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New Specification of the EU Budget Vocabulary

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Action 1.1 of the ISA programme supported the Publications Office of the EU with the development of an RDF dissemination vocabulary for publishing the yearly final adopted EU budget as machine-readable linked open data. This vocabulary is commonly referred to as the EU budget vocabulary.

Objective

The EU budget vocabulary aims to facilitate the exchange, increase the understandability and enable the reusability of budgetary information published by the EU. Other expected benefits include:

  • Improved transparency towards citizens;
  • Better decision making stemming from high quality, fit-for-purpose and well-structured data;
  • Improved harmonisation in budget publication across institutions, government levels and countries via a common way of structuring public budgets;
  • More flexibility for integrating data by embracing linked data principles; and
  • More technological independence by supporting multiple machine-readable open data formats.

Design principles

In the interest of identifying which elements should be incorporated in the dissemination vocabulary of the EU budget, certain design principles have been applied:

  • Represent numbers at their lowest level of granularity;
  • No duplication of information: data is not repeated, there are no summary tables;
  • Accuracy, validity and completeness: the published budget should contain data guaranteed to be valid, accurate and complete; and
  • Focus on data: the RDF budget should separate the data from its visual representation.

Vocabulary use cases

For more transparency regarding the EU budget, it should be published in a more usable and understandable way. Specifying an RDF dissemination vocabulary for the EU budget by reusing terms from existing vocabularies will contribute to that. Publishing budget data as LOD will also make it more available and usable. These are the main use cases:

  • Increase public understanding: budget data as LOD makes it easier for people to gain quick understanding;
  • Compare budgets: budgets can be easily compared across years, countries, policy domains and more;
  • Follow the money: getting an exhaustive view of the public spending process;
  • Data analytics: enabling accurate and efficient analyses;
  • Data journalism: journalists can tell compelling stories using data visualisation.

Some key classes of the vocabulary are: Amount, Monetary Value, Political Category, Corporate Body, EU Programme, and Nomenclature.

Next steps

The RDF dissemination vocabulary for the EU budget enables the publication of budget data as linked open data. Analysing use cases and existing initiatives in the area has helped identify some potential next steps that would bring further contributions:

  • Extending the Common Data Model of the CELLAR with new classes and properties of the EU budget vocabulary;
  • Publishing the EU budget as linked open data;
  • Publishing the code lists linked to the EU budget vocabulary as linked open data;
  • Linking budget and spending data for monitoring money flows;
  • Supporting the development of pilots to demonstrate the value of budget data as LOD; and
  • Harmonising the dissemination of budget data across the EU.

For more information

To find out more about the EU Budget Vocabulary and related work, you can access: