This project continues ZEW’s line of research on EU fiscal institutions. The focus is on documenting potential political biases in existing and newly created European instruments and then studying their implications. The three work packages cover the connectedness of European institutions with the private sector, the effectiveness of spending conditionalities, and the role of budgetary transparency and contingent liabilities. In terms of policy relevance, this analysis will contribute to better understanding of the types of institutional safeguards that effectively foster EU spending efficiency, impartiality and transparency. Strategically, the project builds on the international collaborations that have emerged over past SEEK activities, and further increases ZEW’s visibility in the debate on the future of the European Fiscal Union.