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Welcome to our Cohesion Open Data Blog archive 2014-2020!!
On this blog we documented and discussed the key developments on our award winning Open Data Platform
Our platform in that period provided access to unique data on the monitoring of investment plans, implementation and achievements of a significant share of the EU Budget delivered through cohesion policy (the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF),  European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund), the EU Agricultural and Rural Development Fund (EAFRD) and the EU Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF). These were know collectively as the European Structural and Investment Funds - the ESI Funds. 
We revamped the development chronology here as a blog to make it more interactive in December 2020 on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the launch of the ESIF Open Data platform.  After 2020 the blog is continued here

2021 onwards

For more recent updates go to the blog on this link.   

2020 - Interactive sankey on cohesion actions; Healthcare story; Covid-19 Dashboard;  #EUSPI 

December 2020
  • This blog on the developments on the platform was published on the occasion of the 5th Anniversary of the launch of the 2014-2020 ESIF Open Data platform (December 2015).

  • The European Social Progress index 2020 was launched on 2 December. The interactive data story on the right was published with the #EUSPI to allow users to explore the regional performance overall and in relation to the components and dimensions. It is supported with several open datasets.       
November 2020
  • The interactive GHG data story across was published and presented at a workshop on 12-13 November on the measuring of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in the period 2021-2027.
    The workshop also involved presentations from the EIB and the participation of national experts - workshop materials.
  • A datastory on the contribution of ERDF to support to sustainable tourism was published.  
October 2020
  • Following the proposal CRII/CRII+ initiatives and of COVID-19 specific indicators (See May 2020) the Commission announced the first results of the extensive reprogramming linked to the pandemic response on 12 October 2020.   
    The cohesion #CoronavirusDashboard was launched by Commissioner Ferreira on 2 October during the launch of the 2020 EU week of Regions.  
  • The tracking of air quality measures was added to the detailed "categorisation" dataset in agreement with the Commission's DG Environment.  A new data story was also made available - see across.  
September 2020
  • The cohesion policy financial data from the end of June 2020 provided by national and regional programmes was published.
    • More than EUR 23 billion was invested across the Union representing an 11% increase in investment spending since the end of 2019.
    • A total of EUR 204 billion (43%) of the planned EUR 480 billion for 2014-2020 is now invested.
    • The modest increase in spending compares to the first half of 2019 when a similar overall increase was reported. This suggests that the rate of investment implementation did not slow down particularly in the exceptional climate during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • The planned cohesion policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet present in this most recent data to end June 2020. A significant reprogramming effort is underway following the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative of April 2020. Significant changes are taking place in many national and regional cohesion policy programmes to support their COVID-19 response.
August 2020
  • We published the story across on the investments underway in 2014-2020 programmes into clean urban transport.  
  • The collection of project examples available on ESIF Open Data data was expanded with the addition of over 100 new project examples with short videos. There are now 398 projects to search for in the project library.
  • The target values at the end 2019 for “achievements” (common indicators) have been added to the achievement tiles in order to show how targets changed in 2019.
  • The deadline for cohesion policy programmes to report implemented values for the indicators for 2019 was postponed from May to end September under the Coronavirus Response Initiative. The reported achievement values for 2019 will be quality checked and published in the first months of 2021.
  • New design changes included:
    • New buttons have been added to allow users to capture charts for reuse and to directly tweet about the charts and data.
    • The charts embed function has been extended to all achievement charts. 
June 2020
  • The data story on the historic pattern of EU support by NUTS2 regions was updated based on the revision of the dataset to include the end expenditure from the years 2016-2018 under the period 2007-2013 and the addition of the 2014-2020 programmes with additional ESI funds.
  • A new dataset was added to the catalogue showing EU rural development (EAFRD) payments made by the Commission (DG Agriculture) by detailed policy areas - Link to dataset
May 2020
March 2020
  • A data story on ERDF / ESF support to health services was published. This story concerned the original strategic investments planned since 2014-2015. It was expanded during 2020 to show the additional resources transferred to health actions linked to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • A data story was published along with a new dataset on the evaluations conducted by the national and regional  programmes (mainly from the 2014-2020 period). In the period 2014-2020, the Member States are obliged (for the first time) to carry out evaluations to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the objectives of each programme. Cohesion policy rules apply to the European Regional Development Fund, European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund. 
February 2020
  • The cohesion policy financial data from the end of 2019 provided by national and regional programmes was published.  It shows that the total volume of decided projects has risen nearly EUR 80 billion to EUR 439 billion (91% of all planned investment) in 2019. The realised investment spending reported by those projects has risen EUR 62 billion to EUR 181 billion (more than 37% of all planned investment) in 2019.
  • In relation to the tracking of investment in climate action, the detailed thematic reporting shows that some EUR 52 billion of the EUR 56 billion of EU budget financing planned for climate action has been allocated to decided projects (92% -  up EUR 8 billion from 2018), with realised spending of EUR 18.4 billion (33% - up EUR 7.4 billion from 2018).  Check the data story across for more details on progress with climate action. 
  • A new visualisation using a Sankey chart, was published to track the detailed themes financed by cohesion policy funds was launched on the respective fund pages. This data story to the right explains how to track progress with detailed cohesion investment themes.  
January 2020
  • The data story across on the support to SMEs was published providing an overview of the very wide range of supports provided, including through grants, advice and financial instruments.

