Sunday

17th Dec 2017

Mixed record on EU donor aid transparency

  • The European Commission's branch on development and cooperation (Devco) is among the world's most transparent in donor aid. (Photo: European Commission)

A donor aid transparency index paints a mixed picture on how the European Commission disperses its aid funds outside the EU.

The study, published on Monday (1 October), by the London-based Publish What You Fund campaign, ranked the commission’s directorate on development and cooperation (Devco) as among the most transparent in a list of 72 donor organisations.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Devco’s annual budget for 2011 was over € 7 billion, said the campaign.

“This evaluation from an independent and respected organisation is also timely as discussions regarding the next EU budget, including aid, are on-going,” wrote development commissioner Andris Piebalgs on his blog.

But the same study placed the commission’s directorate on enlargement (DG enlargement) as near the bottom of the pile.

The pro-transparency campaign ranked donors by organisation, country and activity by using a set of 43 different transparency indicators.

Measures included those outlined by the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), a voluntary initiative to disclose donor aid that the commission signed up to in October 2011.

DG enlargement, which is charged to overlook the expansion of the European Union, has a €5.7 billion budget for 2011 to 2013 to help finance potential EU member states through its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

The directorate had an overall score of 35 percent and ranked 43 out of 72 donors.

“DG Devco is publishing its information and its good improvements from last year from ninth to fifth [ranking] and we don’t understand why DG enlargement isn’t following suit,” a spokeswoman from the pro-transparency campaign told EUobserver.

She pointed out that DG enlargement’s data is scattered and fragmented.

“We also know that their own commissioner has a lot of problems standing up in front of the European Parliament and telling them how this money has been spent,” she said.

Peter Stano, the commission’s enlargement spokesperson, told this website that the directorate “is constantly improving access to information on pre–accession assistance.”

He pointed out that the site had been revamped to make the data more readily accessible but noted that “some crucial elements of the information made available by us on IPA were completely missing in the analysis”.

At 47 overall, the study also placed near the bottom the commission’s Foreign Policy Instruments Service. The service is a department inside the commission that co-manages, among other things, crisis response programmes along with the EU’s foreign service.

“This is a new service and its just been set up and we think they should be making greater efforts to be much more transparent to how their funds are being spent,” said the campaign spokeswoman.

The rankings may cast a shadow over the on-going EU budget negotiations. Member states in July had recommended the EU slash spending in external policy for next year’s budget by 17 percent or € 1.03 billion.

The European Parliament will vote on the member state budget amendments on Thursday.

EU member state Malta ranks at the very bottom, just below China, followed by Hungary, Cyprus, Greece and Bulgaria.

At the top is the UK’s department for International Development, followed by the World Bank and the Netherlands.

Iceland spurns €30m over fears of EU propaganda

EU candidate country Iceland has spurned up to €30 million in Brussels cash out of fear that any projects the money is spent on would amount to interference in a domestic debate over whether or not to join the bloc.

Centeno: Eurogroup picks Southern head

Portuguese finance minister was chosen by his eurozone colleagues with a 'very substantial majority' after he appeared to be the only one ticking the boxes.

Commission wants more centralised eurozone by 2019

EU leaders will discuss at their summit next week the commission's proposals, which include a European Monetary Fund and an EU finance minister - but no eurozone budget, as proposed by French president Emmanuel Macron.

News in Brief

  1. EU adopts 'track-and-trace' tobacco system
  2. Luxembourg appeals Amazon tax decision
  3. EU leaders agree to open phase 2 of Brexit talks
  4. Juncker: May made 'big efforts' on Brexit
  5. Merkel took 'tough' line on Russia at EU summit
  6. EU leaders added line supporting 'two-state' solution
  7. EU leaders agree to 20 European Universities by 2024
  8. Belgian courts end legal proceedings against Puigdemont

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  2. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% plastics recycling rate attainable by 2025 new study shows
  3. European Heart NetworkCommissioner Andriukaitis' Address to EHN on the Occasion of Its 25th Anniversary
  4. ACCACFOs Risk Losing Relevance If They Do Not Embrace Technology
  5. UNICEFMake the Digital World Safer for Children & Increase Access for the Most Disadvantaged
  6. European Jewish CongressWelcomes Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and Calls on EU States to Follow Suit
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Boost Innovation Cooperation Under Horizon 2020
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationJuncker’s "Political" Commission Leaves Gambling Reforms to the Court
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Applauds U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital City
  10. EU2017EEEU Telecom Ministers Reached an Agreement on the 5G Roadmap
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEU-Armenia Relations in the CEPA Era: What's Next?
  12. Mission of China to the EU16+1 Cooperation Injects New Vigour Into China-EU Ties

Latest News

  1. Catalonia, Brexit, and Uber on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Macron and Merkel take tough line on Poland
  3. Eurozone future needs structural reforms, EU leaders told
  4. Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June
  5. EU stresses unity as it launches next phase of Brexit talks
  6. Polish PM ready for EU sanctions scrap
  7. Dutchman to lead powerful euro working group
  8. EU mulls post-Brexit balance of euro and non-eurozone states