EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

European Union

Country score (European Average*)
  • 42(66) Political Financing
  • 30(53) Financial Disclosure
  • 10(37) Conflict of Interest
  • 50(59) Freedom of Information
  • 63(62) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)33510.01
Population, total18267764.82
Urban population (% of total)73.46
Internet users (per 100 people)80.01
Life expectancy at birth (years)79.86
Mean years of schooling (years)11.6607142857143
Global Competitiveness Index4.83214285714286
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations, and Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 (amended 2007) on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, are the main laws regulating the financing of political parties for the European Parliament.

There are a number of limits on the private income of political parties and candidates. Donations from foreign entities, corporations partially owned by the government and corporations with government contracts are banned. However, donations from corporations in general and trade unions are permitted. There are also limits in place for the amount of donations that can be received.

There is public funding available for parties based on the share of votes in the previous election, representation in  the elected body, participation in the election, and registration as a political party.  This funding is allocated as such: 15% equally, and 85% proportional to the number of seats received, and can be spent on campaigns and ongoing party activities. There is no subsidized access to the media, but there are provisions for premises for campaign meetings and space for campaign materials.

There are no bans on vote buying or limits on spending.

Parties are required to keep accounts which must include details in relation to election campaigns, must reveal the identity of donors and must be made public. Reports are subject to external audit and by the Court of Auditors, and must be submitted to the authorizing officer of the European Parliament. There are sanctions in the form of fines and the loss of public funding (current and future) for those breaching the provisions of the law.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Bans and limits on private income2836363636
Public funding050505050
Regulations on spending00000
Reporting, oversight and sanctions4283838383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. Political parties shall not accept (d) donations from any private entities based in a third country or from individuals from a third country who are not entitled to vote in elections to the European Parliament. It depends if foreign means a country who are entitled to vote (Art. 20.4(d), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Political parties shall not accept donations exceeding EUR 18 000 per year and per donor from any natural or legal person, but any ban is mentioned (Art. 20.1, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? Yes. Political parties shall not accept donations from any undertaking over which the public authorities may exercise directly or indirectly a dominant influence by virtue of their ownership of it, their financial participation therein, or the rules which govern it; (Art. 20.4(C), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. Political parties shall not accept donations from any undertaking over which the public authorities may exercise directly or indirectly a dominant influence by virtue of their ownership of it, their financial participation therein, or the rules which govern it; (Art. 20.4(C), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Contributions to a political foundation at European level from national political foundations, which are members of a political foundation at European level, as well as from political parties at European level, shall be admissible. Those contributions shall not exceed 40 % of the annual budget of that political foundation at European level and may not derive from funds received by a political party at European level pursuant to this Regulation from the general budget of the European Union. Could not find the same information in Regulation No 1141/2014. (Art. 6.4, Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. Art. 20.5(a) A political party at European level as well as a political foundation at European level shall not accept: (a) anonymous donations; (Art. 20.5(a), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? No. 6. Any donation that is not permitted under this Regulation shall within 30 days following the date of its receipt by a European political party or a European political foundation: (a) be returned to the donor or to any person acting on the donor's behalf; or (b) where it is not possible to return it, be reported to the Authority and the European Parliament. The Authorising Officer of the European Parliament shall establish the amount receivable and authorise the recovery in accordance with the provisions laid down in Articles 78 and 79 of the Financial Regulation. The funds shall be entered as general revenue in the European Parliament section of the general budget of the European Union. (Art. 20.6(a-b), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? Yes. Political parties shall not accept donations: (b) donations from the budgets of political groups in the European Parliament; (c)from any public authority from a third country, including from any undertaking over which the public authorities may exercise directly or indirectly a dominant influence by virtue of their ownership of it, their financial participation therein, or the rules which govern it. (Art. 20.5(b-c), Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? Yes. European political parties and European political foundations may accept donations from natural or legal persons of up to a value of EUR 18 000 per year and per donor. (Art. 20.1, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. There is no information regarding donations on election campaign

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. A political party should comply with the conditions of Art.3(1): A political party at European level shall satisfy the following conditions: (b) it must be represented, in at least one quarter of Member States, by Members of the European Parliament or in the national Parliaments or regional Parliaments or in the regional assemblies, or it must have received, in at least one quarter of the Member States, at least three per cent of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent European Parliament elections; (Art.3 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.17 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. A political party at European level shall satisfy the following conditions: (b) it must be represented, in at least one quarter of Member States, by Members of the European Parliament or in the national Parliaments or regional Parliaments or in the regional assemblies, or it must have received, in at least one quarter of the Member States, at least three per cent of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent European Parliament elections; (Art.3 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.17 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election Yes. (d) it must have participated in elections to the European Parliament (Art.3 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.17 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election Yes. It must be represented, in at least one quarter of Member States, by Members of the European Parliament or in the national Parliaments or regional Parliaments or in the regional assemblies, or it must have received, in at least one quarter of the Member States, at least three per cent of the votes cast in each of those Member States at the most recent European Parliament elections. (Article 3.1 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party Yes. A political party at European level shall satisfy the following conditions: (a) it must have legal personality in the Member State in which its seat is located; (Art.3 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.17 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. It must observe, in particular in its programme and in its activities, the principles on which the European Union is founded, namely the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law. (Article 3.1 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal Yes. Available appropriations shall be distributed annually as follows among the political parties at European level which have obtained a positive decision on their application for funding as referred to in Article 4: (a) 15 % shall be distributed in equal shares; (Art.10 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art. 19 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received Yes. Available appropriations shall be distributed annually as follows among the political parties at European level which have obtained a positive decision on their application for funding as referred to in Article 4: (b) 85 % shall be distributed among those which have elected members in the European Parliament, in proportion to the number of elected members. (Art.10 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art. 19 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Funding allocated to a political foundation at European level shall only be used for the purpose of financing its activities in accordance with Article 2(4). On no account may it be used to finance elections or referenda campaigns. Art.22 - 2.It shall in particular not be used for the direct or indirect funding of elections, political parties, or candidates or other foundations. - 3. The funding of European political parties and European political foundations from the general budget of the European Union or from any other source shall not be used to finance referendum campaigns. (Art. 8 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.22 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities Yes. Funding allocated to a political foundation at European level shall only be used for the purpose of financing its activities in accordance with Article 2(4). (Art. 4.6 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.5 & 22 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. In accordance with Article 7, these appropriations shall not be used for the direct or indirect funding of national political parties or candidates. (Art. 8 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art. 22.1 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other Yes. Such expenditure shall include administrative expenditure and expenditure linked to technical assistance, meetings, research, cross-border events, studies, information and publications. (Art. 8 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 Art.17(5) & 22 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings Yes. Such expenditure shall include administrative expenditure and expenditure linked to technical assistance, meetings, research, cross-border events, studies, information and publications. (Art. 8 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials Yes. Such expenditure shall include administrative expenditure and expenditure linked to technical assistance, meetings, research, cross-border events, studies, information and publications. (Art. 8 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other Yes. All technical support provided by the European Parliament to European political parties shall be based on the principle of equal treatment. It shall be granted on conditions no less favourable than those granted to other external organisations and associations that may be accorded similar facilities and shall be supplied against invoice and payment. EU regulation does not refer to specific technical support, but provisions for indirect public funding are mentioned (Art. 26 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Regulations on spending 