2019 - First data stories; Animated financial progress; user improvements on charts; 2nd user survey; #RCI

December 2019
  • New design changes included: 
    • the addition of a “story page” to allow user direct access to data stories (with filter / search functions);
    • a tidied up homepage giving easier access to useful tools;
    • an “export chart” function on all charts allowing users to capture an image for reuse in social media, presentations, etc.
November 2019
  • During the first EU conference on visualisation - #EUDataViz 2019 -  organised by the EU Publications office, our team presented this explanation of how we use visuals to explain investment progress. 
October 2019
  • In Summer 2019 we conducted a second user survey principally thorough invitation when accessing the platform and through social media promotion. The responses again proved to be very useful. 
    Explore the dataset on survey results and dashboard below.

September 2019
  • The June 2019 data on “finances implemented” on the ground from programmes was published. The decided (selection) rate rose to 81% (EUR 393.5 billion) for Cohesion policy funds up from 74.4% in December 2018.
NOTE: With the release of the June 2019 data on "finances implemented" the Commission also corrected how it compares planned finances with decided finances (selected) for the cohesion policy funds. The total planned amounts included in programmes (or priorities) are expressed either 1) in public cost only, or 2) in total cost (i.e. including private financing). Some of the programmes expressed in public cost were reporting in finances implemented in "total costs of decided (selected) operations (including private cost)" and in "public cost of decided operations". To more accurately reflect the correct selection rate the Commission now takes only the public cost decided for those "public cost" programmes (or priorities). The correction is applied to all new data published and retroactively. The effect is to reduce the cohesion policy selection rate by -0.7% points for end 2018. The change mainly affects ERDF and programmes in following Member States - BE, BG, IT, MT, PT and RO.
  • A new #ESIFopendata story was published concerning cohesion policy support to the digital single market.
August 2019
July 2019
  • The data stories section continued to expand with stories on Risk Prevention, Climate tracking, Energy Union and more.  Check out the library of stories here.
  • EAFRD financial data from the end of 2018 was published in the “Finances Implemented” dataset showing total project section of 65% and spending by beneficiaries of 39% of the total planned investments.
June 2019
  • EMFF financial data from the end of 2018 was published in the “Finances Implemented” dataset showing total project section of 41% and spending by beneficiaries of 18% of the total planned investments.
  • An interactive tutorial was presented at the 8th Cohesion policy Evaluation Conference by DGs REGIO and EMPL: Slides - Video
May 2019
  • In the weeks after the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris in April 2019, we  published this data story to highlight the support to cultural actions under ERDF in 2014-2020.
April 2019
March 2019
  • This data story was published as a guide to the financial "categorisation system" that is used extensively to understand how cohesion policy resources are allocated to themes, by form of finances, by territory, etc.,  
    Categorisation data is used for climate tracking, biodiversity tracking and air quality tracking and much more.  
February 2019
  • On the 11 theme pages, the “Finances Implemented” was added for the first time. Each theme page now includes 4 finances implemented charts - ESIF overview time series bullet chart, Fund overview bullet chart, the comparison by MS bullet chart and the comparison by MS scatterplot (animated). 
    There is an important caveat: because of the use of multi thematic priority axis in cohesion policy programmes, the finances implemented data can only partially be mapped to Thematic Objectives (TOs).
  • The Commission published the first interactive data stories on the platform. Some of first of the stories concerned the 2014-2020 common indicators and the data story on progress implementing Financial instruments.  

