the political world, without the imposition of any limit.
The deputy Inez De Coninck (New Flemish Alliance), sees the introduction of the bill, as “a major step forward in the fight against political corruption, bribery and influence peddling.” The aim is to bring the bill into force from January 1st next year, thus before the communal elections. The text is currently being considered by the Council of State, and is likely to go before parliament after the summer.
Currently, a ceiling of 2,000 euros per sponsor applies, albeit uniquely during the 3-month waiting period before each election. When investing money outside of these periods, sponsors may put in any amount, provided that the prices used are in accordance with market amounts. Otherwise, these contributions are considered to take the form of “secret donations”. By definition, it is prohibited for businesses to make such gifts.