Monday, 7 July 2008

EU transparency: Structural Funds

The European Commission has started a new website in order to strengthen transparency in the spending of structural funds.

The site, which is "work in progress", will be a hub linking to all relevant national and regional authorities within EU member states responsible for the spending of structural funds. On these national/regional pages, the authorities will have to list all beneficiaries of structural funds.

So far, there is still very much work to do. In fact, only a very small majority of national websites is linked, some of them are not working and others are also work in progress, which means that they do not yet contain any information on beneficiaries.

In general, this is a good and important initiative, but it seems as if we will have to wait for quite some time until this will provide an effective tool for intra-state and inter-state comparisons.

And, what is very important from my point of view: All the national/regional websites should provide an English language version (at least!) of their respective information in order to allow citizens and authorities from other countries to see how the money is spent in other regions. If this would not be the case, than the whole initiative would be non-sense.


Anonymous said...

There is definitely lots of work to be done on this site. But one's fully operational, it would be a big plus for accountability efforts in the EU.

Having an English language version would be of great help, but that surely is not each member states' priority. Even if an English version is provided, I suspect only select parts will be translated simply because it takes additional resources to get the job done. So we'll just have to rely on google translate or yahoo babelfish.