EU to crack down on abuses in financing of European parties

A top European Union official says the bloc is readying reforms to crack down on abuses in the financing of European political parties seeking election to the European Parliament.

Frans Timmermans, vice president of the European Commission, said the new rules would close loopholes that have in some cases led to the abuse of European taxpayer money.

While describing the plan at a news conference Friday, he refused to cite specific examples of abuse, saying he was hamstrung by the need to not interfere in ongoing investigations.

The plan is part of a broader democratic drive by the EU at a time many Europeans complain about Brussels being too detached from citizens.

The changes are expected to pass before the 2019 elections to the European Parliament.