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. Art.23 1. At the latest within six months following the end of the financial year, European political parties and European political foundations shall submit to the Authority, with a copy to the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament and to the competent National Contact Point of the Member State of their seat: (a) their annual financial statements and accompanying notes, covering their revenue and expenditure, assets and liabilities at the beginning and at the end of the financial year, in accordance with the law applicable in the Member State in which they have their seat and their annual financial statements on the basis of the international accounting standards defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council ( 1 ); (b) an external audit report on the annual financial statements, covering both the reliability of those financial statements and the legality and regularity of their revenue and expenditure, carried out by an independent body or expert; and (c) the list of donors and contributors and their corresponding donations or contributions reported in accordance with Article 20(2), (3) and (4). (Art. 23.1 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. Art.21.2 Expenditure linked to the campaigns referred to in paragraph 1 shall be clearly identified as such by the European political parties in their annual financial statements. (Art. 21.2 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. Art. 32.1. The European Parliament shall make public, under the authority of its Authorising Officer or under that of the Authority, on a website created for that purpose, the following: c) an annual report with a table of the amounts paid to each European political party and European political foundation, for each financial year for which contributions have been received or grants have been paid from the general budget of the European Union; (d) the annual financial statements and external audit reports referred to in Article 23(1), and, for European political foundations, the final reports on the implementation of the work programmes or actions; (Art. 32 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? No. In compliance with the principle of proportionality, the obligation to publish the identity of donors who are natural persons should not apply to donations equal to or below EUR 1 500 per year and per donor. ((34) Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. Control shall also be exercised on the basis of annual certification by an external and independent audit. This certification shall be transmitted, within six months of the end of the financial year concerned, to the European Parliament. (Article 9 Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution Yes. At the latest within six months following the end of the financial year, European political parties and European political foundations shall submit to the Authority, with a copy to the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament and to the competent National Contact Point of the Member State of their seat: (Art. 23.1 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other Yes. At the latest within six months following the end of the financial year, European political parties and European political foundations shall submit to the Authority, with a copy to the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament and to the competent National Contact Point of the Member State of their seat: (Art. 23.1 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency Yes. The Court of Auditors shall exercise its audit powers in accordance with Article 287 TFEU (Art. 25.3 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose Yes. The Court of Auditors and the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament, or any other external body authorised by the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament, may carry out the necessary checks and verifications on the spot in order to verify the legality of expenditure and the proper implementation of the provisions of the contribution and grant decision or agreement, and, in the case of European political foundations, the proper implementation of the work programme or action. (Art. 25.6 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other Yes. The Court of Auditors and the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament, or any other external body authorised by the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament, may carry out the necessary checks and verifications on the spot in order to verify the legality of expenditure and the proper implementation of the provisions of the contribution and grant decision or agreement, and, in the case of European political foundations, the proper implementation of the work programme or action. (Art. 24.4. 25.6 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency Yes. The court of Auditors (Art. 25.6 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose Yes. Authorising Officer of the European Parliament (Art. 25.6 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other Yes. Authorising Officer of the European Parliament "the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) or Member States" (Art. 24.4, 25.6 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. Art. 27. 4 For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the following financial sanctions shall be imposed on a European political party or a European political foundation: (a) in cases of non-quantifiable infringements, a fixed percentage of the annual budget of the European political party or European political foundation concerned — 5 %, or — 7,5 % if there are concurrent infringements, or — 20 % if the infringement in question is a repeated infringement, or — a third of the percentages set out above if the European political party or European political foundation concerned has voluntarily declared the infringement before the Authority has officially opened an investigation, even in the case of a concurrent infringement or a repeated infringement, and the party or foundation concerned has taken the appropriate corrective measures, — 50 % of the annual budget of the European political party or European political foundation concerned for the preceding year, when it has been found by a judgment having the force of res judicata to have engaged in illegal activities detrimental to the financial interests of the Union as defined in Article 106(1) of the Financial Regulation; (b) in cases of quantifiable infringements, a fixed percentage of the amount of the irregular sums received or not reported in accordance with the following scale, up to a maximum of 10 % of the annual budget of the European political party or European political foundation concerned: — 100 % of the irregular sums received or not reported where those sums do not exceed EUR 50 000, or — 150 % of the irregular sums received or not reported where those sums exceed EUR 50 000 but do not exceed EUR 100 000, or — 200 % of the irregular sums received or not reported where those sums exceed EUR 100 000 but do not exceed EUR 150 000, or — 250 % of the irregular sums received or not reported where those sums exceed EUR 150 000 but do not exceed EUR 200 000, or — 300 % of the irregular sums received or not reported where those sums exceed EUR 200 000, or — one third of the percentages indicated above if the European political party or European political foundation concerned has voluntarily declared the infringement before the Authority and/or the Authorising Officer of the European Parliament has officially (Art. 27 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding Yes. Lose of future funding 3. The Authorising Officer of the European Parliament may exclude a European political party or a European political foundation from future Union funding for up to five years, or up to 10 years in cases of an infringement repeated within a five-year period, when it has been found guilty of any of the infringements listed in points (v) and (vi) of point (a) of paragraph 2. (Art. 27 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other Yes. Lose of future funding 3. The Authorising Officer of the European Parliament may exclude a European political party or a European political foundation from future Union funding for up to five years, or up to 10 years in cases of an infringement repeated within a five-year period, when it has been found guilty of any of the infringements listed in points (v) and (vi) of point (a) of paragraph 2. (Art. 27 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations)

Legislation

Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations (English)pdf
Regulation (EC) No 2004/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 on the regulations governing political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding, amended 2007 (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Financial Disclosure

Financial disclosure requirements for the President of the European Council are set out in a Code of Conduct, adopted in 2015. The President of the European Council shall submit declaration of assets, which includes real and movable assets. He should also comply with requirements on private ownership, board membership and post- employment. Another Code of Conduct lists the financial disclosure requirements for European Commissioners. The rules are similar the ones set by the Code of Conduct for the President of the European Council. The declaration must be completed and made available before the hearing of the Commissioner-designate by the European Commission.

Members of the European Parliament are required to disclose income gained from outside employment or self-employed activity, gifts received in the official function of MEP, private holdings in a company or partnership, and positions as a board member. Salaries received from activities in another parliament must also be included. After retirement, MEPs keep their declarations updated as to new employment, and are prevented from benefits for past MEPs if they take up a position in lobbying or representing the European Union. These rules are specified in the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2015).

