The Act on Political Parties regulates how parties are financed in Germany and the level of public funding they are allowed to receive. The criterion for the distribution of these funds is the extent to which the parties are rooted in society. This is measured, firstly, by how many votes a party gained in the most recent European, Bundestag and Land parliament elections. Secondly, the amount of money raised through members’ subscriptions, contributions made by office holders and legally obtained donations is also factored into the decision.
The amounts of public money that flow to the parties entitled to receive state funding are set on 15 February each year. This decision is taken by the President of the German Bundestag, to whom the Act on Political Parties (Section 19a) assigns this executive function.