EU farm beneficiaries start to go online

Following member states’ approval of full disclosure of CAP beneficiaries from 2009, information from 11 member states has started to go online. However, nations will keep full control over the degree of detail offered.

The move is in-line with a Commission proposal on 10 October 2006 that seeks full disclosure of the names and amounts received by beneficiaries of EU farm funds. The proposal was met with approval from member states’ permanent representatives later the same month.

However, the ambassadors said that full disclosure would not begin until 2009. The proposal is expected to be formally approved by EU finance ministers on 28 November.

The Commission has already made public information related to funds it manages on its own, the so-called centrally managed funds. However, the majority of EU funding – 76% –  is spent by the member states, with around 40% going to farm subsidies.

The financial details of eleven states are presently online but this figure is expected to increase as 2009 approaches. The dissemination of beneficiaries’ data is the responsibility of the member states and thus wide variations exist in the level of detail provided, the Commission warned.

“European citizens have a right to know what their money is spent on. Publishing these web links is a crucial step in making this information available to all,” said Mariann Fischer Boel, commissioner for agriculture and rural development.

The Parliament has still to discuss the proposal but pending its approval, full agreement is expected late November. 

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