EU requires full public transparency of CAP beneficiaries

Ireland will have to provide full public transparency of all beneficiaries in the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) Reform.

This is according to an update from the European Commission this week. The only exception is farms which are eligible for the Small Farmers Scheme. For these farms, the data will be provided but without the name or address.

All other payments, names and addresses will be required. According to the Commission, this “fully respects the German Court ruling of October 2010, which stated that the existing rules did not respect data privacy rules for natural persons”.

Speaking to AgriLand, Irish Farmers Association (IFA) vice-president Eddie Downey said the move was bad for farmers.

“There is enough transparency in the system already. The department and people already know where the money is spent and it is spread out among the rural communities very quickly. Farmers distribute their payments very quickly. A public list as such would be very unfair for farmers and in a particular farmers in partnership where there is five brothers and one payment. There is enough accountability already. This move is unnecessary and bad for farmers.

“We don’t print civil servants wages. We don’t print social welfare wages. Farmers across Ireland work very hard to bring this money in that benefits all levels of the community and local economy. We should be applauding farmers not scrutinising,” he added.

A consultation process on the rollout CAP Reform for Ireland with the Department of Agriculture and relevant stakeholders is currently under way, where the transparency element will be discussed along with all other aspects. 

 The European Commission’s outline of CAP Reform 2015-2020 and an explanation of the main requirements, which was published this week, is available here

The European Commission/Image Shutterstock