Right now I am working as a shadow rapporteur* on the Technical Support Instrument.
What is it and why should you care about it?
Very simply put, it is a tool that can be used to help member states research, reform, and adapt to new situations. Need advice on how to develop that coal dependent region in a new direction? The Technical Support Instrument (TSI) may be able to help. Need to move your state administration from paper to digital? Sure, you can ask for money and help. Want to prepare a big systemic reform of social benefits? Here too you can get support because it might be a daunting task beyond the reach of a single state. Through the TSI, you can get access to both guidance and funding, allowing you to carry out these reforms.
As it stands, I really like the core idea of this tool. It’s not throwing a lot of money around, but it helps states work on their effectiveness and their ability to use all the other funds coming from the TSI meaningfully.
However, there were quite a few things that I found problematic in the original proposal. The overall budget for the tool was too low, there was not enough public control for the funds used, and most importantly, I saw its potential to do so much more.
Because of that, I tabled over 30 amendments with clear goals: increasing the financial envelope for this tool and improving its transparency and level of budgetary control by setting clear rules for reviews and making it work through delegated acts, meaning more control from the Parliament. I also think that having technical parameters that require all data to be available in machine readable format indefinitely can be extremely helpful in the analysis of this data. It can also ensure better budgetary control against various kinds of fraud, as well as help us create better policies thanks to more accurate data.
One aspect of this instrument could become a real breakthrough: I have been pushing and negotiating for all the data collected in the projects supported by the instrument to be open to the public. And not only that: all studies, software tools, and other byproducts like special research should also be public, following the simple principle of “public money, public results”.
The Technical Support Instrument is a meaningful tool that can help promote real state reform but I am sure that we can make it even better by promoting more open and better policy making.
What do you think about it? Do you have any ideas on how you would like to reform your country using this tool?
* To follow the progress of a report, political groups have the option of appointing shadow rapporteurs. They are responsible for the subject within their political group and play an important role by facilitating the search for a compromise on the legislative proposal.