The Regulation, laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European institutions (last amended in 2015) does not pose a requirement for submission of declarations, but lists incompatibility rules related to the income outside employment, gifts, private company ownership and post-employment.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Disclosure items666642
Filing frequency666631
Sanctions1717171717
Monitoring and Oversight019191944
Public access to declarations12126619

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State100039
Ministers000039
Members of Parliament3348434343
Civil servants00001

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The obligation applies to financial interests of spouses, partners (11) and minor children where those might be considered to be capable of giving rise to a conflict of interest (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. The declaration shall indetify any property owned either directly or through a real estate company, with the exception of homes reserved for their exclusive use and that of their family (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration shal include liabilities that might be considered to be capable of giving rise to a conflict of interest, and in any case where the value of an investment exceeds EUR 10 000 (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Members shall not accept any gift with a value of more than EUR 150. When, in accordance with diplomatic and courtesy usage they receive gifts worth more than this amount, they shall hand them over to the Commission's Protocol Department. In case of doubt as to the value of a gift, an evaluation shall be undertaken under the authority of the Director of the Office of Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels, whose decision on the matter shall be final. The Commission's Protocol Department shall keep a public register of the gifts handed over in accordance with this paragraph which shall identify the donor. (Art. 6, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Financial interests to be declared may be in the form of a specific financial holding in an entity's capital, in particular, shares, or any other form of financial interest, such as bonds or investment certificates (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members shall not exercise any professional activity, gainful or not, or public functions of whatever nature, other than those resulting from the performance of their duties. This paragraph is without prejudice to maintaining functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life, or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of law during the Member's mandate as Commissioner, as long as the independence of the Member is guaranteed. Allowed activities are listed in article 8. (Art.8, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. All activities, professional or otherwise, distinguishing between activities engaged in over the last 10 years which ended before the Member took up office, such as company board member, advisor or consultant, member of a foundation or similar body or of an educational institution, and those functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of the law during the Member's mandate. Members shall not exercise any professional activity, gainful or not, or public functions of whatever nature, other than those resulting from the performance of their duties. This paragraph is without prejudice to maintaining functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life, or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of law during the Member's mandate as Commissioner, as long as the independence of the Member is guaranteed. Allowed activities are listed in article 8(2). (Art. 3 and 8, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Post-employment Yes. Former Members shall inform the Commission with a minimum of two months' notice of their intention to engage in a professional activity during a period of two years after they have ceased to hold office. For the purposes of the present Code, ‘professional activity’ means any professional activity, whether gainful or not, other than any unpaid activity which has no link with the activities of the European Union and which does not give rise to lobbying or advocacy vis-à-vis the Commission and its services. (Art. 11(2) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Membership of associations, political parties, trade unions, non-governmental organisations or other bodies, if their activities, in public or private, are intended to influence the exercise of public functions must be declared; Members may participate in national politics as members of national political parties or an organisation of the social partners (such as trade unions) or in a national election campaign, including regional or local elections, provided that this does not compromise their availability for service in the Commission and the priority given to their Commission duties over party commitment. Participation as members of national political parties or an organisation of the social partners includes the holding of honorary or non-executive functions in bodies of the party structure, but excludes management responsibilities. Political contacts in the capacity as Member of the Commission remain unaffected. Members may participate in European politics as members of European political parties or organisations of the social partners at European level provided that this does not compromise their availability for service in the Commission and the priority to be given to their Commission duties over party commitment. Participation as members of European political parties or organisations of the social partners at European level includes the holding of political, honorary or non-executive functions in bodies of the party structure, but excludes management responsibilities. Political contacts in the capacity as Member of the Commission remain unaffected. (Art.3, 9, 10, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. Declarations shall be re-submitted on an annual basis on 1 January (Art. 3(3) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. In case of a change in the information to be declared during a Member's term of office, a new declaration shall be submitted at the earliest opportunity and at the latest within two months of the change in question. (Art. 3(3) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Declarations submitted under Article 3 shall be scrutinised under the authority of the President. The President shall take any measure he considers appropriate, in the light of the information referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) or other available information, if necessary after consultation of the Independent Ethical Committee.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. The President, assisted by the Independent Ethical Committee, shall ensure the proper application of this Code of Conduct

