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European political parties

European political parties are governed by Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations.

A political party is defined by that regulation as an association of citizens, which pursues political objectives, and is either recognised by, or established in accordance with, the laws of at least one EU Member State. European political parties are described as federations of national political parties from several Member States which are united by political affinity.

While European political parties are not identical to the political groups in the European Parliament — which are formed by Members of the European Parliament following elections — they and their related political groups in the European Parliament tend to work closely together.

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 also governs the European political foundations, which are research and advocacy organisations independent of, but closely affiliated to, the European political parties.

Registration and control of European political parties and foundations is undertaken by the independent Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations. European political parties can only be registered if they are represented in at least seven Member States.