The EU Foreign Affairs Council held on 9th December concluded that EU Member States and the Commission will commit to improving the transparency of EU aid.
In addition, Andrew Mitchell, UK Secretary of State for International Development, on the 6th December at the EU Development Days, urged the EU to adopt a European ‘Aid Transparency Guarantee’, saying, “Britain is leading the way on clear and transparent aid spending, ensuring taxpayers can see how UK funding is directly helping people. As a recipient of British aid money, I want to see the same standards adopted by the European Commission, with a greater commitment to openness.”
As outlined in the UKaid Transparency Guarantee, an EU aid transparency guarantee would ensure member states provided accessible and comparable information on their aid flows, whilst encouraging international partners to do the same.
The Foreign Affairs Council conclusions include commitment to:
- Publicly disclose information on aid volume and allocation following the OECD/DAC Creditor Reporting System (CRS) standard format, ensuring that data is internationally comparable. The EU and its Member States will further explore the possibility of using Transparent Aid (TR AID) to ensure that information can be easily accessed, shared and, eventually, published. (p. 3, Mutual Accountability and Transparency : A Fourth Chapter for the EU Operational Framework on Aid Effectiveness Draft Council Conclusions)
- Make available to partner countries disaggregated information on all relevant aid flows, so as to enable partner countries to report them in their national budget documents and thus facilitate transparency towards parliaments, civil society and citizens. (p. 4)
- Encourage increased cooperation by international aid transparency initiatives, including IATI with the OECD/DAC, working towards a consensus on a common international standard. (p. 4)
- Promote increased transparency as an issue of key priority in the multilateral development institutions, including the UN system and the development banks, as well as other partners we fund. (p. 5)
Publish What You Fund will be writing to the High Representative and the Commissioners’ acknowledging the Council conclusions and re-iterating that we will monitor progress and implementation of the steps that the EU has committed to, and ensure that aid transparency is a key part of the EU position towards the High Level Forum in Busan.