ICSA president Gabriel Gilmartin has expressed disbelief that the EU Commission is reviving the discredited policy of publishing the names and amounts of EU supports received by each farmer. Previously, the EU Commission had obliged member states to publish the amounts received by each farmer but in November 2010 the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had thrown this out as “partially invalid” because it failed to balance the rights of individuals against the objectives of transparency.
Mr Gilmartin said, “It is unbelievable that the EU Commission is going back to this discredited invasion of privacy and it shows a complete contempt for the ECJ. It is amazing that when an ECJ decision has negative implications for farmers, member states and the Commission jump over hoops to enforce the decision but when the ECJ goes in favour of farmers the Commission bends over backwards to circumvent it.
“While the Commission is apparently making some concession for those receiving less than a €1000, the fundamentals of what they are at remain the same. It is therefore a complete attack on the decision of the ECJ. Minister Coveney needs to come out immediately to oppose this. If this goes through, then surely equity demands that all social welfare recipients and the amount they receive should also be published.”