EU Court shakes up transparency laws in favour of beneficiaries of CAP funding
By Leo Gasteen
On 9 November 2010, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the publlication of the names and information of the beneficiarries of the European Agricultural fund, and the exact amount recieved, constitutes a disproportionate measure with respect to the provisions on transparency.
In its ruling, the ECJ declared the partial invalididty of a Council Regulation 1290/2005, governening the financing of the CAP , and the invalidity in its entirety of Commission Regulation 259/2008, which laid down detailed rules on the application of Regulation 1290/2005.
The ruling comes after a farmer and an agricultural firm from Land of Hesse, Germany, filed an action on grounds that the publication of information of the beneficiaries of the CAP goes against the protection of personal data, listed under the The European Conevention for the Protection of Human Rghts and Fundamental Freedoms.
The ECJ ruled that naming the beneficiaries and indicating the precise amount received by them constituted an interference with their fundamental rights to a private life and the protectio of their personal data.
The ECJ also reflected on the rights of the democratic society's taxpayer. The Court ruled that, despite their right to be kept informed of the use made of public funds, the extent to which the private details of the benefiaries were made public go in conflict with the principle of proportionality
European Court of Justice - Justice and Application - Joined Cases C-92/09 C-93/09