Handbook of Political Party Funding
Show Less

Handbook of Political Party Funding

Edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Scrutinizing a relatively new field of study, the Handbook of Political Party Funding assesses the basic assumptions underlying the research, presenting an unequalled variety of case studies from diverse political finance systems.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: Party funding in Spain

Fernando Jiménez and Manuel Villoria


The Spanish case is interesting for two reasons. First, the restoration of democracy in Spain took place at a time (1970s) when the emergence of mass parties was very unlikely. Spain is ahead of the rest of Europe in terms of the growing trend of citizens to distance themselves from political parties. Spanish party organizations have had the lowest membership levels in all of Western Europe. This made the problem of financing the parties more than evident from the outset in Spain. Second, the financing system chosen in Spain, a mixed system of public and private financing, is the most common amongst European countries, although it is true that the weight of public funding is higher in Spain than in most of her neighbours. The chapter describes the Spanish party funding system and analyses its main weaknesses. Corruption scandals linked to the illegal funding of parties in Spain have happened frequently even though there have been four major reforms in its legal framework (1987, 2007, 2012 and 2015). Despite the clear improvements brought about by the reform of 2015, there are still serious flaws in the regulation. It is still clear that parties have decided not to restrain themselves enough so as to avoid the temptation of obtaining funds in a questionable or outright illegal manner. The challenge lies in how to implement an effective reform when regulation depends on those that are regulated, and the latter have few incentives to implement such a reform. Pressure from international entities like GRECO, the emergence of new political formations that are aware of the need to self-limit and enhance funding transparency and, above all, pressure from citizens, associations and the media are all key factors for doing away with the current abuses and, as a result, reducing the risks of corruption in political funding.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.