Gherghina, S. , Marian, C. and Farcas, R. (2023) Tying loose ends: political parties and individual private funding in Romania. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies.

Private funding in election campaigns has traditionally been studied in relation to its consequences or to private companies. However, we know little about why individuals privately fund political parties. This paper aims to identify the drivers for such behaviour in the context of the campaign for the 2020 parliamentary elections in Romania. We analysed all 98 individuals who paid extra-large membership fees, made donations, or provided high-value loans to political parties. The results show that the money provided by individuals in campaigns is given for narrow and egoistical interests rather than party-related goals. These include maintaining a favourable status quo, securing further nominations, gaining access to public office, moving from central to local politics, and acting as a smokescreen between companies and parties. These observations are not party-specific but characterize the entire political spectrum.