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Declarations shall be made public in an electronic and machine-readable format. (Art 3(5) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. The obligation applies to financial interests of spouses, partners (11) and minor children where those might be considered to be capable of giving rise to a conflict of interest (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. The declaration shall indetify any property owned either directly or through a real estate company, with the exception of homes reserved for their exclusive use and that of their family (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts Yes. The declaration shal include liabilities that might be considered to be capable of giving rise to a conflict of interest, and in any case where the value of an investment exceeds EUR 10 000 (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Members shall not accept any gift with a value of more than EUR 150. When, in accordance with diplomatic and courtesy usage they receive gifts worth more than this amount, they shall hand them over to the Commission's Protocol Department. In case of doubt as to the value of a gift, an evaluation shall be undertaken under the authority of the Director of the Office of Infrastructure and Logistics in Brussels, whose decision on the matter shall be final. The Commission's Protocol Department shall keep a public register of the gifts handed over in accordance with this paragraph which shall identify the donor. (Art. 6, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Financial interests to be declared may be in the form of a specific financial holding in an entity's capital, in particular, shares, or any other form of financial interest, such as bonds or investment certificates (Art. 3, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Members shall not exercise any professional activity, gainful or not, or public functions of whatever nature, other than those resulting from the performance of their duties. This paragraph is without prejudice to maintaining functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life, or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of law during the Member's mandate as Commissioner, as long as the independence of the Member is guaranteed. Allowed activities are listed in article 8. (Art.8, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. All activities, professional or otherwise, distinguishing between activities engaged in over the last 10 years which ended before the Member took up office, such as company board member, advisor or consultant, member of a foundation or similar body or of an educational institution, and those functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of the law during the Member's mandate. Members shall not exercise any professional activity, gainful or not, or public functions of whatever nature, other than those resulting from the performance of their duties. This paragraph is without prejudice to maintaining functions of an honorary nature and/or attributed for life, or functions which are formally suspended by direct effect of law during the Member's mandate as Commissioner, as long as the independence of the Member is guaranteed. Allowed activities are listed in article 8(2). (Art. 3 and 8, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Post-employment Yes. Former Members shall inform the Commission with a minimum of two months' notice of their intention to engage in a professional activity during a period of two years after they have ceased to hold office. For the purposes of the present Code, ‘professional activity’ means any professional activity, whether gainful or not, other than any unpaid activity which has no link with the activities of the European Union and which does not give rise to lobbying or advocacy vis-à-vis the Commission and its services. (Art. 11(2) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Membership of associations, political parties, trade unions, non-governmental organisations or other bodies, if their activities, in public or private, are intended to influence the exercise of public functions must be declared; Members may participate in national politics as members of national political parties or an organisation of the social partners (such as trade unions) or in a national election campaign, including regional or local elections, provided that this does not compromise their availability for service in the Commission and the priority given to their Commission duties over party commitment. Participation as members of national political parties or an organisation of the social partners includes the holding of honorary or non-executive functions in bodies of the party structure, but excludes management responsibilities. Political contacts in the capacity as Member of the Commission remain unaffected. Members may participate in European politics as members of European political parties or organisations of the social partners at European level provided that this does not compromise their availability for service in the Commission and the priority to be given to their Commission duties over party commitment. Participation as members of European political parties or organisations of the social partners at European level includes the holding of political, honorary or non-executive functions in bodies of the party structure, but excludes management responsibilities. Political contacts in the capacity as Member of the Commission remain unaffected. (Art.3, 9, 10, Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. Declarations shall be re-submitted on an annual basis on 1 January (Art. 3(3) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. In case of a change in the information to be declared during a Member's term of office, a new declaration shall be submitted at the earliest opportunity and at the latest within two months of the change in question. (Art. 3(3) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Declarations submitted under Article 3 shall be scrutinised under the authority of the President. The President shall take any measure he considers appropriate, in the light of the information referred to in paragraphs (2) and (3) or other available information, if necessary after consultation of the Independent Ethical Committee.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. In case of an infringement of this Code of Conduct which does not warrant a referral to the Court of Justice in accordance with Article 245 or 247 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the Commission may decide, taking into account the opinion of the Independent Ethical Committee and on proposal of the President, to express a reprimand and, where appropriate, make it public.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Declarations shall be made public in an electronic and machine-readable format. (Art 3(5) Commission decision of 31 January 2018 on a Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (2018/C 65/06))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. The declaration of financial interests shall contain the following information: any salary which the Member receives for the exercise of a mandate in another parliament, any regular remunerated activity which the Member undertakes alongside the exercise of his or her office, whether as an employee or as a self-employed person, any occasional remunerated outside activity (including writing, lecturing or the provision of expert advice), if the total remuneration exceeds EUR 5 000 in a calendar year. (Article 4(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Any gifts presented to Members when they are representing Parliament in an official capacity shall be handed over to the President. (Article 5(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The declaration of financial interests shall contain the following information: any holding in any company or partnership, where there are potential public policy implications or where that holding gives the Member significant influence over the affairs of the body in question (Article 4(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The declaration of financial interests shall contain the following information: membership of any boards or committees of any companies, nongovernmental organisations, associations or other bodies established in law, or any other relevant outside activity that the Member undertakes, whether the membership or activity in question is remunerated or unremunerated (Article 4(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Post-employment Yes. Former Members of the European Parliament who engage in professional lobbying or representational activities directly linked to the European Union decision-making process may not, throughout the period in which they engage in those activities, benefit from the facilities granted to former Members (Article 6 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The declaration of financial interests shall contain the following information: any salary which the Member receives for the exercise of a mandate in another parliament. (Article 4(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. For reasons of transparency, Members of the European Parliament shall be personally responsible for submitting a declaration of financial interests to the President by the end of the first part-session after elections to the European Parliament (or within 30 days of taking up office with the Parliament in the course of a parliamentary term) (Article 4(1) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. The penalty may consist of one or more of the following measures: (a) a reprimand; (b) forfeiture of entitlement to the daily subsistence allowance for a period of between two and ten days; (c) without prejudice to the right to vote in plenary, and subject, in this instance, to strict compliance with the Members' standards of conduct, temporary suspension from participation in all or some of the activities of Parliament for a period of between two and ten consecutive days on which Parliament or any of its bodies, committees or delegations meet; (d) submission to the Conference of Presidents of a proposal for the Member’s suspension or removal from one or more of the offices held by the Member in Parliament. (Article 8(3) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) Yes. The penalty may consist of one or more of the following measures: (a) a reprimand; (b) forfeiture of entitlement to the daily subsistence allowance for a period of between two and ten days; (c) without prejudice to the right to vote in plenary, and subject, in this instance, to strict compliance with the Members' standards of conduct, temporary suspension from participation in all or some of the activities of Parliament for a period of between two and ten consecutive days on which Parliament or any of its bodies, committees or delegations meet; (d) submission to the Conference of Presidents of a proposal for the Member’s suspension or removal from one or more of the offices held by the Member in Parliament. (Article 8(3) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The information is provided to the President. (Article 4(3) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Where there is reason to think that a Member of the European Parliament may have breached this Code of Conduct, the President may refer the matter to the Advisory Committee. (Article 8(1) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy Yes. Where there is reason to think that a declaration contains manifestly erroneous, flippant, illegible or incomprehensible information, the competent service shall, on behalf of the President, perform a general plausibility check for clarification purposes within a reasonable time-limit, thereby giving the Member the possibility to react. Where such a check does not clarify and thus resolve the matter, the President shall take a decision on further proceedings in accordance with Article 8 of the Code of Conduct. (Article 9 of the Implementing Measures For The Code Of Conduct For Members Of The European Parliament With Respect To Financial Interests And Conflicts Of Interest (2013))

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The information provided to the President in line with this Article shall be published on Parliament’s website in an easily accessible manner. (Article 4(3) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (as of 2020))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. An official shall not without the permission of the appointing authority accept from any government or from any other source outside the institution to which he belongs any honour, decoration, favour, gift or payment of any kind whatever, except for services rendered either before his appointment or during special leave for military or other national service and in respect of such service. (Regulation No 31 (EEC), 11 (EAEC), laying down the Staff Regulations of Officials and the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Legislation

Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament_ENG (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Parliament_ENG (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission of 2018_ENG (English)pdf
Staff Regulations of Officials of 2016_ENG (English)pdf
Implementing Measures for the Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Parliament_ENG (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Conflict of Interest

EU-level regulations on conflicts of interests do not exist for members of the Council of the European Union and EU Civil Servants. All the while, the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012) makes a general restriction on avoiding conflicts of interests for Members of the European Parliament. MEPs may also not accept gifts with a value of over EUR 150, and must notify the President to avoid having to participate in decision-making that affects private interests. Post-employment is restricted: MEPs may not take up a position in lobbying or representing the EU after the end of their mandate, and are withdrawn benefits if they do.

According to the Rules of Conduct of the European Parliament (2013), sanctions range from reprimand, over the removal of voting or participation rights, to a proposal for the MEP to be removed from office. The Advisory Body functions as enforcement body for conflicts of interests. It makes suggestions for appropriate sanctions to the President of the European Parliament, who then imposes them.

