The European Commission engages all kinds of companies for all kinds of services.
While the standards of transparency are theoretically part of the modus vivendi of the functionaries of the EU’s executive, in practice transparency is a selective process.
New Europe was made aware of a very recent contract signed by the Directorate-General of Communication, and wanted to know more details.
New Europe inquired as to the amount of the contract (how much money), and the duration of the contract. For example, 100 Euro for hiring a car, for 1 day.
The reasoning behind asking for the duration is simple. 100 Euro is expensive for one hour of car rental, but cheap for on year of rental.
Given that this specific contract was signed sometime at the very end of 2015, we requested specificity. The amount of the contract was indeed provided. However the response on the duration was described as “up to 12 months”.
As regards the duration of the contract the European Commission claimed that:
“… the exact duration of the contract is the sort of detail that cannot be given out as this is contractual information subject to certain privacy conditions.”
After being asked to verify whether the duration of contracts signed by the public institution, that is, the European Commission, is confidential and not public information, the Commission responded:
“Indeed the exact duration (dates) of the contract is information that cannot be publicly revealed”
Transparency bites the dust.