Zagreb - The Croatian government sent a final bill on financing political activities, election campaigning and referendums to Parliament on Friday.
The main change compared to the initial draft is that administrative penalties are issued by the State Electoral Commission (DIP) as an independent and professional body and no longer by the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System.
The bill regulates the financing of referendum activities which until now was not regulated at all, as well as envisages the establishment of a computer system to monitor financing and the release of financial reports via DIP's website.
This will make supervision more efficient, facilitate database search functions as well as simplify the procedure of compiling and submitting financial and other reports, said the state-secretary at the Administration Ministry, Josipa Rimac.
The bill also determines the criteria to define the amount of funding that local government units are obliged to have in their budgets for the purpose of financing political parties and independent MPs, depending on their size and population. This will ensure a minimum common standard for annual financing from local government budgets.
The bill also regulates the distribution of budget funds for political parties for regular annual financing based on the number of seats or members in representatives bodies and final election results, and not based on the number of seats at the time when representative bodies are established, as is now the case.