(Note: The EU has no equivalent of a Head of State.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Restrictions1088810
Sanctions88888
Monitoring and Oversight1212121212

Alternative Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Head of State00000
Ministers00000
Members of Parliament4138383841
Civil servants00000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. A conflict of interest exists where a Member of the European Parliament has a personal interest that could improperly influence the performance of his or her duties as a Member. A conflict of interest does not exist where a Member benefits only as a member of the general public or of a broad class of persons. (Article 3(1) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012))
Accepting gifts Yes. Members of the European Parliament shall refrain from accepting, in the performance of their duties, any gifts or similar benefits, other than those with an approximate value of less than EUR 150 given in accordance with courtesy usage or those given to them in accordance with courtesy usage when they are representing Parliament in an official capacity. (Article 5(1) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment Yes. Former Members of the European Parliament who engage in professional lobbying or representational activities directly linked to the European Union decision-making process may not, throughout the period in which they engage in those activities, benefit from the facilities granted to former Members under the rules laid down by the Bureau to that effect (Article 6 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012) (2012))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Any Member who finds that he or she has a conflict of interest shall immediately take the necessary steps to address it, in accordance with the principles and provisions of this Code of Conduct. If the Member is unable to resolve the conflict of interest, he or she shall report this to the President in writing. In cases of ambiguity, the Member may seek advice in confidence from the Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members (Article 3(2) of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The penalty may consist of one or more of the following measures: a) a reprimand; b) forfeiture of entitlement to the daily subsistence allowance for a period of between two and ten days; c) without prejudice to the right to vote in plenary, and subject, in this instance, to strict compliance with the Members' standards of conduct, temporary suspension from participation in all or some of the activities of Parliament for a period of between two and ten consecutive days on which Parliament or any of its bodies, committees or delegations meet; d) submission to the Conference of Presidents, in accordance with Rule 19, of a proposal for the Member's suspension or removal from one or more of the elected offices held by the Member in Parliament. (Article 153(3) of the Rules of Conduct of the European Parliament (2010))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. ( )

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. The Advisory Committee shall examine the circumstances of the alleged breach, and may hear the Member concerned. On the basis of the conclusions of its findings, it shall make a recommendation to the President on a possible decision. (Article 8 of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament (2012))

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Legislation

Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with Respect to Financial Interests and Conflicts of Interest (English)pdf
Code of Conduct for the Members of the European Commission (English)pdf
Staff Regulations of Officials (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Freedom of Information

The access to information regime at the European Commission is established by Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (2001). The law applies to the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI regulation and Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. There is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure.

Appeals may be filed with the courts. There is no appeals process through public institutions or an independent non-judicial mechanism, such as an information commissioner. The Ombudsman’s decisions are non-binding.

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions, nor are there any enforcement or oversight bodies tasked with managing implementation.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope and Coverage8080808080
Information access and release8888888888
Exceptions and Overrides6767676767
Sanctions for non-compliance00000
Monitoring and Oversight1717171717

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. The purpose of this Regulation is: (a) to define the principles, conditions and limits on grounds of public or private interest governing the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the institutions’) documents provided for in Article 255 of the EC Treaty in such a way as to ensure the widest possible access to documents, (b) to establish rules ensuring the easiest possible exercise of this right, and (c) to promote good administrative practice on access to documents. (Article 1, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. (a) ‘document’ shall mean any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording) concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of responsibility; (Article 3, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. 4. Without prejudice to Articles 4 and 9, documents shall be made accessible to the public either following a written application or directly in electronic form or through a register. (Article 2, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The purpose of this Regulation is: (a) to define the principles, conditions and limits on grounds of public or private interest governing the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the institutions’) documents provided for in Article 255 of the EC Treaty in such a way as to ensure the widest possible access to documents (Article 1, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Legislative branch Yes. The purpose of this Regulation is: (a) to define the principles, conditions and limits on grounds of public or private interest governing the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission (hereinafter referred to as ‘the institutions’) documents provided for in Article 255 of the EC Treaty in such a way as to ensure the widest possible access to documents (Article 1, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Judicial branch No. Absent from legal framework
Other public bodies No. Absent from legal framework
Private sector No. Absent from legal framework

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. 2. In particular, legislative documents, that is to say, documents drawn up or received in the course of procedures for the adoption of acts which are legally binding in or for the Member States, should, subject to Articles 4 and 9, be made directly accessible. (Article 12, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. Legislative acts shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. They shall enter into force on the date specified in them or, in the absence thereof, on the twentieth day following that of their publication. Regulations and directives which are addressed to all Member States, as well as decisions which do not specify to whom they are addressed, shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. They shall enter into force on the date specified in them or, in the absence thereof, on the twentieth day following that of their publication. (Article 297, Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2012/C 326/01)
Annual budgets Yes. 3. The implementation of expenditure shown in the budget shall require the prior adoption of a legally binding Union act providing a legal basis for its action and for the implementation of the corresponding expenditure in accordance with the regulation referred to in Article 322, except in cases for which that law provides. (Article 310, Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2012/C 326/01)
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. 3. The implementation of expenditure shown in the budget shall require the prior adoption of a legally binding Union act providing a legal basis for its action and for the implementation of the corresponding expenditure in accordance with the regulation referred to in Article 322, except in cases for which that law provides. (Article 310, Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union 2012/C 326/01)
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. 3. Where possible, other documents, notably documents relating to the development of policy or strategy, should be made directly accessible. (Article 12, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. 1. Any citizen of the Union, and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State, has a right of access to documents of the institutions, subject to the principles, conditions and limits defined in this Regulation. (Article 2, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. 1. Applications for access to a document shall be made in any written form, including electronic form, in one of the languages referred to in Article 314 of the EC Treaty and in a sufficiently precise manner to enable the institution to identify the document. The applicant is not obliged to state reasons for the application. (Article 6, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. 4. The institutions shall provide information and assistance to citizens on how and where applications for access to documents can be made. (Article 6, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. 1. An application for access to a document shall be handled promptly. An acknowledgement of receipt shall be sent to the applicant. Within 15 working days from registration of the application, the institution shall either grant access to the document requested and provide access in accordance with Article 10 within that period or, in a written reply, state the reasons for the total or partial refusal and inform the applicant of his or her right to make a confirmatory application in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article. (Article 7, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. 3. In exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents, the time-limit provided for in paragraph 1 may be extended by 15 working days, provided that the applicant is notified in advance and that detailed reasons are given. (Article 7, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days Yes. 3. In exceptional cases, for example in the event of an application relating to a very long document or to a very large number of documents, the time-limit provided for in paragraph 1 may be extended by 15 working days, provided that the applicant is notified in advance and that detailed reasons are given. (Article 7, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law No. Absent from legal framework
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data (Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. 1. The institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: (a) the public interest as regards: - public security, - defence and military matters, - international relations, - the financial, monetary or economic policy of the Community or a Member State; (b) privacy and the integrity of the individual, in particular in accordance with Community legislation regarding the protection of personal data. 2. The institutions shall refuse access to a document where disclosure would undermine the protection of: - commercial interests of a natural or legal person, including intellectual property, - court proceedings and legal advice, - the purpose of inspections, investigations and audits, unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure. 3. Access to a document, drawn up by an institution for internal use or received by an institution, which relates to a matter where the decision has not been taken by the institution, shall be refused if disclosure of the document would seriously undermine the institution's decision-making process, unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure. Access to a document containing opinions for internal use as part of deliberations and preliminary consultations within the institution concerned shall be refused even after the decision has been taken if disclosure of the document would seriously undermine the institution's decision-making process, unless there is an overriding public interest in disclosure. 4. As regards third-party documents, the institution shall consult the third party with a view to assessing whether an exception in paragraph 1 or 2 is applicable, unless it is clear that the document shall or shall not be disclosed. 5. A Member State may request the institution not to disclose a document originating from that Member State without its prior agreement. 6. If only parts of the requested document are covered by any of the exceptions, the remaining parts of the document shall be released. 7. The exceptions as laid down in paragraphs 1 to 3 shall only apply for the period during which protection is justified on the basis of the content of the document. The exceptions may apply for a maximum period of 30 years. In the case of documents covered by the exceptions relating to privacy or commercial interests and in the case of sensitive documents, the exceptions may, if necessary, continue to apply after this period. (Article 4, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. Absent from legal framework
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. No. Ombudsman decisions are not binding.
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. In the event of a total or partial refusal, the institution shall inform the applicant of the remedies open to him or her, namely instituting court proceedings against the institution and/or making a complaint to the Ombudsman, under the conditions laid down in Articles 230 and 195 of the EC Treaty, respectively. (Article 8, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions No. Absent from legal framework
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. 1. Each institution shall publish annually a report for the preceding year including the number of cases in which the institution refused to grant access to documents, the reasons for such refusals and the number of sensitive documents not recorded in the register. 2. At the latest by 31 January 2004, the Commission shall publish a report on the implementation of the principles of this Regulation and shall make recommendations, including, if appropriate, proposals for the revision of this Regulation and an action programme of measures to be taken by the institutions. (Article 17, Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents)

