QoG lunch seminar with Alexander Katsaitis


International parliamentary institutions and political donations: the case of the European Parliament

17 Apr 2024
12:00 - 13:00
Stora Skansen (room B336), Sprängkullsgatan 19

Alexander Katsaitis, Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Stockholm University
Good to know
The QoG institute regularly organizes seminars related to research on Quality of Government, broadly defined as trustworthy, reliable, impartial, uncorrupted and competent government institutions.

All seminars are held in English unless stated otherwise.
The Quality of Government Institute (QoG)


International Parliamentary Institutions (IPIs) increasingly welcome non-state actors (NSAs) within their policy-making procedures. Political donations are an important tool in NSAs' lobbying toolbox that has been well researched at the national level. Nevertheless, we know little about the links between NSAs, IPIs and political finance. Employing the European Parliament as an exploratory case-study, the article meticulously assesses micro-level financial donor data. Contrasting neo-functional and intergovernmental approaches, the results demonstrate a cleavage formed between individuals supporting anti-integration political parties, and international business donating to pro-integration parties. Theoretically, the article validates postfunctionalist approaches as a model for parts of the NSA–IPI relationship. Conceptually, the analysis shows that IPIs can encourage transnational cleavage formation and serve a representative function, which addresses the concerns about democratic deficit that come with the transfer of policy-making authority to international organizations. Simultaneously, financial donations can strengthen movements that oppose an IPI, and have an asymmetric impact on the IPI's political legitimacy. This calls for further research on NSAs' political financing of IPIs, the impact of financial donations on IPIs and the need to update relevant regulatory frameworks.