Since its foundation in 1991, the PRuF has attached great importance to the fact that no purely theoretical research is conducted in an ivory tower, but that it is complemented by radiation into political and social practice.
Unique data base of internal party case law
Applied research also includes the institutes permanent tasks of informing the public across party lines by means of databases and services as well as enabling political parties to conduct their work in a scientifically sound and rational manner. For example, all parties represented in the German Bundestag have enabled the Institute to develop a database on party arbitration [hier Link zur Datenbank einfügen] and to make it available online for the practical arbitration work of the various committees. This is a unique facility in Germany, as nowhere else the internal jurisdiction of the parties is collected and processed.
Scientific monitoring and support for political parties
In addition, the institute’s staff as well as the institute’s directors are active in a variety of ways in consulting and applied research. During his term of office, Prof. Dr. Martin Morlok supported the work of the Federal President’s Party Financing Commission in 2004 with an important expert report. The former deputy director Prof. Dr. Ulrich von Alemann was member of the commission and, through his work, had a significant influence on the reform of the Political Parties Act in 2002. The directors as well as the institute’s research assistants support the practical work of political parties through various interventions and consulting activities.
The institute is constantly involved in questions of party practise, especially by the parties (at all levels, from local to federal) or by authorities, which must apply party law on political practise. These inquiries are extremely fruitful for the institute: they represent an ongoing input of issues, which stimulates the scientific reflection. An advisory capacity available at the institute thus creates a continuous flow of information on the latest actual developments in the parties and newly emerging legal problems.
European dimension as an incentive and task
However, especially the European comparative law component of applied research must not be forgotten. The founder and long-lasting director of the Party Institute, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Dimitris Th. Tsatsost, has tirelessly promoted the problems of party law in Europe and, as rapporteur of the European Parliament for the Intergovernmental Conference in Nice, has shaped essential elements of the developing constitutional system in Europe. It is certainly to a large extent thanks to him that the parties have been included in the European treaty bases. The institute's other publications, which deal with the development of party law and the problem of party financing in Europe, are also in this practical tradition. Here, too, a far-reaching effect on the political practice of parties in Europe can be assumed. There is no other institute in Europe that does such work.