Legislation

TEU and TFEU_ENG (English)pdf
Regulation EC No. 1049 of 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents_ENG (English)pdf
Regulation EU No. 1725 of 2018 on the protection of personal data_ENG (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017


Public Procurement

The European public procurement system is regulated by Directive 2014/24 on public procurement, Directive 2014/23 on concessions and Directive/25 on public procurement for water, energy, transport and postal services. There is no common public procurement body for EU level procurements.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

▪          EUR 134000 for goods

▪          EUR 5186000 for works

▪          EUR 134000 for services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures, negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue or innovation partnerships. The minimum submission period is 35 days for open procedures, 30 days for restricted procedures and 30 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid. (Member states can decide independently.)

There is no preferential treatment, however environmental considerations are allowed to alter decisions. Furthermore, there are several options for bid exclusion (closed list): participation in a criminal organization, fraud, corruption, terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities, money laundering or terrorist financing, child labour and other forms of trafficking of human beings. Furthermore, extremely low bid prices can be excluded as well.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, no form of independence of  the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is no regulation on a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure and no regulation on whether decisions have to be publicly released or not. (Member states can decide independently.)


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

20122015201620172020Trend
Scope99100100
Information availability83838346
Evaluation69696975
Open competition75757575
Institutional arrangements21212121

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 139000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5350000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (a))
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 139000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 139000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 428000. EUR 428,000 for supply and service contracts, as well as for design contests, and EUR 5,350,000 for works contracts. (Directive 2014/25/EU (as of 2020), Art. 15 (a) (b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 139000. Where public supply contracts are awarded by contracting authorities operating in the field of defence, that threshold shall apply only to contracts concerning products covered by Annex III of the Directive 2014/24/EU. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 139000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5350000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (a))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 139000. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 4 (b))

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. Contracting authorities shall by electronic means offer unrestricted and full direct access free of charge to the procurement documents from the date of publication of a notice in accordance with Article 51 or the date on which an invitation to confirm interest was sent. The text of the notice or the invitation to confirm interest shall specify the internet address at which the procurement documents are accessible. Additionally, piror information notices, contract notices and contract award notices shall be drawn up, transmitted by electronic means to the Publications Office of the European Union and published in full. The information included in these notices are listed in Annex V of the Directive 2014/24. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 48, 49, 50, 51, 53 and Annex V, parts B, C and D)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. https://ted.europa.eu/TED/main/HomePage.do (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 48, 49, 50, 51 and 53)
Is it mandatory to keep all of these records? -Public notices of bidding opportunities, -Bidding documents and addenda, -Bid opening records, -Bid evaluation reports, -Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, -Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, -Claims and dispute resolutions, -Final payments, -Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) Yes. While some of these documents are not nominally listed, such as formal appeals by bidders and their outcomes as well as claims and dispute resolutions, there is a general duty to store appropriate data. Contracting authorities shall document the progress of all procurement procedures, whether or not those are conducted by electronic means. To that end, they shall ensure that they keep sufficient documentation to justify decisions taken in all stages of the procurement procedure, such as documentation on communications with economic operators and internal deliberations, preparation of the procurement documents, dialogue or negotiation if any, selection and award of the contract. The documentation shall be kept for a period of at least three years from the date of award of the contract. Additionally, contracting authorities shall, at least for the duration of the contract, keep copies of all concluded contracts with a value equal to or greater than: (a) EUR 1,000,000 in the case of public supply contracts or public service contracts; (b) EUR 10,000,000 in the case of public works contracts. Contracting authorities shall grant access to those contracts; however, access to specific documents or items of information may be denied to the extent and on the conditions provided for in the applicable Union or national rules on access to documents and data protection. (Directive 2014/14/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 82 (3), 84 (2) and 83 (6) )
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? Yes. In the case of framework agreements concluded in accordance with Article 33, contracting authorities shall not be bound to send a notice of the results of the procurement procedure for each contract based on that agreement. Member States may provide that contracting authorities shall group notices of the results of the procurement procedure for contracts based on the framework agreement on a quarterly basis. In that case, contracting authorities shall send the grouped notices within 30 days of the end of each quarter. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 50 (2))

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? No. As a general rule, information on subcontractors must be provided by bidders/contractors to the contracting authority, including through the possibility of submission of an European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) for subcontractors. Contracting authorities must include information on subcontractors in an individual report written for every contract or framework agreement covered by the Directive. This report is not, however, necessarily made public. Finally, contract award notices for contracts covered by the Directive, i.e. above EU thresholds, may include, where appropriate, information on the value and proportion of contract likely to be subcontracted to third parties. While relevant, this type of information does not relate to subcontractors themselves and crucial information, such as names of legal representatives and beneficial owners can remain hidden. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 50, 71, 84 (1) (d) and Annex V, Part D)
If yes, what is the threshold for publication (i.e. the % of total contract value subcontracted)? For example, if the threshold is 75%, and you have subcontracted out only 40% of your contract, no disclosure is required. Consultant will insert 75% in the short answer column. General.

