The Ministry of the Interior has approved the allocation of funding from the 2024 state budget, which will be provided to support the activities of Estonia's political parties. The Reform Party, which won 37 seats in the last Riigikogu elections, received €1,878,262 in state funds. No political party has ever received so much in state budget support.
In the previous configuration of the Riigikogu, Reform had 34 seats.
Reform Party Secretary General Timo Suslov told ERR that the party's budget is likely to be adopted in the second half of January 2024, adding that state support will also be taken into account during that process.
"Even now, it is not a really big increase. It is certainly better in terms of finances, but life has also become somewhat more expensive," Suslov said.
All political parties that exceed the electoral threshold (five percent) receive an amount of state budget support proportional to the number of seats they hold in the Riigikogu.
The Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) received €862,985 in state funding, while the Center Party got €812,221. Eesti 200 received €710,694, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) €456,874 and Isamaa €406,110.
EKRE currently has 16 seats in the Riigikogu, Eesti 200 has 14, the Center Party 13, the Social Democratic Party (SDE) has nine and Isamaa has eight.
The party that saw the biggest fall in terms of state funding was the Center Party, which had 26 seats in the previous Riigikogu. Center Part Secretary General Anneli Ott told ERR that the party's executive board has not yet adopted its budget for 2024, but will be making the necessary calculations in due course.
"Of course, we will take into account the resources that are available to us and plan our activities accordingly. The party is used to planning its activities with pretty limited resources," Ott said.
"In itself, I don't see this as a particularly strong change to our current situation," she added.
The Ministry of the Interior also confirmed the amount of state funds to be paid to political parties that did not exceed the electoral threshold during the Riigikogu elections, but collected between two and three percent of the overall vote. The Estonian United Left Party (Soon to change its name to Vasakpoolsed) will receive €30,000, as will Parempoolsed.
In total, the Riigikogu parties will receive €5,187,150 in state funds next year.
The funds are pare paid into the parties' accounts by the fifth day of each calendar month in twelve monthly instalments.
Political parties in Estonia can receive financial support in four different ways: (1) party membership fees, (2) state budget allocations, (3) donations, (4) transactions involving party assets.
Those parties which fell below the electoral threshold but managed to collect at least two percent support in the Riigikogu elections also received state funds.
Editor: Michael Cole