This project runs from August 2020 to August 2023. The research group will organise two expert meetings, one at the beginning and one halfway through the project. The project will be concluded with a conference of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), where the final report with the key conclusions and recommendations will be presented.
Expert meeting at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations
On April 14, 2022, the ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations has invited Ronald Tinnevelt and Joris Gijsenbergh, together with other experts, for an experting meeting on party finance.
Expert meeting 2 (12 November 2021)
On 12 November 2021, the second expert meeting of the project group took place. We have discussed the preliminary results of our research, as well as the potential future challenges. We have done so with a select group of legal scholars (both in the fields of Constitutional Law and Association Law), political scientists, historians, and civil servants.
The participants discussed the research project and the suggested law on political parties, by focusing on a short presentation of the preliminary results, as well as four propositions:
- Proposition 1: Historical research is crucial for the normative assessment of the desirability of party regulation.
- Proposition 2: Political parties can only keep on playing an intermediary role between state and society, if they strengthen their ties with unorganized citizens (i.e., non-party members).
- Proposition 3: The government should regulate the rights and obligations of political parties, especially in the electoral process.
- Proposition 4: However, the government should not decide how political parties strengthen their ties with citizens.
Meeting of the Democratisch Laboratorium (19 October, 09.00-11.00 AM)
Joris Gijsenbergh will present his research during a meeting of Democratisch Laboratorium (DemLab) a multidisciplinary hub of philosophers, political scientists and historians affiliated with the Radboud University.
Lecture for the research group 'Repertoires of Representation' (28 September 2021)
During this meeting of the research group 'Repertoires of Representation' at Radboud University (28-09-2021, 12.30-13.30 PM), dr. Joris Gijsenbergh will present the preliminary findings of his research.
Expert meeting 1 (22 January 2021)
On 22 January 2021, the first (online) expert meeting took place. It led to a constructive discussion about 1) the direction of the research project and 2) the plan of the Dutch government to introduce a law on political parties (“Wet op de politieke partijen”, Wpp).
A multidisciplinary selection of circa twenty experts in the field of party regulation contributed to the debate, including legal scholars, political scientists, historians, and civil servants.
The participants discussed the research project and the suggested law on political parties, by focusing on four propositions:
- Proposition 1: If the law on political parties (Wpp) will be introduced, the Dutch legislator will move from the British model (extensive regulation of political parties) in the direction of the German model (intensive regulation of political parties). That would be wise, because the crucial role that parties have acquired in the political process justifies further (constitutional) codification.
- Proposition 2: Further (constitutional) codification of political parties should remain limited to a minimum. Political parties deserve as much freedom as possible. Moreover, they need as much room as posible to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Proposition 3: Since the government wants to specify the existing rules regarding the party ban, it forces the legislator to define what it means by ‘democratic rule of law’ and ‘democratic principles’. However, that would be unwise, because that codification would hinder future discussions about the nature of democracy.
- Proposition 4: Members of Parliament (MPs) who leave their party and keep their seat (‘zetelroof’, in Dutch), break their promise to the electorate. After all, de facto most citizens vote for a party, instead of an individual candidate. The rule regarding the free mandate of MPs in the Constititution (Article 67, paragraph 3) is at odds with the twenty-first century practice. Therefore, the Constititution should prohibit ‘zetelroof’.