Coalition for open, fair, and accountable public spending in the EU

We aim to stop public funds siphoning off and we have a plan that will help.

Why Open Spending?

Another year in the life of the EU Open Spending Coalition


Published date

14 Feb, 2024

It is a tradition to take stock of the activities you have carried out over the past year. We, too, join it and present to you a selection of the Coalition's activities. And there was a bit of it: conferences, monitoring, expert reports, and a considerable media presence. We invite you to read the details below.

We have paid a lot of attention to gathering evidence on how transparency in public spending in the EU is shaping up. In 2023, we produced the following 4 reports:

  1. Open Recovery: Transparency in the Recovery and Resilience Fund in ten EU countries. This report reviewed the state of RRF data publication in ten EU countries. It was intended to close the transparency guidance gap and help countries increase transparency beyond EU compliance.
  1. How Open is Public Procurement Data in the EU? Coalition’s new study. This study looked at how much public procurement data, below the EU publication thresholds, was available across all EU countries in 2022 to inform policy considerations for amending the Open Data Directive.
  1. Report. How much do we know about RRF final recipients? This study examines how Member States have met their obligation to publish the top 100 recipients of Recovery Fund money. 
  1. Balancing on a Tightrope: Transparency and Personal Data Protection in the EU. This article outlines the practical dilemmas of balancing transparency and data protection in the context of proactive public spending information sharing.

We have, directly and indirectly, supported the production of reports and legal documents produced by the EU institutions:

  1. We strongly influenced the European Economic and Social Committee’s RRF mid-term RRF evaluation report. Two of our members were directly involved in its creation. Our members' work in spending transparency in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic has been presented repeatedly in European Parliament studies. We were invited to share our experiences at a special committee of the European Parliament that dealt with the EU and its Member States' actions during the pandemic.
  1. We had a significant influence on the European Parliament resolution on eGovernment accelerating digital public services that support the functioning of the single market, particularly concerning increasing transparency in public procurement. The resolution is a further instrument to pressure the Commission into proposing a list of new High-Value Datasets more quickly and to include data on public spending. 
  1. We contributed to the study 'Identifying Data Topics to Expand High-Value Data Sets for the Public Sector' published by DG Connect. It recommends that procurement data should be recognised as High-Value Datasets.

We have been enjoying visibility in the public eye. Leading news outlets, including Euronews, Euractive and EUObserver featured our work numerous times. 

Collaborations with different stakeholders are important to us.

We have been granted observer status of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption. The Coalition has stepped up its work around transparency in the spending of EU funds in accession countries. We held a meeting with the Moldovan network of public procurement monitoring organisations. In addition to presenting information about the Coalition and the activities of its members, there was discussion about conducting joint activities, including organising educational sessions for Moldovan partners in 2024.

We have been active participants in major conferences on transparency in public spending in Europe. We held an interactive session on public spending transparency during the Open Government Partnership in Tallinn, attended by more than 80 people. Together with the governments of Italy and the Netherlands, we held a conference on Open and Sustainable Procurement in Europe for about 100 procurement leaders from 25 European countries, including Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and others.

We developed the internal strength of the Coalition. Three new organisations joined our ranks, and we all met in March in Berlin to talk about the specific activities of the Coalition. We published regular newsletters addressed to members and organised learning sessions.

All this was possible thanks to the many friends of the Coalition. Special thanks to the National Endowment for Democracy for supporting our activities.

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