Openbudgets.eu: the new platform for financial transparency in Europe

Today, OpenBudgets officially launches its fiscal transparency platform. Using
OpenBudgets.eu journalists, civil servants, and data scientists can process, analyse, and explore the nature and relevance of fiscal data.

The platform offers a toolbox to everyone who wants to upload, visualise and analyse fiscal data. From easy to use visualisations and high level analytics to fun games and accessible explanations of public budgeting and corruption practices along with
participatory budgeting tools, it caters to the needs of journalists, activists, policy makers and civil servants alike.

The first successful implementations and projects have been developed in Thessaloniki, Paris, and Bonn, where civil society organisations and civil servants have together built budget visualisation for the general public.The cooperation between IT and administration resulted in 3 local instances of OpenBudgets.eu, setting the example for future implementations around Europe.

On the EU level, the project has campaigned for transparency in MEP expenses and better quality data on the European subsidies. The OpenBudgets.eu project
subsidystories has uncovered how almost 300 billion in EU subsidies is spent. The MEP expenses campaign has led to the President of the European Parliament committing to introduce concrete proposals for reform of the MEPs’ allowance scheme by the end of the year.

Finally, the project has created tailor-made tools for journalists as our research has shown that there was a lack of contextual knowledge and knowledge on the basics of accounting. ‘Cooking budgets’presents the basics of accounting in a satirical website, and the successful game ‘The good, the bad and the accountant’ simulates the struggle of a civil servant to retain its integrity.

The three approaches and audiences to public budgeting have resulted in a holistic platform which tailors to the wider public who wants to have more insights in their local, regional, national and even EU budgets. With the launch of OpenBudgets.eu the field of financial transparency in Europe is enriched by new tools, data, games and research for journalists, civil society organisations and civil servants alike, resulting in a valuable resource for a broad target audience.

OpenBudgets.eu has received funding from the European Union’s H2020 EU research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 645833 and is implemented by an international consortium of nine partners (including Open Knowledge International and Open Knowledge Foundation Germany) under the coordination of Fraunhofer IAIS.

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