Integrity Pacts

What is an Integrity Pact?

An Integrity Pact is a contract between a contracting authority and economic operators bidding for public contracts that they will abstain from corrupt practices and will conduct a transparent procurement process. To ensure accountability and legitimacy, an Integrity Pact includes a separate contract with a civil society organisation which monitors that all parties comply with their commitments.

An Integrity Pact has multiple objectives:

  • To increase transparency, accountability and good governance in public contracting,
  • To enhance trust in public authorities and contribute to their better reputation,
  • To improve competition, promote cost efficiency and savings through better procurement.

Corruption in public procurement harms the public interest, undermines public trust and has a negative impact on people’s lives. However, tackling effectively corrupt and fraudulent activities is a challenging task and requires a complex approach. Civil society as an effective anti-corruption actor can give a valuable input in promoting transparency, accountability and preventing corruption.

The initiative is part of the broader action undertaken by the Commission in tackling fraud and corruption, as well as enhancing administrative capacity in the use of EU funds.

Latest news

8-9 February 2022: Good Governance for EU Regional Policy - Building Transparency with Integrity Pacts in Europe

Join us at the Final Conference on Integrity Pacts to find out about lessons learned from the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project, and to discuss the future of clean contracting and investment in Europe. The agenda includes:

  • 8/2: high level conference opened by European Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and the Chair of Transparency International Delia Ferreira,
  • 9/2: knowledge exchange hub for practitioners of Integrity Pact projects.

Programme and registration for the Integrity Pacts Conference

The conference is part of a series of four virtual events organised by DG REGIO in cooperation with several international partners under the joint heading ‘Good governance for EU regional policy’, including: the Forum for Managing Authorities: Building Administrative Capacity 2021-2027 (16/2/2022), the webinar on Tools for administrative capacity building for authorities managing the ESIF Funds (1/3/2022) and a political debate with Commissioner Elisa Ferreira on Strengthening citizen engagement in cohesion policy (10/3/2022).

Programme and registration for the series of events

The Integrity Pact Toolbox

This practical toolbox aims to provide inspiration for Member State administrations seeking to develop Integrity Pact to monitor project financed from ESIF Funds and using public procurement. It aims to facilitate Integrity Pacts implementation and to encourage good practices. It builds on experiences from the Pilot Project on Integrity Pacts 2016-2021. In this pilot, 11 Member States organised the monitoring of 18 projects, with the monitoring of 15 civil society organisation, under the coordination of Transparency International.
Stemming from this Pilot Project, several tools aim to support future implementation of Integrity Pacts in the EU:

  • Handbook for setting up Integrity Pacts for Authorities, Monitoring organisations and tenderers:
    A practical guidebook detailing the three steps in the Integrity Pacts journey (advocating for IPs, setting up strong IPs, civic monitoring), based on extensive experience gathered through pilot projects.
    Integrity Pacts in the EU: a practical guide to civic monitoring of public contracting projects EN PDF
  • Guide for decisions makers
    A hands-on guide to help EU authorities embed Integrity Pacts in their programmes in order to safeguard strategic investments under the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and recovery funds.
    Safeguarding EU-funded investments with Integrity Pacts - A decision-maker’s guide to collaborative public contracting monitoring BG CS DE EL EN ES FR HR HU IT LT LV PL PT RO SK SL PDF
  • Booklet presenting impact cases from the Pilot Project: Collection of project cases highlighting key improvements to procurement projects achieved as a result of the pilot project, including lessons learned and key facts and figures for each of the 18 IPs.
    Monitoring public contracting: Experience from 18 Integrity Pacts in the EU EN PDF
  • Training for Managing Authorities and for Monitoring organisations: coming soon
    A new training on Integrity Pacts as part of the series of training events organised by DG REGIO to support national and regional authorities responsible for the management of Cohesion Policy programmes.
    Training for Managing Authorities and for Monitoring organisations
  • Communities of practice for Managing Authorities: coming soon
    A dedicated space as part of the communities of practitioners provided by DG REGIO for administrators from different EU countries who are involved in managing EU funding under the ERDF and Cohesion fund.
    Communities of practice for Managing Authorities
  • Knowledge exchange hub for project partners and stakeholders: coming soon
    The purpose is to offer a space for any interested participants to exchange about good practices and learn from partners’ expertise gained in implementing the Integrity Pacts.
  • Red Flags detection tool:
    A user-friendly and dynamic application drawing attention to potential fraud risks in a procurement process, based on contract notices and contract award notices published on the EU's Tenders Electronic Database.
    Red Flags detection tool
  • Tender Defender – Cards on the Table!
    A board game that helps civil society groups, journalists, activists, and others learn about public procurement and identify corruption risks that may arise. Tender Defender – Cards on the Table!

Translations into EU official languages will be added progressively.

The European Integrity Pacts pilot project (2016-2021)

Infographic EN IT LV SL PDF

Exploring innovative ways of improving efficiency in projects funded by EU funds, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy and Transparency International have joined forces since 2015 to promote the use of Integrity Pacts (IP) as a tool to increase transparency and accountability, enhance citizens’ engagement and trust in public institutions, bring cost savings and improve competition and promote awareness and better understanding of public procurement.

The project ‘Integrity Pacts – Civil Control Mechanism for Safeguarding EU Funds’ covered 18 projects co-funded PDF with cohesion policy funding in 11 Member States. The results will be widely disseminated in all Member States and we are already reflecting on how this experience can be scaled up in the context of the future long-term EU budget 2021-2027.

The initiative has been widely recognised as a success in bringing EU policies and administrations closer to citizens. It received the European Ombudsman’s Award for Good Administration 2019 in the category “Excellence in open administration.” The project was also included in the special G20 Compendium as a global good practice for promoting integrity and transparency in infrastructure development. It was also recognised as a best practice by the prestigious Stanford Social Innovation Review.

The central activities of the project were:

  • training and capacity building of selected CSOs to implement the project at country-level;
  • development and signature of the IPs by selected CSOs and their respective public authorities;
  • training and enhancement of knowledge of the relevant stakeholders, such as, contracting authorities, managing authorities, economic operators, on anti-corruption and transparency measures in the context of the IP approach;
  • independent monitoring of the IPs, performed and/or coordinated by the CSOs;
  • ensuring transparency and access to information related to the IP process and results for citizens in the participating EU Member States;
  • periodic sharing and capturing of impact, lessons learned and best practices for project partners as well as the broader public.

The Transparency International Secretariat ensured the overall coordination of the project and coordinated the CSOs performing the role of IP monitor, quality assurance of project implementation at all levels, promotion and dissemination of the project results, necessary training and capacity building, capturing and dissemination of impact, lessons learned and best practices.

To learn more about the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project and about individual projects under the Integrity Pacts Pilot Project:

  1. BG | Construction of the Zheleznitsa tunnel
  2. CZ | Technical assistance for the development of MS2014+, a monitoring system for the administration of EU funds
  3. GR | Construction of a flood protection pipeline
  4. HU | M6 highway
  5. HU | Tisza-Túr flood reservoir
  6. IT | Restoration of the archaeological site of Sybaris
  7. IT | Cagliari city rail
  8. IT | Technical assistance to the Lombardy region
  9. IT | Local development in Sicily
  10. LV | Development of the Riga tram infrastructure
  11. LT | Reconstruction of the Neris riverside
  12. PL | Railway modernisation
  13. PT | Renovation of the Alcobaça monastery
  14. RO | Digital library of Romania
  15. RO | National education platform
  16. RO | Land registration platform
  17. RO | Administration of EU funds
  18. SI | Energy renovation of hospitals