Sunday, June 16, 2024

Big Tech donations boost liberals ahead of EU election

Must read

The Alliance for Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE) party and its think tank, European Liberal Forum (ELF), were tech giants’ most preferred recipients — ahead of an election that could see a far-right surge in the next Parliament, as polls suggest.

In January, Google’s Irish branch donated €18,000 — the maximum allowed — to ELF; Apple pledged the same amount to the think tank through an Irish subsidiary in February. Microsoft gave €5,000 in April, and €18,000 to the ALDE party in general in May; American chipmaker Qualcomm also ponied up an €18,000 donation to ALDE.

While some European parties, including the European Socialists, explicitly reject private donations, ALDE actively solicits them.

Last year, the party offered private-sector companies a menu of opportunities to sponsor party gatherings, with a full package available for the maximum €18,000 donation.

However, sponsorships weren’t available during the Parliament campaign, the party said, even as it has continued to receive donations from Big Tech and Big Pharma.

“Even though as a party we do not engage in the day-to-day policymaking in the European Parliament, we believe it is important to maintain an open dialogue [with] civil society, NGOs and the corporate sector,” said Anna Wangen, an ALDE party spokesperson. The European Liberal Forum didn’t get back on a request for comment in time for publication.

Latest article