Non-governmental organizations open up procurement to the EU Union to handle the transparency of the EU’s announced economic assistance program expenditures. The EU has invested 672.5 billion euros in grants and loans through the Recovery and Recovery Mechanism (IOC) for a development and recovery plan to help member states start their own economies after the coronavirus pandemic.
But as it shows analysis With the open procurement of the European Union, many members do not intend to transparently handle the European funds they should receive. Croatia is certainly one of them. Let us remind that Croatia received 6.3 billion euros, which is approximately 47.5 billion kuna.
The European Union Public Procurement analyzed plans to use European funds in 22 member states and found that 20 countries did not plan to publish information on recipients of funds.
The analysis also found that only one country (Sweden) promised to publish an audit report on the use of European funds and report to the European Commission. Another worrying fact is that the European Commission does not intend to share information received from Sweden with the public.
Seven countries, including Croatia, have not committed to any spending transparency. There are also Austria, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.
“The significant lack of transparency obligations completely undermines the important monitoring role of civil society and investigative journalists to ensure that there is no corruption or abuse when using these funds,” said Nicholas Iosa of EU Transparency International, one of the coalition associations.
The analysis of the national recovery and recovery plan also found that although two-thirds (68%) mentioned active disclosure of information, these are actually vague obligations to disclose more general information.
“If there is no accurate and detailed information on how the funds are used, we will not be able to assess whether the expenditure will contribute to the progress of the European Green Agreement, even though the European Commission claims that combating climate change is also a pandemic rescue,” Helen Dabhill (Helen Darbishire) said. Committed to evaluating national plans.
Only four countries—Bulgaria, Cyprus, Romania, and Sweden—are doing a good job of proactive communication, but no country has indicated that it will provide accessible, open spending data.
Given that the EU plan is essential to European unity and economic recovery from the pandemic, transparency in European funding is very important.
“We have seen examples of serious abuse of emergency procurement. The EU has also acknowledged to the public that public procurement has the highest risk of corruption among member states, and it is estimated that this is the easiest way to embezzle EU funds,” said transparency activists.
The analysis found that there is no uniform transparency policy when using funds for recovery and restoration mechanisms. Although the analyzed national plan focuses on communicating the positive results of EU investment to the public, there is no clear obligation to go beyond conventional government control mechanisms to ensure proactive disclosure of information. In addition, there are no plans to work with broader stakeholder groups (NGOs, business associations, etc.) to control spending.
What is further worrying is the lack of commitment to transparency at the national level, which is in stark contrast to the commitments of European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton and French President Egypt Manuel Macron, who recently stated that “all stimulus packages should be available online so that citizens can track their spending.”
Therefore, the European Union’s public procurement proposal, among other things, launch a portal where EU citizens will be able to monitor the expenditure of all funds from recovery and recovery mechanisms in one place.
The Open Procurement EU alliance is composed of the following associations: Access Info Europe (Spain), ePaństwo Foundation (Poland), Funky Citizens (Romania), K-Monitor (Hungary), Open Contracting Partnership, Parliament Watch (Italy), Transparency International EU, Transparency International (Latvia), Transparency International (Portugal).