Jack has previously written about the Open Budget Index 2008 which charts a number of countries from around the globe for their budget transparency efforts. The UK, South Africa, France, New Zealand and the United States came on top of the list with 82-88%. – Germany fared equally well (or badly) as Sri Lanka at 64%.
The Open Budget Index (OBI) is a rare international instrument to analyse budget transparency. Even though the IMF and OECD have their own best practices/codes/ROSCs, none of these produce a numerical score. – They are seen as guidelines. The OBI is the only international instrument allowing for a score. Now, you can obviously discuss to what extent its indicators are and should be weighed equally but overall I think that the index is a pretty good instrument. – It is put together by practitioniers from the International Budget Project (IBP) in Washington DC. These civil society activists have a broad experience with practical budgeting but they also have limited resources. Not all countries are included in the index. One of those unfortunately not covered is the 130 billion Euro EU budget.
I have therefore attempted to score the EU budget with the same OBI methodology and make it comparable to all the other countries included in the 2008 index. To cut a long story short, I came up with an overall score of 64% for the EU – exactly the same as Germany and Sri Lanka. This is still worse than the 71% average of the 9 EU member states included in the OBI but still not as bad as many people might have thought who frequently complain about the EU.
Here comes the score with the EU Read the rest of this entry »