The Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union sets out the principles for implementation of the budget, including the principle of transparency, which is affirmed throughout the Financial Regulation and the Rules of Application for it. Provision is made for appropriate ex ante and/or ex post publication of implementation of the budget.
Rules for publication of grants are set out in Article 128 of the Financial Regulation, which makes provision for ex ante publication of the annual programme and calls for proposals and ex post publication of grants awarded in the course of a financial year. A grant is said to have been awarded when a legal undertaking is first given, i.e. when the first agreement has been signed.
Under the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Union, the award of grants is governed by the principle of transparency, which means inter alia that there must be ex post publication.
Article 169 of the Financial Regulation Implementing Rules, which still applies to grants awarded in 2012 but has been superseded by new Articles 21 and 191 in the Rules of Application for grants awarded from 2013 onwards, stipulates that ‘All grants awarded in the course of a financial year, except scholarships paid to natural persons, shall be published’ on ‘the internet site of the Community institution concerned during the first half of the year following the closure of the budget year in respect of which they were awarded.’
Parliament is also obliged - in order to comply with personal data protection legislation (Article 35 of the Financial Regulation and Article 21 of the Rules of Application) - to limit the information which is published on grants. Information on grants awarded over the last two years will be published on the website. Older figures will be accessible upon request from the relevant directorates-general, with due regard for Regulation 45/2001/EC (see legal opinion on this website).