European Parties

Composition of the three most important EU institutions by parties/parliamentary groups
(as of December 2016)
The following table provides an overview of the political parties at European level, their groups in the European Parliament as well as their associated political foundations.

The conditions for the recognition of European political parties are governed by the regulation on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations. Among other things, European parties must:

● be represented in at least seven EU Member States with Members of the European Parliament, the national parliament or regional parliaments or have reached three percent of the vote in the last European elections in at least seven Member States;
● observe the EU’s fundamental values;
● have the intention to participate in European elections.

In the European Parliament, members of the same European party usually form a common group. According to the Parliament’s rules of procedure, at least 25 members of the European Parliament from seven member states are needed to establish a parliamentary group. However, parties and groups do not always coincide: In several cases, two European parties form a common group; and all groups currently include some members who are not organized in a European party.

The European political foundations are each connected to a party and complement their activities, for example by carrying out studies and organizing events. Just like the European parties, the foundations also have the right to partial funding from the EU budget.

In 2016, 15 European political parties are recognized by the EU.


The order of the parties in the table follows the amount of their funding from the EU, which in turn is based on their results in the last elections to the European Parliament. The abbreviation of the party name is indicated not only in English, but also where differing in German and French. By hovering the mouse pointer over the abbreviation, the full German and French name will appear as mouseover text. For a better appraisal of the political orientation of the European parties, their national member organizations in the six largest EU Member States are listed on the right side of the table. Their full names can be made visible as mouseover text, too.

Party Group Political Foundation Member Parties in
DE FR GB IT ES PL
European People’s Party EPP
EVP, PPE
European People’s Party
(EPP)
Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
 
CDU,
CSU
LR
FI,
NCD
i.a.
PP,
UDC
PO,
PSL
Party of European Socialists PES
SPE, PSE
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
(S&D)
Foundation of European Progressive Studies
(FEPS)
 
SPD PS Lab. PD PSOE SLD
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe ALDE Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
(ALDE)
 
European Liberal Forum
(ELF)

FDP

LibDem IdV,
RI
CDC PD
Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
 
AECR
AEKR, ACRE
European Conservatives and Reformists
(ECR)
New Direction ALFA

Cons.,
UUP

CR

PiS
European Green Party EGP
PVE
The Greens / European Free Alliance
(G/EFA)
 
Green European Foundation
(GEF)
Grüne EELV Greens Verdi Q,
ICV
Zieloni
Party of the European Left EL
GE
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
(GUE/NGL)
  
Transform! Linke PCF,
PG,
GU

PRC IU
Movement for a Europe of Nations and Freedom MENF
BENF, MENL
Europe of Nations and Freedom
(ENF)

Fondation pour une Europe des Nations et des Libertés
(FENL)
 

FN
LN

Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe ADDE Europa der Freiheit und der direkten Demokratie
(EFDD) 

Initiative for Direct Democracy in Europe
(IDDE)


DLF UKIP


European Free Alliance EFA
ALE
The Greens / European Free Alliance
(G/EFA)
 
Centre Maurits Coppieters
(CMC)
BP
i.a.
PNC
i.a.
SNP,
PC
i.a.

STF
i.a.
ERC,
EA,
Aralar
i.a.
RAŚ
European Democratic Party EDP
PDE
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
(ALDE)
 
Institute of European Democrats
(IED)
FW MoDem,
UDI

ApI PNV SD
European Alliance for Freedom EAF
AEL
Europe of Nations and Freedom
(ENF)
European Foundation for Freedom
(EFF)
 
individual members only
European Christian Political Movement ECPM
ECPB, MPCE
European Conservatives and Reformists
(ECR)

Christian Political Foundation for Europe
(CPFE)
 
BʼC
CPA


Europeans United for Democracy EUD European United Left / Nordic Green Left
(GUE/NGL)

Organisation for European Interstate Cooperation
(OEIC)






Alliance of European National Movements AENM
AENB, AEMN
non-attached

Identité et Traditions Européennes
(ITE)



BNP FT MSR

Alliance for Peace and Freedom APF
AFF, APL
non-attached

Europa Terra Nostra
(ETN)
NPD
BU FN DN

Pictures: Own graphs.

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