Press release

Defra calls for return to full transparency over CAP payments information

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK Government is committed to transparency in the use of public funds, which includes everyone who has received payments under the CAP.

The UK has been unable to support today’s EU Commission proposal putting in place interim arrangements on how much information can be published about recipients of CAP payments, and has abstained in the vote. The proposal fails to re-introduce the previous levels of transparency, which were severely curtailed by a recent ECJ ruling.

The UK Government is committed to full transparency in the use of public funds, which includes transparency about everyone who has received payments under the CAP. We urge the Commission to bring forward comprehensive proposals as soon as possible to achieve this.

We are currently exploring how we can fulfil the obligations to the ECJ ruling while allowing as much access to information as possible.

A November 2010 ECJ judgement prevented publication of CAP payments to “natural persons” (individuals) but allowed the continued publication of CAP payments to legal persons (companies and partnerships). As Defra was unable to immediately distinguish between the two categories, access to the data was suspended.