In view of Russia’s military action against the Ukrainian people, being concerned about ensuring that European funds are spent as effectively as possible and in order to facilitate monitoring of the activities of sanctioned individuals and their associates:
The European Union has shown in recent days its ability to take joint action to defend democracy and to stand up for the values that accompany it, demonstrating its collective strength. There are many challenges facing the public in relation to the current circumstances and how the situation in Ukraine and Europe will develop. We must make the EU even stronger and more resistant to corruption, the misuse of its funds and the penetration of its economy by sanctioned persons and institutions. We must ensure that EU funds spent inside and outside its borders are used in an effective way that meets real needs. We must protect against misuse and theft as these funds are distributed. Journalists and civil society organisations must have effective means of supporting the public authorities and law enforcement in tracing Russian capital. We cannot allow ill-conceived privacy or cost arguments, nor economic interests to prevent this. The Union has put forward multiple Directives to make beneficial and company ownership more transparent, but in practice implementation at the EU and national level is falling short.
The Open Spending Coalition has a series of concrete recommendations for measures that can be taken immediately, at a minimal cost. These can be divided into those for which the will to change existing practice is sufficient and those that require changes to legislation.
We call on the Commission to urgently adopt the solutions that the European Parliament has recommended in its Resolution of 24 November 2021 on the revision of the Financial Regulation in view of the entry into force of the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework, and which are described in points 19, 21 and 23, to achieve:
Immediate implementation of the Open Data Directive by adopting the much-delayed Implementing Act on High-Value Datasets to achieve:
Although some of these tasks require slight changes in several regulations (implementation of the Act on high-value datasets, or imposing stronger transparency requirements in Financial Regulation), they should be considered as components of a comprehensive system. Organisations dealing with transparency of expenditure, company, and beneficial ownership have the competence, and knowledge of practical solutions to achieve this. Politicians and other officials now have a special responsibility to put them into action.