More transparency for CAP Funds
"At a time when many Member States’ national budgets are being squeezed, I consider it vital to inform citizens how the aid from the Union's Common Agricultural Policy is being spent", stated Commissioner Dacian Cioloş, on the day the Commission adopted a proposal designed to apply new rules with regard to the publication of information on the beneficiaries of European agricultural funds.
This legislative review has been prompted by a 2010 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) which invalidated part of Commission Regulation (EC) 259/2008, particularly as regards the publication of information on individual beneficiaries of the agricultural funds. The proposal takes into account the legal constraints inherent to the protection of personal data by setting certain limits upon the publication of individual names and by asking Member States to publish more detailed information, particularly on the type of aid and the description of the measures for which the funds have been allocated.
The new rules proposed by the Commission take the Court's objections into account and differ from those the Court had invalidated in that:
- they are based on a detailed, revised justification, centred on the need for public control over the use of European agricultural funds, with the aim of protecting the Union’s financial interests;
- they require more detailed information to be supplied on the type of aid and the description of the measures for which the funds have been allocated;
- they include a de minimis threshold below which the name of the beneficiary shall not be published.
The most recent Eurobarometer survey dating from 2011 shows that 62% of citizens are in favour of publishing information on the beneficiaries of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) payments, while only 22% are against.
For further information:
New legislation [COM(2012) 551]: Amendment to proposal COM(2011) 628 final/2 for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the financing, management and monitoring of the common agriculture policy