perhaps Ms. Bonici would care to assist Barboo with some answers to the questions below - if Ms. Bonici would care to mail me at Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com or phone me on 01291 - 62 65 62 to provide some clarification I will be only too happy to publish her response, to broadcast her reply to a wider audience.
Here are a few questions from Barboo:
Those who promote joining a pan-European party as a means of acquiring large amounts of EU funding are careful to avoid mentioning the cost attached to membership of such a party before this funding can be accessed. What will the membership fee amount to, and how will it be calculated? As a percentage of UKIP members' existing party subscriptions? As an extra sum levied on members? Or by some other formula?
Certainly there will have to be some contribution from UKIP if it decides to join the European Alliance. EU regulations stipulate that a maximum 85% of an EU-party's budget can be provided by EU funding, but the remaining 15% must be contributed by the party itself from other sources. Those sources are not allowed to include donations from EP political groups or donations above 12,000 euros from any individual supporter, so, depending on how much EU funding the European Alliance qualifies for, a further sum will have to be provided by the national parties which make up the Alliance.
How much of this sum will have to be contributed by UKIP depends on whether it is divided equally between the constituent parties. That seems unlikely, as it would be disproportionate for an organisation such as Germany's tiny Stroppy Citizens' Party (BiW) to have to pay as much as a party with thousands of members and several MEPs. As the Alliance member with the largest number of MEPs UKIP could reasonably expect to have to contribute the lion's share of a minimum 15% of the Alliance's total budget.
'Minimum' because EU regulations allow the constituent parties to provide up to 40% of their EU party budget, thus enabling parties that qualify for only a relatively small amount of funding to supply from their own resources the rest of what they need to operate on an EU-wide scale. The European Alliance would get an equal share with other EU parties of 15% of the total EU funding pot, and a share of the remaining 85% in proportion to the number of MEPs it has, so as one of the smaller parties it is likely that it would have to contribute nearer 40% of its budget itself. How much of that would be required from UKIP?