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. Technical specifications shall afford equal acces of economic operators to the procurement procedure and shall not have the effect of creating unjustified obstacles to the opening up of procurement to competition. Unless justified by the subject-matter of the contract, technical specifications shall not refer to a specific make or source, or a particular process which characterises the products or services provided by a specific economic operator, or to trade marks, patents, types or a specific origin or production with the effect of favouring or eliminating certain undertakings or certain products. Such reference shall be permitted on an exceptional basis, where a sufficiently precise and intelligible description of the subject-matter of the contract is not possible. Such reference shall be accompanied by the words ‘or equivalent’. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 42 (2) (4))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. The Directive provides that Member States shall submit to the Commission a monitoring report covering, where applicable, information, inter alia, on the level of SME participation in public procurement. On the basis of the data received, the Commission shall regularly issue a report on the implementation and best practices of national procurement policies in the internal market. In this context, Member States shall ensure that information and guidance on the interpretation and application of the Union public procurement law is available free of charge to assist contracting authorities and economic operators, in particular SMEs, in correctly applying the Union public procurement rules. Additionally, the Directive hints at preferential treatment towards SMEs when placing focus on dividing up procurement in lots. Except in respect of contracts whose division has been made mandatory pursuant to Article 46 (4), contracting authorities shall provide an indication of the main reasons for their decision not to subdivide the contract into lots, which shall be included in the procurement documents or the individual report referred to in Article 84. That said, there is no set of comprehensive measures specifically targeted at improving SMEs' stance in public procurement. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 46 (1) and 83 (3) (4) (a))
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. The award of public contracts by or on behalf of Member States’ authorities has to comply with the principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), as well as the principles deriving therefrom, such as equal treatment, non-discrimination, mutual recognition, proportionality and transparency. Moreover, contracting authorities shall treat economic operators equally and without discrimination and shall act in a transparent and proportionate manner. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 18)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. Member States shall take appropriate measures to ensure that, in the performance of public contracts, economic operators comply with applicable obligations in the fields of environmental, social and labour law established by Union law, national law, collective agreements or by the international environmental, social and labour law provisions listed in Annex X. Technical specifications and labels should include refences to environmental considerations/conditions, and quality assurance standards and environmental management standards must be assessed against EU environmental management systems and/or equivalent. Contracting authorities shall base the award of public contracts on the most economically advantageous tender. Among other criteria, the most economically advantageous tender shall be assessed on the basis of environmental aspects, since contracting authorities may lay down special conditions relating to the performance of a contract, such as innovation-related and environmental considerations. Life-cycle costing cover, among others, end of life costs, such as collection and recycling costs, and costs imputed to environmental externalities linked to the product, service or works during its life cycle, provided their monetary value can be determined and verified - such costs may include the cost of emissions of greenhouse gases and of other pollutant emissions and other climate change mitigation costs. Finally, protection of the environment may constitute valid grounds for derogation from hypotheses of mandatory tenderer exclusion provided for in Article 57. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 18 (2), 62, 67, 68 and 70)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. Allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion are provided for in Article 57. Mandatory grounds include: 1. conviction for: a) participation in a criminal organisation; b) fraud; c) corruption; d) terrorist offences or offences linked to terrorist activities; e) money laundering or terrorist financing; f) child labour and other forms of trafficking of human beings; and 2. breach of the economic operator's obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions and where this has been established by a judicial or administrative decision having final and binding effect. Discretionary grounds include: a) where the contracting authority can demonstrate by any appropriate means a violation of applicable obligations referred to in Article 18(2); b) where the economic operator is bankrupt or is the subject of insolvency or winding-up proceedings; c) where the contracting authority can demonstrate by appropriate means that the economic operator is guilty of grave professional misconduct, which renders its integrity questionable; d) where the contracting authority has sufficiently plausible indications to conclude that the economic operator has entered into agreements with other economic operators aimed at distorting competition; e) where a conflict of interest within the meaning of Article 24 cannot be effectively remedied by other less intrusive measures; f) where a distortion of competition from the prior involvement of the economic operators in the preparation of the procurement procedure, as referred to in Article 41, cannot be remedied by other, less intrusive measures; g) where the economic operator has shown significant or persistent deficiencies in the performance of a substantive requirement under a prior public contract, a prior contract with a contracting entity or a prior concession contract which led to early termination of that prior contract, damages or other comparable sanctions; h) where the economic operator has been guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required for the verification of the absence of grounds for exclusion or the fulfilment of the selection criteria, has withheld such information or is not able to submit the supporting documents required pursuant to Article 59; or i) where the economic operator has undertaken to unduly influence the decision-making process of the contracting authority, to obtain confidential information that may confer upon it undue advantages in the procurement procedure or to negligently provide misleading information that may have a material influence on decisions concerning exclusion, selection or award. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 57)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. No. In case of abnormally low tenders, contracting authorities shall require economic operators to explain the price or costs proposed in the tender where tenders appear to be abnormally low in relation to the works, supplies or services. The contracting authority shall assess the information provided by consulting the tenderer. It may only reject the tender where the evidence supplied does not satisfactorily account for the low level of price or costs proposed, taking into account the elements referred to in Article 69 (2). Contracting authorities shall reject the tender, where they have established that the tender is abnormally low because it does not comply with applicable obligations referred to in Article 18(2). Where a contracting authority establishes that a tender is abnormally low because the tenderer has obtained State aid, the tender may be rejected on that ground alone only after consultation with the tenderer where the latter is unable to prove, within a sufficient time limit fixed by the contracting authority, that the aid in question was compatible with the internal market within the meaning of Article 107 TFEU. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 69)
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. The contracting authority shall specify, in the procurement documents, the relative weighting which it gives to each of the criteria chosen to determine the most economically advantageous tender, except where this is identified on the basis of price alone. Those weightings may be expressed by providing for a range with an appropriate maximum spread. Where weighting is not possible for objective reasons, the contracting authority shall indicate the criteria in decreasing order of importance. According to Part D (9) of the Directive, contract award criteria shall be included in contract award notices, which not later than 30 days after the conclusion of a contract or of a framework agreement, following the decision to award or conclude it, shall be sent and get published. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 50, 67 (5) and Annex V, Part D (9) )
Are decisions always made by a committee? No. Only in case of design contests the contracting authority may acquire, mainly in the fields of town and country planning, architecture and engineering or data processing, a plan or design selected by a jury after being put out to competition with or without the award of prizes. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 80 and 81)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. Member States shall ensure that contracting authorities take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures so as to avoid any distortion of competition and to ensure equal treatment of all economic operators. The staff members of the contracting authority or of a procurement service provider acting on behalf of the contracting authority who are involved in the conduct of the procurement procedure or may influence the outcome of that procedure (such as the jury in case of design contests, which influences the outcome of the procedure by evaluating the plans and projects submitted by the candidates) should not have, directly or indirectly, a financial, economic or other personal interest which might be perceived to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of the procurement procedure. Moreover, the jury shall be composed exclusively of natural persons who are independent of participants in the contest. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 24 and 81 )
Is some part of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. The jury shall be composed exclusively of natural persons who are independent of participants in the contest but no mention is made in the Directive 2014/24/EU about the independence of jury members of contracting authorities. The only relevant provision is that the jury shall be autonomous in its decisions or opinions. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 81 and 82)
Are scoring results publicly available? No. According to Annex V, Part D, among other information, contract award notices must include the value of the successful tender (tenders) or the highest tender and lowest tender taken into consideration for the contract award or awards. There is no specific mention to scoring results. These may be included in the "individual reports on procedures for the award of contracts" mentioned in Article 84. However, it is unclear whether these reports are made public. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 50, 84 and Annex V, Part D)
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? No. The Directive is silent about hypotheses of tender cancellation.

