Monday

24th Apr 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.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

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.

Eurozone bank needs more scrutiny, says NGO

Transparency International says eurozone's central bank is not subject to "appropriate democratic scrutiny" and should have no say on EU bailout projects.

Analysis

From Bratislava to Rome: Little more than a show of unity

The so-called Bratislava process of reflection for the EU came to an end on Saturday, but there were few tangible results that citizens could take away from the soul-searching. Despite that, unity among the EU-27 has been maintained.

Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

EU 27 leaders in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the signing of Treaty of Rome, in bid to counter rising challenges after Brexit. But new ideas are scarce.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Controlling the right of repeal

There was a distinct air of finality about Sir Tim Barrow's personal delivery of the Article 50 letter in Brussels – it certainly marks the end of an era.

Be fair in Brexit talks, EU tells UK

European Council chief Tusk sent draft guidelines to member states. He said the EU wants "fairness" and then warned against using security cooperation as bargaining chip.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  2. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  3. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  4. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  5. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  6. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  7. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region and the US: A Time of Warlike Rhetoric and Militarisation?
  9. European Free AllianceEFA MEPs Vote in Favor of European Parliament's Brexit Mandate
  10. Mission of China to the EUXinhua Insight: China to Open up Like Never Before
  11. World VisionViolence Becomes New Normal for Syrian Children
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsTime to Turn the Tide and End Repression of Central Asia's Civil Society

Latest News

  1. Brexit summit, Turkey and Hungary dominate EU This WEEK
  2. Russia threat triggers European military spending hike
  3. Voters 'change face' of French politics
  4. France holds nail-biting 'anti-system' vote
  5. Le Pen-Putin friendship goes back a long way
  6. Mogherini should tell Russians their rights matter
  7. Le Pens Freunde aus dem Trump Tower
  8. Sexe et mensonges: l'information russe sur l'UE