2018 - Financial instrument progress; Historic data; User guide 

December 2018
  • The "achievement” dataset was updated with the latest cumulative values available until end 2017.
  • The “Finances implemented” dataset was updated with financial values from 30/9/2018 reported by cohesion policy programmes. The total volume of investment allocated to selected projects stood at EUR 405 billion or 63 % of the total planned amount.
    • The latest “Finances implemented” dataset includes a correction of the EUR volume of EAFRD project selection reported for end 2017. Since July 2018 the site showed a total volume of EAFRD project selection by end-2017 of EUR 90.5 billion, that is now reduced to EUR 73.7 billion (values for previous years were not affected). The error arose from a change in the reporting template for EAFRD programmes, which was not taken into account in the extraction of data leading to the double counting of certain project selection amounts.
    • For EMFF the project selection has also been recalculated based on total public cost only; that led to a reduction in the 2017 value from EUR 2.4 billion to EUR 1.8 billion (previously reported values have also been adjusted).)
  • The cohesion policy “Categorisation data – decided vs implementation” dataset was updated to include the calculation of financial amounts under climate and biodiversity tracking and the number of operations supported. The dataset metadata page has linked charts that highlight the total climate and biodiversity tracked amounts at EU level, by Member State and by “intervention field”.
October 2018
  • user guide to help users navigate the platform, find datasets and charts, visualise and export data, has been made available.
September 2018
  • A new dataset was published showing the cumulative payment history 2007-2013 of each ERDF/ Cohesion Fund programme showing over 97.7 % payment execution until September 2018. The dataset is updated daily
  • Addition of end-June 2018 financial data for Cohesion policy funds. The overall volume of cohesion policy investments allocated to projects rose by €42 billion in the first 6 months of 2018 bring total investments approved to over EUR 303 billion or 62%. See the latest ERDF, ESF/YEI and Cohesion Fund progress under the heading “Finances Implemented” on the Overview, Theme, Fund, Country and programme pages. Reference dataset + metadata.
July 2018
April 2018
March 2018 
February 2018
January 2018
  • For EAFRD programmes data on expenditure by selected projects, taken from the certified expenditure reported quarterly, was added to the Financed Implemented dataset and graphs.
  • The latest “Finances: Implemented” data on programme implementation from end 2017 was added to the platform for all funds. It brought the volume of investment allocated to selected operations up to EUR 358 Billion or 56 % of the planned investment.

