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Which OECD Countries Allow Donations to Political Parties?


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Anna Fleck


Less than half of OECD countries ban anonymous donations for political financing, according to data published in the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Outlook 2024 released by the OECD. The report argues that this leaves these countries “exposed to undue influence.” The following chart shows which countries have enforced regulations on the complete ban of financial contributions from anonymous donations, publicly owned enterprises and foreign states and foreign enterprises.


According to the report, the problem with foreign donations is that they can “unduly influence candidates and political parties and lead to overrepresentation of foreign actors’ interests in public institutions rather than the domestic public interest.” For this reason, the OECD recommends the transparency and traceability of funds. Meanwhile, donations from publicly owned enterprises or state-owned enterprises can “blur the line between public and private and distort governance framework agreements between state-owned enterprises and the state”, including the “improper diversion of public funds” and risk of the idea that donations are given in exchange for “political allegiance”. Anonymous donations run the risk of the aforementioned donors circumnavigating rules.


As the following chart shows, bans on contributions to political parties from foreign states or enterprises are common for most OECD countries. Only Greece, Australia, Denmark and Sweden do not have this rule. Meanwhile, Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark and Sweden stand out for not having a ban on funding from publicly owned enterprises.


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