Cohesion and transparency policies

OpenCoesione is an open-government initiative aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of cohesion-policy funding and at promoting widespread civic engagement through transparency and open data.

This initiative is carried out in full compliance with European and national regulations on transparency and open data, as well as in compliance with the regulations established by Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and by Legislative Decree no. 196/2003 and subsequent amendments (so-called Privacy Code) regarding the protection of personal data.

Transparency in European legislation

In Europe, there are general rules on transparency and access to public information, such as the Directive (EU) 2019/1024 on open data and the re-use of public sector information,defines a legal framework for data re-use and aims to enhance the socio-economic potential of information in the public sector, making it more easily accessible. There are also sector-specific provisions in the EU regulations concerning the Structural Funds, the specific objective of which is to ensure transparency in cohesion policies.

In particular:

  • Regulation (EU) 2022/868 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2022 on European data governance and amending Regulation (EU) 2018/172

  • the Common Provision Regulation 2021-2027 (n. 1060/2021 art. 46) requires that the Member States adopt a single web portal that enables the access to the data and Programmes co-financed. Art. 49 provides the details related to the information, formats and frequency of the updates. OpenCoesione represents, also for the 2021-2027 period, the single portal for the implementation of the cohesion policy in Italy

  • the general Regulation on the 2014-2020 Structural Funds (Article 115, no. 1303/2013) requires Member States to publish beneficiary information in open data format (with a reuse licence and metadata), which can be done on a centralised website, and to specify the minimum level of information to be published (Annex XII) with greater detail than for the 2007-2013 cycle. OpenCoesione is the single website in Italy concerning implementation of 2014-2020 cohesion policies, although it remains possible for each Managing Authority to autonomously publish information concerning projects financed and beneficiaries on their own websites.

  • the general Regulation on the 2007-2013 Structural Funds (Article 69, no. 1083/2006) require the Managing Authorities of programmes to publish a minimum set of information on beneficiaries of the funds, on projects financed, and on the related amounts. As a result, this information is published on the websites of each Operational Programme in Italy and is not necessarily coinsistent with the implementation data found on OpenCoesione, which comes from the Unitary Monitoring System managed by RGS-IGRUE;

Transparency in Italian legislation

In Italy, the general open government strategy is pursued as part of the transparency and digital transformation initiatives, in accordance with the principles of the Open Government Declaration and of the International Open Data Charter.

The main legislative provisions concerning transparency are the following:

a) Legislative Decree 82/2005 (the “Digital Government Code”), which establishes that government data and documentation must be open by default, with a view to fostering the use of this information. The three-year plan for information technology in the PA defines the actions taken to implement this principle. 

b) Legislative Decree 33/2013 (the “Transparency Decree”), which defines the principle of transparency as “total accessibility of the data and documents held by government bodies for the purpose of protecting citizens’ rights, promoting the participation of the parties involved in the activities of public administration, and facilitating disseminated forms of monitoring the performance of government functions and the use of public resources”.

The Transparency Decree defines:

  • procedures related to the obligations of publishing data, other information and documentation on the websites of government bodies;

  • the freedom of information, which grants everyone the right to access the documents and data of the  government beyond those that are  subject to mandatory publication. This right was introduced in order to allow overall control over administrative activity and the use of public resources.

The purpose of the legislation is to use new communication tools and technologies to increase the openness and accessibility of government actions involving the public, in terms of both civic control and involvement in the decision-making process.

c) Legislative Decree n. 200/2021 implementing Directive (EU) 2019/1024 on the openness of data and the re-use of public sector information.

d) the Decree Law of 24 February 2023, n. 13 Urgent provisions for the implementation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and the National Investment Plan complementary to the PNRR (PNRR), as well as for the implementation of cohesion policies and the common agricultural policy, converted with amendments from Law 21 April 2023, no. 41 (in Official Gazette 21/04/2023, n.94).

Pursuant to art. 50 ter of the Digital Administration Code, the Working Group of the Agency for Digital Italy has developed an interoperability model in which AgID has adopted, with resolution no. 547 of 1 October 2021, the Guidelines on technical interoperability of Public Administrations and the Guidelines on Technologies and standards for the security of interoperability through APIs of IT systems (updated with determination no. 341 of 14 December 2022) that all Public Administrations must adopt in order to guarantee the interoperability of their systems with those of other organizations and to favor the overall implementation of the PA information system.

In relation to cohesion policies, these national guidelines and European provisions, specific references to transparency on financed projects and entities are contained in the Partnership Agreements which define "the strategy and priorities of that Member State as well as the methods of effective use and efficient use of the ESI Funds in order to pursue the EU Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth". The Partnership Agreement between Italy and the European Commission relating to the 2021-2027 programming period was approved with an Implementing Decision of the European Commission on 15 July 2022.

Other information

OpenCoesione gathers, analyses and publishes the results of a survey of all Managing Authorities of Operational Programmes co-financed by the EDRF and ESI Funds in Italy and Europe.

Here are the OpenCoesione Pills on transparency in cohesion policies in Europe and Italy. Here is the survey data.

icona linkLeggi la Direttiva (UE) 2019/1024 relativa all’apertura dei dati e al riutilizzo dell’informazione del settore pubblico

icona linkLeggi l'articolo 47 della legge 35/2012, che definisce i contenuti dell'Agenda digitale italiana