2017 - EO Award; EU payment data; 1st user survey

December 2017
  • The EU and total planned amounts were adjusted by the end of December with corrections linked to the allocation of the "technical adjustment". The net effect was to add a further EUR 4.6 billion of EU financing under selected ERDF and ESF programmes.
  • Financial data up to 30 September 2017 was published for the following funds: ERDF / ESF / Cohesion Fund / EAFRD programmes. The total now allocated to selected projects is EUR 278 billion (44% of the planned amount), an increase of EUR 92 Billion in selected projects since end 2016.
  • The 2016 values reported for the common indicators – both decided values (forecasts from selected projects) and implemented values - have been made public. The 2015 values have also been corrected based on the last values reported by the Programmes.
  • The visualisations on the platform for the "finances implemented" and "achievement tiles" have been adapted to show the progress year on year.
September 2017
  • The presentation of the online graphs was improved by making the graph titles more specific and adding references period and refresh data of underlying data.
  • New financial implementation data from EMFF programmes up until the end of 2016 was published.
  • Financial data up to 30 June 2017 was published for ERDF/ESF/Cohesion Fund programmes. The total now decided for selected operations is now EUR 186 billion, an increase of EUR 52 Billion in 6 Months. More details
  • A new dataset on the planned and notified major projects (mainly infrastructures) was published on 29 September: ESIF 2014-2020 ERDF CF Major Projects (dataset + metadata). More information
  • In 2017 we conducted a first user survey principally thorough invitation when accessing the platform and through social media promotion. The responses proved to be very useful.
    Explore the dataset on survey results and dashboard below.
July 2017
  • A new dataset was published and refreshed on a daily basis showing EU budget payments to programmes under the ESI Funds 2014-2020.
    This data presents the cumulative EU payments made to the countries and Interreg programmes from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) for the 2014-2020 period. The visualisations show cumulative EU payments: to the end of each year (e.g. 2015 includes 2014+2015 payments), by fund and by Country. The presentation entails a split per type of payment and provides a ranking of the Countries based on % consumption from the total available funds.
March 2017
  • The ESIF Open Data Portal wins the first EU Ombudsman awards for Excellence in open administration.   
    In the first edition of these awards granted by the European Ombudsman, the ESI Funds Open Data Platform won the award against competition from 3 other shortlisted other candidates.  
    The awards, in the word of European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, aims to "share best practice, to bring greater awareness to the work of the EU and to recognise the frequently exemplary work of EU staff".
February 2017
  • Publication of the December 2016 financial data for Cohesion fund, EAFRD, ERDF, and ESF-YEI;
  • New adapted visualisation for the ESF – YEI common indicators showing implemented values reported and composite tiles of the indicators related to employment, age and education attainment status of participants;
  • Updated "Finances planned" data, reflecting programmes adopted in February 2017. That data also now presents the total budget of the Youth employment initiative (YEI), including both the YEI specific allocation and the ESF matching allocation under YEI. The other ESF planned amounts have been reduced accordingly. The national co-financing for the ESF matching allocation can also be visualised. No co-financing is required for the YEI specific allocation.

2016 - 530 programme pages; 1st Implementation data added

December 2016
  • A new dataset was added for "finances implemented" showing financial data reported by the programmes on the total cost of decided allocations to selected projects along with the spending (eligible expenditure) declared by projects to the programme managers;
  • Visualisations were added of the financial data on project selection and expenditure on the ground based on the data reported by the programmes (November 2016); 
  • The dataset on "finances planned" was updated to reflect adopted programmes as of November 2016;
  • The "achievements" dataset was extended to include the first information on progress towards the planned targets, forecasts linked to decided selected projects and actually implemented values.
July 2016
  • The finances planned dataset was updated to include the IPA-CBC programmes and to exclusively reflect adopted programmes as at June 2016;
  • The visualisations for all 530 ESI Fund programmes and 10 IPA-CBC programmes of finances and achievement targets (common indicators) when available were opened and are available from the lists provided on each "country page";
  • New visualisations of the finances dataset were added: filtered visualisations of: (1) the finances allocated by EU/national/total finance, and (2) on the theme page a filter to visualise absolute amounts or relative shares;
  • For the EMFF, programme targets for 11 of the 18 common indicators were made available when used by the national programmes.

2015 - Launch of 2014-2020 #ESIFOpenData

December 2015
  • The ESIF Open Data platform is launched with the presentation of the  2014-2020 programme period. 
  • The "finances" planned and "achievements" (common indicator targets) datasets were published for the first time (with November 2015 data, with some programmes still in draft form);
  • Visualisations were presented at EU, Theme, Country and Fund levels.

More information