'Better EU budget transparency as Commission discloses beneficiaries of funding' the commission blurted today.

"As of today you'll be able to access information on beneficiaries of commission grants and tenders" a spokesman gurned.

Well hurrah, bunting and brass bands, the unstoppable onward march of transparency has finally started.

Or has it?

Is the commission actually making anything available that wasn't available before?

*Sigh*

"There's no legislation in force in the community to imply that any new information will be made available" the spokesman reluctantly conceded, the bunting suddenly soggy and the band brassed-off.

The initiative, it seems, is simply to consolidate the many impenetrable web sources for the information into two impenetrable web sources.

BM class exercise:

Here are the two new *par-ra-pa-paaaaa* 'transparent' websites. See if you can track down for example how much money EC subsidised 'information portal' Euractiv received last year...

Beneficiaries of Grants: http://ec.europa.eu/grants/beneficiaries_en.htm
Beneficiaries of Public Contracts: http://ec.europa.eu/public_contracts/beneficiaries_en.htm

You have 90 days and your time starts... now.

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