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 26(5) and Article 32. Contract notices shall contain the information set out in Annex V part C and shall be published in accordance with Article 51. They shall be sent by contracting authorities to the Publications Office of the European Union and published on Tenders Electronic Daily ("TED"). In addition, contracting authorities may publish this information on a ‘buyer profile’ . (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 49, 51, 52 and Annexes V and VIII)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 26 (5) and Article 32. Contract notices shall contain the information set out in Annex V part C and shall be published in accordance with Article 51. They shall be sent by contracting authorities to the Publications Office of the European Union and published on Tenders Electronic Daily ("TED"). In addition, contracting authorities may publish this information on a ‘buyer profile’. For restricted procedures, sub-central contracting authorities may use a prior information notice as a call for competition pursuant to Article 26 (5), provided that the notice fulfils certain conditions. However, the additional publication at national level pursuant to Article 52, if any, may be made on a buyer profile. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 48 (2), 49, 51, 52, 54 and Annexes V and VIII)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the second subparagraph of Article 26 (5) and Article 32. Contract notices shall contain the information set out in Annex V part C and shall be published in accordance with Article 51. They shall be sent by contracting authorities to the Publications Office of the European Union and published on Tenders Electronic Daily ("TED"). In addition, contracting authorities may publish this information on a ‘buyer profile’. For restricted procedures, sub-central contracting authorities may use a prior information notice as a call for competition pursuant to Article 26 (5), provided that the notice fulfils certain conditions. However, the additional publication at national level pursuant to Article 52, if any, may be made on a buyer profile. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 48 (2), 49, 51, 52, 54 and Annexes V and VIII)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 65 (2))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 65 (2))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 65 (2))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 27 (1))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 28 (2))
What are the minimum number of days  for competitive negotiated procedures? General. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 29 (1))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. Main exceptions include contracts: 1. in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors; 2. for the principal purpose of permitting the contracting authorities to provide or exploit public communications networks or to provide to the public one or more electronic communications services; 3. awarded pursuant to international rules; 4. concerning specific service exclusions, such as: a) the acquisition or rental of land, existing buildings or other immovable property or concerning rights thereon; (b) audiovisual media services or radio media services, or contracts for broadcasting time; c) arbitration and conciliation services; d) specified legal services; 5. relative to financial services in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities; 6. relative to loans, whether or not in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; 7. employment contracts; 8. relating to civil defence, civil protection, and danger prevention services that are provided by non-profit organisations or associations; 9. concerning public passenger transport services by rail or metro; 10. covering specified political campaign services; 11. related to services awarded on the basis of an exclusive right; 12. specified contracts between entities within the public sector; 13. specified public service contracts for research and development services; 14. in the field of defence and security which are not covered by Directive 2009/81/EC, or which are awarded pursuant to international rules. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 7-12, 14, 15 and 17)
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. ‘Contracting authorities’ are defined by the Directive as the State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law. ‘Central government authorities’ means the contracting authorities listed in Annex I and, in so far as corrections or amendments have been made at national level, their successor entities. ‘Sub-central contracting authorities’ means all contracting authorities which are not central government authorities. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 2 (1) 1. 2. 3.)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Open procedure, restricted procedure, innovation partnerships, competitive procedure with negotiation (negotiated) and competitive dialogue. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Art. 26 (2) (3) (4))
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? No. The Directive does not cover review procedures of contracting authorities' decisions. This falls within the scope of Member States' national legislations. The Directive only stipulates that prior information notices, when used as a means of calling for competition, contract notices and contract award notices must include the name and address of the body responsible for review and, where appropriate, mediation procedures, as well as precise information concerning time limits for review procedures, or, if need be, the name, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address of the service from which this information may be obtained. Additionally, Directive 2007/66/EC requires that Member States shall ensure that the measures taken concerning the review procedures specified in Article 1 of said Directive include provision for powers to: a) take, at the earliest opportunity and by way of interlocutory procedures, interim measures with the aim of correcting the alleged infringement or preventing further damage to the interests concerned, including measures to suspend or to ensure the suspension of the procedure for the award of a public contract or the implementation of any decision taken by the contracting authority; b) either set aside or ensure the setting aside of decisions taken unlawfully, including the removal of discriminatory technical, economic or financial specifications in the invitation to tender, the contract documents or in any other document relating to the contract award procedure; c) award damages to persons harmed by an infringement. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 48, 49, 50 and Annexes B, C and D Directive 2007/66/EC (as of 2020), Arts. 1 (3) and 2 (1))
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? No. No mention in the Directives
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No . The only provision about this matter is that contracting authorities may seek or accept advice from independent experts or authorities or from market participants, before launching a procurement procedure, with a view to preparing the procurement and informing economic operators of their procurement plans and requirements. Moreover, in case of design contests, where a particular professional qualification is required from participants, at least a third of the members of the jury shall have that qualification or an equivalent qualification. (Directive 2014/24/EU (as of 2020), Arts. 40 and 81)

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? No.
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. When a body of first instance, which is independent of the contracting authority, reviews a contract award decision, Member States shall ensure that the contracting authority cannot conclude the contract before the review body has made a decision on the application either for interim measures or for review. The suspension shall end no earlier than the expiry of the standstill period referred to in Article 2a(2) and Article 2d(4) and (5). (Directive 2007/66/EC (as of 2020), Art. 2 (3))
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? N/S.
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. Where bodies responsible for review procedures are not judicial in character, written reasons for their decisions shall always be given. However, publicity requirements are up for each Member State to legislate on. (Directive 2007/66/EC (as of 2020), Art. 2 (9))

Legislation

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 1243 of 20 June 2019, amending Directive 2009 81 EC (English)pdf
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 1827 of 30 October 2019, amending Directive 2014 23 EU (English)pdf
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 1828 of 30 October 2019, amending Directive 2014 24 EU (English)pdf
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 1829 of 30 October 2019, amending Directive 2014 25 EU (English)pdf
Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2019 1830 of 30 October 2019, amending Directive 2009 81 EC (English)pdf
Directive 2007/66/EC with regard to improving the effectiveness of review procedures concerning the award of public contracts (English)pdf
Directive 2009/81/EC (English)pdf
Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of concession contracts (English)pdf
Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement (English)pdf
Directive 2014/25/EU on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (English)pdf

*Last update: 2017