30 Sep 2021

Requirements for a single database of beneficiaries

Willem Pieter De Groen / Damir Gojsic / Mathieu Vuylsteke

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At the request of the CONT Committee of the European Parliament, this study has been prepared as background information for work on the legislative Own Initiative Report on the digitalisation of European reporting, monitoring and audit.

Building on the findings of the study on ‘The largest 50 beneficiaries in each EU Member State of CAP and Cohesion Funds’, this study assesses the requirements for a single EU database of beneficiaries. Such a database would overcome the current fragmentation in the databases of beneficiaries of EU funds, ensure completeness and obtain the relevant indicators for all beneficiaries.

A single EU database of beneficiaries would serve for both audit and control, as well as transparency purposes. The core of the database would be the information from managing authorities which, through identifiers and matching indicators, would be linked to other databases to obtain all the required information. For transparency purposes, the reporting system would have to cover a subset of indicators, including registration number and type of beneficiary, in order to enable the identification of the ultimate beneficiaries.