EU data base to promote transparency and analyze competitors

Actually a new data base storing information on EU grants and set up by the EU Commission is meant as a weapon in the fight against money squandering or bad investments. Furthermore, from a political point of view, it is to increase the faith of EU citizens by promoting more transparency. But the data base does also represent an important source to small and medium-sized entities for market, order and competitor analysis. Therefore, in future a weekly check of the relevant information contained in that data base may become important for SMEs.
Since yesterday it is possible to retrieve data on recipients of EU grants from the data base website. In the course of the European transparency initiative in November 2005 the EU Commission called for more transparency. This will now lead to the publication of who receives financial aids from the EU and who is awarded contracts by the EU. Siim Kallas, European High Commissioner for administration, auditing and fight against fraud, hopes that the transparency initiative will encourage member states to apply the principle of transparency also to those financial means managed by member states themselves.
Besides the EU money which is centrally and directly managed by the EU Commission (e.g. money for R&D) there are also financial means which are jointly managed by the EU and the individual member states (e.g. money for agricultural and fishing policies). In the latter case the EU delegates the responsibility of managing this money, which accounts for 76 percent of the EU budget, directly to member states. Member states can then decide for themselves which and how many pieces of information will be published. There are no common rules in this respect. Thus, so far only eleven member states have published data on recipients of agricultural policy money (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Slowenia, Sweden and the UK). GERMAN